Two Brothers brewing up new Roundhouse offerings
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com June 6, 2012 7:04PM
Workers load old brewing equipment from the Two Brothers Roundhouse onto trucks for its journey down to a brewery in Mexico City. New equipment with be installed over the next few months. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 6:52PM
AURORA — Two Brothers will be brewing with a whole new batch of equipment soon.
On Wednesday, cranes hoisted old beer brewing equipment out of the Two Brothers Roundhouse on Broadway — a sign of changes the Two Brothers brand plans to bring to the historic property.
The old brewing equipment, formerly near the restaurant’s main entrance, was broken down and shifted outside to the courtyard of the property, and cranes then lifted the equipment onto flatbed trucks in the parking lot.
The fermenting and brewing equipment was sold to Mexico-based Primus Brewery, which brews four beers that are exclusively available in Mexico. Primus owner Rodolfo Andreu made the trip to Aurora this week to escort the equipment back to Mexico City.
Andreu said the 16-year-old brewing equipment is valued at about $300,000.
“I wanted to get my nervousness out by coming up to see the equipment loaded on the truck myself,” Andreu said.
Gabe Nanni, general manager of Two Brothers Roundhouse, said the existing brew equipment worked well but was too big for their needs. He said the old equipment brewed 1,000 gallons a batch.
Since taking ownership, Two Brothers did not use the existing equipment to brew beer. Beers made specifically for Roundhouse taps were brewed out of the group’s Warrenville location.
“It was way too big and too slow for what it was supposed to do,” Nanni said. “We want something very small, almost like a test kitchen.”
New brew equipment has been ordered. Nanni said the goal is for brewers to be able to experiment at the Roundhouse with a 200-gallon-per-batch system. If they need a larger production, the plan is to brew at the Two Brothers’ 1,500-gallon-per-batch system in Warrenville.
Nanni said other aesthetic changes at the Roundhouse have been completed, including remodeling of the kitchen and banquet areas. He said the goal in remodeling is to capitalize on the openness of the Roundhouse.
“Our first major step will be taking down enclosures,” Nanni said.
A plan to change the traffic pattern through the area is under way, too, he said.
Two Brothers Brewery bought the Roundhouse in May 2011 for $1.1 million after the former operating group, headed by Scott Ascher, filed for bankruptcy. Two Brothers has been brewing craft beers out of a facility in Warrenville since 1997.