What is Vice District’s initial origin story? What is the significance of the name “Vice District”?
Vice District was founded by neighbors who developed a passion for beer through home brewing. When we opened our taproom in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood in 2014, we tried to capture that feeling of hanging out and drinking beers in a neighbor’s basement.
The name was chosen as a nod to the neighborhood, which was known as Chicago’s “vice district” in the city’s early days. It was a place where people from all over could go and be comfortable with who they were — knowing that no one is perfect — and connect with others who also were looking to enjoy their lives without being harshly judged..
Why did you decide to relaunch?
We knew from the taproom that Vice District had the ingredients (literally and figuratively) for a successful brewery. Once the original Vice District closed, it was just a matter of finding the right opportunity to relaunch, and getting the right team in place to bring back the beer and vibe that so many had grown to love.
Beyond that, we’re passionate about our customers and all the relationships we’ve built over the years. We’re passionate about black-owned breweries and opening up the craft beer space to new communities. And, of course, we’re passionate about our beer — we can’t wait to see all of those combining again.
What are the roles of the three company leaders? Who is/are the spokesperson/spokespeople?
Curtis Tarver II, an original Vice District co-founder and Illinois state representative; Andre Wright, an investor in the original Vice District; and Oreal James, a hospitality industry veteran who operates 16th Street Bar and Lounge in Chicago.
Do you have a physical location?
We are not launching with a physical location, and are instead staying laser focused on the beer. However, we are exploring the possibility and we will provide an update if/when that becomes a reality.
What types of beer will you be brewing and why?
We’re beginning with Pleasure Trip, the blonde ale that was the most popular beer at our South Loop taproom. We will continue to reintroduce other classic Vice beers, both on a permanent and seasonal basis, and will always leave the door open to continue experimenting with new beers and variations.
Where will Vice District Beer be available?
Vice will be available at various bars, restaurants, and hotels, as well as at certain festivals. For a full and up-to-date list, please visit our “Find Us” page.