Chicago-Area Craft Brewery Sells Assets to Local Start Up

The dog days are over for 4 Paws Brewing Co., which announced on Sunday that it had sold its brewing assets and transferred its lease to another Chicago area brewery startup, Strange Pelican Brewing Co.

In a statement posted to the 4 Paws Facebook page, owners Matt and Meghan Gebhardt wrote that they “took an incredible offer” that will allow Mr. Gebhardt to “pursue his next adventure” while “keeping the Chicago craft beer movement planted solidly in our backyard.”

As of press time, a representative from 4 Paws could not be reached for comment, but the Facebook message notes that the company will retain ownership of the 4 Paws brand.

Strange Pelican founder Eric McNeil said he was unsure why 4 Paws ultimately decided to sell but is looking forward to opportunity to take over the space.

“We’re just pretty excited,” he said. “We were waiting for permits [to build out another space] when we heard about 4 Paws and we checked it out and it seemed like a great way to save some time and money so we jumped on it.”

McNeil could not disclose the terms of the purchase agreement but did add that the newly acquired 4 Paws location was “nearly identical” to the facility Strange Pelican was planning to build in Fulton, Ill. The approximate 5,000 sq. ft. of space is equipped with a 15-barrel DME brewhouse and a bottling line. McNeil hopes to have the brewery fully operational before spring.

“We’re kind of at the mercy of licensing and stuff like that,” he said, “Hopefully we’ll be live in 60 days.”

4 Paws’ complete statement regarding the sale is below:

Dear Friends, Family & Loyal Followers,

We are excited to announce, after months of working on it, that 4 Paws Brewing was officially sold this past week.

We have had a lot of interest from several buyers for a while now and took an incredible offer of what we think was truly best for our business and family. We are retaining the 4 Paws brand, and have sold the equipment and transferred the lease to a local Chicago craft brewer who is really excited about the space. This frees Matt up to discover his next adventure, but it keeps the Chicago craft beer movement planted solidly in our backyard.

We want to thank you all (especially our families) for your love, support, and interest in our business venture. Many of you were able to visit the brewery or purchase our beer in stores, bars and restaurants and we are so grateful for your support! This is a really exciting deal for us, and although we will miss seeing our little Sadie Dog’s mug on shelves, we are quite happy with how the 4 Paws journey is coming to a close. Again, thank you all and happy new year!


Matt, Megs & Sadie

Brewbound Job Board

The leading job board for the beer industry. Featuring hundreds of jobs from leading breweries and associated companies.

Brewbound Marketplace Listing

The Brewbound Marketplace features listings for equipment, services, and more. Post a listing today.

Brewbound's Database of Breweries

Brewbound's database of breweries includes thousands of breweries from around the world.

Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.