Chicago, IL — Neil Byers, owner of Horse Thief Hollow Restaurant and Brewing Co. has been named winner of the 2015 Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. The restaurant and brewery was identified as a fast-growing business with a strong philanthropic connection.
“I am completely honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The reality is that this is an award for the Beverly neighborhood as much as it is for Horse Thief Hollow. Without the support of the community, I would not be in the position I am today,” said Byers.
Byers, a 32 year old resident of Chicago, opened the brew pub located in the historic Beverly neighborhood in February 2013. The menu offers an eclectic mix of Southern Gastropub and casual American fare. Horse Thief’s beers feature the finest fresh-milled barley, local yeast and hops sourced from the Midwest. Byers and Brewmaster David Williams were awarded twice in 2014 for their beers, first at the World Beer Cup and later at the Great American Beer Festival.
Byers plans to use the $25,000 prize to expand the brewery and aims to have his beers distributed throughout Chicagoland in early 2016.
“The award cut the money I needed to raise for the expansion nearly in half. Tap handles and new tanks are now on order. Everything is coming together quickly as we finalize the details for our future” adds Byers.
Rooted in community, Byers prefers to locally source ingredients when possible and is proud to employ over 40 local residents. He is very close with the local art community, supporting both the Beverly Arts Center and the Beverly Arts Alliance. Every quarter, Horse Thief displays a gallery of local works, providing free space for artists to showcase their items.
“We have a multitude of great local businesses, artists and musicians on the South Side. By collaborating on ideas we can create better products and reach a wider audience. It is my goal to help bring the recognition of all Chicago for all of us,” shares Byers.
Background on James Tyree Award and the Chicagoland Chamber of Business
Horse Thief Hollow was one of 70 applicants for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. Contestants participated in rigorous elimination rounds featuring a two minute presentation until the final 12 were selected and then put to the test by a panel of Chicago business owners including former James Tyree Emerging Business awardees. The winner was announced at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting.
The Tyree Award is presented annually to a fast-growing business with strong philanthropic values. The winner receives $25,000 in cash courtesy of Mesirow Financial and valuable business consulting services from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. All applicants had to operate within the six-county Chicagoland metropolitan area; be in business for a minimum of two years demonstrating substantial growth over the past two years; generate revenues of at least $500,000 but less than $10 million; have five or more employees and be active in local civic or philanthropic initiatives.