When DryHop brewpub threw a preopening party on Saturday, June 8, it sold 300 growler fills and 300 tasting flights to an estimated 400 guests in just two hours. When I visited on Saturday, June 15, two days after DryHop formally opened, I showed up around 3 PM, hoping to squeak in between the lunch and dinner crowds—but there was no “between.” The 3,000-square-foot space at 3155 N. Broadway, which allegedly holds 70, was standing room only, and a line for growlers stretched out the door. I stayed about four hours, and not a minute went by that at least three people weren’t waiting for a growler fill. Around 5 PM, Hopleaf co-owner Michael Roper dropped by to see what the fuss was about, then drank his way through half the beer menu.
In other words, Atlas Brewing Company has hardly sated the neighborhood’s appetite for brewpubs. (It opened last summer less than a mile away, on Lincoln near Diversey.) DryHop was so slammed during my visit that the kitchen ran out of food and had to stop serving for two hours in order to recover for dinner. Head brewer Brant Dubovick told me that if the current frenzy of demand for DryHop’s beers keeps up, it’ll make it tough for him to brew lagers or high-alcohol styles—they tie up his equipment for too long. Because DryHop’s landlord also owns the storefront immediately south, the brewpub is already considering expanding into that space. It’s almost certainly going to staff up posthaste, at least at the bar.
All this is to say that DryHop probably doesn’t need a good review from me to take off like gangbusters. But it’s gonna get one anyway, because Dubovick is doing some great work.