Barrington bar, Barrington Hills brewery team up
Mark Green, from the Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar, and Mike Kainz, who owns the Wild Onion Brewery in Lake Barrington, have teamed up by offering the local beer and the local bar. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:20AM
BARRINGTON — The Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar in downtown Barrington recently teamed with Lake Barrington’s Wild Onion Brewery for a venture designed to be good for business and the community.
Wool Street now features a “craft corner” with six draft beers brewed by Wild Onion just a few miles away. Green said the corner features two regular beers and four that rotate seasonally.
“We were looking to provide locally sourced and locally sold products because it benefits the community,” said Mark Green, the owner of Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar.
“It’s just to give people some local options.”
Mike Kainz, co-owner of Wild Onion, added that he was thrilled when Green approached the brewery about a partnership last month.
“It didn’t take much meeting and discussing because it’s good for both of us,” said Kainz. “It’s kind of like an extension of our brewery.”
Wild Onion, a family-owned business that opened as a brewery and restaurant in 2000, faces stiff competition because of the growing popularity of craft beers. However, Kainz said, it’s also an exciting time for craft brews because of the growing interest in not just local beers but locally sourced products in general.
“It’s amazing how things are shifting,” Kainz said. “There is a lot of room for growth in craft beers and there are so many different beer styles out there.”
Kainz said Wild Onion offers about seven year-round beers brewed in Barrington Hills. They also have seasonal brews.
“That’s the fun part for us, following the seasons,” he said.
To promote the local partnership, Wool Street Grill is currently hosting events on the last Wednesday of every month that feature food pairings to go with the craft beers. Green noted that there will be no food-pairing event this month due to Halloween falling on a Wednesday.
One of the beers featured throughout October, Green said, is a pumpkin ale.
“After Halloween, we’ll change it to something else,” he said.
Kainz reported that the growing interest in craft beers, has translated into more demand.
“The popular brands run out more quickly,” he said,
Because beer is a perishable product, Kainz said it can be risky to make a large quantity at one time. He said he thinks the craft corner will benefit both businesses by selling more of the local brews.
“We’re pushing our brand aggressively,” said Kainz. “The goal is to move a product.”
Kainz said that in addition to the craft beers, Wool Street and Wild Onion both offer the national brands to appeal to all customers.
“There’s a reason these brands have been around for so long,” he said. “You can’t please everyone all the time, but you can certainly try.”