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Brewing beer in the heart of Evanston since 2014.
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We brew beer in the heart of Evanston.  Beer is food, beer is community. Beer is our Art. 

Sketchbook was founded by two home brewers, Cesar Marron and Shawn Decker, who were passionate about starting a microbrewery right in the thick of their remarkable hometown. We brew a wide range of historical and adventurous beer styles.  Our work is driven by a love of quality in food and beer, a commitment to sustainable local production, and a lot of DIY geeky-ness.   

First opened to the public on November 21, 2014, Sketchbook has come a long way from our early days filling growlers from our alley brewery.  Right from the beginning we embraced our community-supported model, and now our 400+ members keep us on our toes--checking out new beers as if they were part of the family. 

Sketchbook opened our Tap Room in April of 2016 at 821 Chicago Ave, Evanston. This intimate space reflects our roots and our values, and is a haven for re-use fans, with a bar surround fashioned from 19th century flooring, and bar and table tops from old bowling alley lanes. Our taproom is focused on conversation, weekly live music, and of course great beer - generally 12+ styles on tap.

We began dramatically expanding our distribution in 2017 with a focus on designing and distributing beautiful cans.  Look for us in stores and on draft around Chicagoland.  

For more background and history, check out our FAQ's. 

For more up-to-the-minute information on our doings, please:


Our Team

Small Shop.

Fabulous Crew. 


Cesar MarroN  


Years in the Industry:   3  years (and counting) as a pro, 5 hard years as a homebrewer. Loves: Our location, the alley, small nimble brewing setup. Making historic beers, and developing new recipes. Talking to people about the science in brewing beer. What beer? It varies. Ask me. Outside Sketchbook: Spending quality time with wife and daughters, baking, driving on the snow, building and fixing stuff. I Worked as a software engineer and project management prior to starting Sketchbook and enjoy problem solving and making things more efficient. I like to explore all styles of food and beer while travelling in the US or abroad. On my spare time I enjoy woodworking projects.

Full Bio



Shawn Decker 


Years in the Industry:   3 years (and counting) plus 5 yrs of homebrewing.  Loves: Our wonderful community! Naming beers.  All our DIY funky design projects.  Building stuff. Good beer.   Outside Sketchbook:  Professor of  Sound and Media Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (30+ years). Sound and Media Artist and Musician.  I'm into modular analog systems, birding, kayaking, hiking, beer, food, cooking, building electronics, sustainability, teaching, sci-fi, and playing the fiddle.

Full Bio


Alice George 


Years in the Industry: 4. Loves: Introducing customers to new beers, writing press releases, saisons, the conversations in the Tap Room, the coaster wall.. Outside Sketchbook: Teaching artist, grant writer, visual artist and poet. Open lake swimmer.

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Years in the Industry: 4   Loves:  Work+study afternoons in the taproom!  Outside Sketchbook:  playing with my girls, beaching and lazy biking, singing loudly




Years in the Industry: 5 (counting homebreweing)   Loves: Pilsner and Kolsch. Traveling to other breweries to share our beer and try others. . Outside Sketchbook:  Lake Michigan,Miller High Life.

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Sile Malone


Years in the industry: Eighteen!!  Loves: Changing people's notions about beers they wouldn't ordinarily try and introducing them to their new favorites in the process, the incredibly welcoming, communal atmosphere in the taproom and getting to know all our amazing, sweet, kooky regulars!! (You ALL know who you are!) Outside Sketchbook: Closet karaoke fanatic, Harry Potter expert, avid puzzle/word game solver, sucker for any cute animals, and I bleed Cubbie Blue!!


Beth Rogers


Years in the Industry:  Lucky 13  Loves: Designing new labels, pestering Connor with random questions, Night Game DIPA, and canning day! . Outside Sketchbook:  Books, skulls, mountains, daleks, beer, and all of the coffee! 


Joe BenHoff

Years in the Industry:  8  Loves: I love to build communities and I've never found a better place than with these fine folks at Sketchbook. . Outside Sketchbook:  Experimenting, tinkering, and learning about new environmental tech! Check out the IES at Loyola and Whiner Brewery's digester. 



Years in the Industry
:  16  Loves:  Our customers! Interesting conversations with a very eclectic mix of people showing the same love--beer! My beer love is Turbulence, btw.  Outside Sketchbook:  Bowling, darts, coffee & beer & the beach is my favorite place on earth. 


Marie Hieronymus

Years in the Industry:  5  Loves: I love the very day adventure of meeting new awesome people who share the love for great craft beer. Outside Sketchbook:  I am a home brewing, costume-making, bad-joke telling wife and mama to 2 crazy boys! 

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The Associates

Key to Sketchbook's success are our Founding Associates (clockwise from top left): Sean Curry, Matt & Tara Kosloski, Ted Perez, and Mike Ensdorf and Kathy Pilat.




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Sketchbook Brewing receives many requests for support of all kinds.  Due to the volume of requests and the limited discretionary beer we have, we've chosen this focus for our philanthropy:

  1. Organizations and events based in and benefiting Evanston, Illinois, our home base.

  2. Organizations and events supported by one of our members (info here).

  3. Great Lakes-based organizations that support and promote sustainability and green practices.

  4. Fundraising projects emerging from within the craft beer industry.

If your event or organization falls outside of those areas, then unfortunately we won't be able to support you at this time.

If your event fits within these areas, please fill out the form below and it will be considered, but in no way can we guarantee support.  If you haven’t heard back from us in two weeks, assume the worst.

Good luck with your event.

P.S., If you are interesting in finding out about renting our space for an event, please email us directly.

Name *
Date of Event
Date of Event
Does your request fit one or more of Sketchbook's priorities? *
Note, if you are seeking a donation of beer, Sketchbook strongly encourages nonprofit to share costs with us; i.e., we donate a case of cans, you buy one at the nonprofit rate. Also, we cannot donate beer to fundraisers or events of any kind that are held at bars, restaurants, or other venues that legally sell alcohol. Lastly, we usually don't encourage kids in attendance.