Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of beers do you brew? Sketchbook is passionate about exploring traditional recipes--hefeweizens, saisons, pilsners, and stouts for example--while also changing it up and exploring hybrids. You can almost always count on finding some lower alcohol beers in our Tap Room, where you can sample via flights or sipping small pours.
Any recent kudos for your beer? In June of 2017, Draft Magazine named our New England IPA (Insufficient Clearance) among the 20 best IPA's in the country.
Where can I find Sketchbook? Check out this cool map to find restaurants, bars and bottle shops carrying our beer. FYI, Sketchbook shifted away from self-distribution in 2017 and is working with Mullarkey, Chicago Beverage Systems, Town and Country, and Kloss.
What is a Community-Supported Brewery (CSB)? Our Community-Supported Membership program allows our 400+ members to pre-pay for six months or 12 months of growler fills, at a discounted price. To find out more go here. BTW, you do NOT need to be a member to fill growlers or drink at the Tap Room.
How can I become a member? We sign folks up 4x a year. Go here to check the timing.
Why Evanston? Both founding families live here--Amy is an Evanston native--and this town has welcomed us so generously. In return, we support our community, donating beer to select causes throughout the year. Every December we donate a percentage of sales to the Evanston Community Foundation.
Wait--I hear you were located in the alley? That's where we started, but our retail operations have shifted to 821 Chicago Ave. Our alley location is now devoted to brewing.
Why Sketchbook? Our brewery name pays tribute to the energy generated when creative minds play. Sketchbooks are intimate little tools of invention and inspiration. Also, from the beginning, Shawn Decker has imagined Sketchbook as a community-based art project, and Alice George's visual art has been a part of our visual identity.
Can I bring kids, or dogs, to the Tap Room? Kids yes, of course, anywhere except right at the bar. Dogs, nope.
Do you serve food in the Tap Room? Light snacks only, except for Wednesdays where we serve tamales for $4. We encourage you to BYOF (Bring Your Own Food). Read more about the Tap Room here.
Transportation Options? CAR: Street parking only. The good news? It's free after 6 pm. TRAIN: we are across from TWO trains stations, the Metra (Union-Pacific North Line, Main St.) and CTA (Purple Line, Main St.). BIKE: Lots of bike racks and super close to a DIVVY stand.
Do you accept the NU Wildcard? YES!
Who's involved? Shawn Decker and Cesar Marron are the principal owners of Sketchbook Brewing Company. Their wives Alice George and Amy Wilkinson are active business partners, with Amy managing the Tap Room and Alice heading up PR/Marketing. Sketchbook Brewing Company's co-founders include Sean Curry, Mike Ensdorf and Kathy Pilat, Matt and Tara Kosloski, and Ted Perez. Sean, Matt and Ted are home brewers in their own right.
Who are Shawn & Cesar? Shawn is an award-winning media artist and musician whose installations have been exhibited around the world; he is a Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Sound and Art & Tech Departments. He is married to poet, artist, and educator Alice George; both of their children went through the Evanston public schools. Cesar is a Brazilian native, and is married to Amy Wilkinson and they have two young daughters. Amy, born in Evanston, has a degree in Anthropology and a masters in Museum studies. She likes digging for artifacts. Her last job was at the New York State Museum doing digital photography of fungi. See Bios.
Where can I read more? We periodically blog about the brewery. Two great press interviews can be found here (Brewery Showcase, Porch Drinking) and here (Hop Review). Interesting articles about our late 2017 design refresh (driving by Good Beer Hunting) and canning expansion can be found here and here.
Do you sell gift cards? Yep, Go here.
Do you offer tours of your brewery? Yes, we have Second Saturday tours most months. You can also arrange private tours.