Pig Minds is a microbrewery/restaurant, located near Route 173 in an industrial area of Machesney Park, IL that sells only vegan food. Owner Brian Endl developed the concept of a brewery/vegan eatery and opened Pig Minds in 2012. When Endl opened Pig Minds it was the area’s second microbrew and first fully vegan restaurant. Since the microbrew competition has continued to grow and more restaurants are adding vegan options. He and his wife Kelly have been vegans since 1992 and their teen son, Everett, has been vegan all his life.
The name Pig Minds makes you think of a smokehouse, but the name is part of the vegan concept as everyone has a little pig in them. The beer at Pig Minds is brewed, bottled, and distributed on-site.
There are 10 beers on tap, and eight to 10 bottle choices. Larger, 22-ounce bottles can be purchased throughout northern Illinois. All food and 99% of beer are vegan; the only exception is at times some guest beers from other regional or national brews may contain honey.
After 3 years a 9,000-square-foot expansion that would triple Pig Minds’ layout was planned. The work actually started in 2015, but then their property was classified by FEMA as being in a flood zone. It took them 2½ years of fighting to get out of the flood zone. The expansion, which was supposed to cost $1.2 million in 2016, ended up costing $2.1 million in 2020. Construction began in October 2018, but some of the work was delayed in March and April 2019. They finally wrapped up construction in September with the first beer being poured out of the brewhouse in early November 2020.
The added space features a wood-fired pizza oven, expanded bar area, 170 additional seats inside, an outdoor patio that seats 150, and a mezzanine on the second floor for private parties. The renovation also included a 15-barrel exposed brewhouse that tripled their brewing capabilities. The additional brewing capacity included a canning line, which should raise Pig Minds’ sales in the Chicago market. Until the expansion, Pig Minds had a limited bottling line and mostly sold kegs to Chicago-area bars.
Pig Minds Brewing Company prides itself in handcrafted, high quality ales in a variety of styles, using the finest barley, wheat, malts and hops to produce our tasty offerings. We boast a 100% vegan food menu featuring everything from appetizers to sandwiches and tacos to delicious desserts.