What do coffee and beer have in common? Both are staples within American culture and part of the average American’s daily routine. Whether one is running to the corner café for a morning fix or the neighborhood bar to unwind with friends, you can bet that Chicagoans fare no differently when it comes to consuming these delectable brews. In fact, it is estimated that Americans drink a whopping 6.3 billion gallons of beer and 146 billion cups of coffee per year, making the United States the leading coffee consumer in the world and beer the leading alcoholic beverage according to the Huffington Post. Thus, it should be no wonder that Americans are becoming increasingly particular about the brews that fuel their lives. Craft producers are taking note as the industry adjusts to serve a growing demographic of consumers who value not only quality but also the overall experience from the harvested crop to their local shop.
The curiosity to have a more hands-on approach is what led Sputnik founders to begin roasting in the comfort of their homes, namely their unfinished Chicago basement, and then expand onto the current cafe. Sputnik’s enthusiasm to make both a quality product and provide an exemplary experience beyond routine customer service has been integral to building community relations amongst locals and businesses alike. One such business is located at 2337 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago's historic automotive district, Motor Row Brewing shares Sputnik’s creative vision for accessible craft brews, innovative entrepreneurial practices, and building local big-shoulder rapport.
The opportunity to join creative forces came along when Motor Row’s marketing guru, Ali, extended an olive branch in the form of a growler full of beer to Sputnik co-owner, Vova, at this past summer’s McKinley Park Farmer’s Market. Kindred spirits who specialize in satisfying cold brews, Motor Row and Sputnik were then able to realize the collaboration’s full potential by combining their signature beer and our house coffee. Together, with Laney Farms, a local family honey farm in Michigan, the Chicago team would go on to create the “Buzzed Aledrin,” a Belgium ale with coffee and thistle. The ale made its grand debut at Motor Row headquarters at the beginning of December and since gone on to sell successfully at other local Chicagoland grocery stores.
It is no wonder then why both coffee and beer have become some of the most carefully crafted and heavily distributed beverages within the nation and beyond as both are responsible for connecting people across time and cultures. If we, at Sputnik, have learned anything since we have opened and grown, it has been to cherish the individuals that you meet and communities you help nourish along the way. We're excited to meet the opportunities and relationships that the new year will bring our way.