New “Dry City Brew Works” reminds Wheaton of its dry past

A new brewery in Wheaton has a name that highlights the community’s past stance toward alcohol:

Exposed brick walls, metal accents, a wooden ceiling and plans for local musicians to regularly perform give Dry City Brew Works the feel of an urban coffeehouse…

The name, of course, is a reference to Wheaton’s history of being a dry city until the mid-1980s.

“A lot of people, especially from the Wheaton area, are telling us, ‘Wow, finally, it’s so good to have something like this in Wheaton.’ They love the name and the play on Wheaton and the reaction to the actual product has been good,” Jessica said.

Friends, family and strangers helped the brewery raise $15,000 through a Kickstarter.com campaign to help with some of the startup costs. The owners are now in the process now of rewarding the backers with Dry City-stamped T-shirts, glasses and other items.

A bit of a change for a community which voted for its own prohibition after the Federal prohibition ended. Read an earlier post about Wheaton’s dry past and reactions to Ale Fest a few years ago. The ban on alcohol sales was revoked in part because of arguments that such sales would help the downtown: enhance the downtown experience, attract businesses and restaurants, and thus boost tax revenues. A brewery downtown would seem to contribute to all this though it remains to be seen how successful a brewery in Wheaton can be.

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