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Cheers to Six Years!

You can’t order it with Amazon two-day shipping.

It can’t be replaced by the flourishing digital culture.

And it’s bringing people together across the country.

You guessed it – it’s the craft beer movement.

Breweries and craft beer have become a core of community, enticing family and friends to explore new beer options together.

“That’s what we’re all about at Engrained: celebrating life over good food and craft beer,” says Brent Schwoerer, owner of Engrained. “Our focus on local farm fare and craft beer is a centerpiece of bringing people together.”

At Engrained this month (August 19, to be exact), we’re commemorating six wonderful years of people enjoying delicious food and drink together around our tables!

It all started when Brent made the decision to leave his corporate job after he grew disillusioned by the obsession with profits. Through Engrained’s mission, he has found the two additional P’s he was striving for in life: passion and people.

“My staff is the most important part of the business; they interact with our guests every day,” he says. “I try to run a servant leadership style where I empower, train and hold accountable. It’s rewarding even when it’s difficult. We have a lot of great people who love working here.”

Throughout each of our six years in business, Engrained has been fortunate to expand our offerings, staff and community giving.

“We’ve been excited to see the growth of the ‘Local’ movement and farm-to-table dining. People are caring about what’s in their food and where it comes from,” Brent says. “We definitely try to support the community as well, and I look forward to growing those efforts.”

So what’s ahead for Engrained?

Our most recent project has been a small farm purchased near Pleasant Plains, which gave us our first taste of fresh produce grown by Engrained: watermelon radishes. More produce is in the ground and growing steadily.

“We want to continue to expand the farm. Not only do I enjoy it, but it’s a great educational component for our staff, and we take pride in our food,” Brent says. “There is a lot of excitement among the team about the farm.

“Over the years, my vision is for regenerative agriculture. I’d love to have a local biome with an orchard component, with fruit trees and nut trees, in addition to the produce.”

For now though, six years of growth and success feels like a lot to celebrate for us – and we love that our community is celebrating right alongside us.

Recently, Brent was volunteering at the Illinois State Fair and managing a group of high school-aged volunteers. They told him how much they enjoy eating at Engrained.

“It’s refreshing; I loved hearing that,” he says. “We’re not just a new restaurant anymore. Now we’re a community staple.”

JOIN US: We’re celebrating this month with a barrel of our brewery’s oldest recipe: Oatmeal Stout. Forty-five gallons of beer has been sitting in a Woodford Reserve barrel for the past six months and was just opened last weekend. Be sure to stop in and try a pint with a group of friends!

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