Spotlight on One Allegiance Brewing: Zack Judickas’ entrepreneurial spirit, patience and creativity have made this SW suburban brewery and beer garden a true destination
One Allegiance Brewing
10215 S. Harlem Ave.
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415
Tuesday-Thursday: 4-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: Noon-1 a.m.
Sunday: Noon-11 p.m.
History in short: Dating back to his college days at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Zack Judickas always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. As breweries were popping up left and right throughout Chicago and the suburbs, he always admired the uniquely different vibes and business models each possessed. Home brewing became a college hobby, and with a business degree in hand, Judickas decided to learn the ropes at a trio of Illinois breweries, including Short Fuse and Elmhurst Brewing Co., working, as he puts it, “every job imaginable at the front of the house and the back of the house so I knew all the ins and outs.”
After a lengthy search, Judickas found an acre of undeveloped land in Chicago Ridge and spent any free time he had over the next three years repurposing an old trailer shop with the help of his dad and close friends, only to finally open — you guessed it — in March of 2020, just as the world was coming to a halt. But he and his staff pushed their way through the uncertainty and, with things limited indoors during COVID, they turned their attention to building out the front patio earlier than they had planned, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The space: Judickas and his team didn’t stop with the front patio. They built a backyard beer garden and outdoor bar that has turned into a sought-after location for private events and summer hangouts. The taproom, meanwhile, seats 120 with a gaming room on the side and an “all-inclusive atmosphere that’s open to whatever experience you want to make it.”
Expect trivia on Tuesdays, Bingo Thursdays, live acoustic music on Saturdays and food trucks on weekends.
One decorative piece that garners a lot of attention at One Allegiance is the 50-foot bar that was handmade out of old oak logs, complete with an orange epoxy “lava river” running through the middle of it.
Interesting note: One particular decorative piece that garners a lot of attention at One Allegiance is the 50-foot bar that was handmade out of old oak logs, complete with an orange epoxy “lava river” running through the middle of it. “I was able to take a hands-on approach to a lot of the design of the space, and it makes it kind of special,” Judickas tells us.
What we’re eating and drinking: There is a lot of focus on the variety (16 on draft) and quality of beer offered, with an appreciation for German styles that are drinkable and balanced. Beer releases tend to closely follow along with the seasons, so a few porters and stouts will be coming out soon. Judickas is particularly proud of Crawlspace, a nice, easy-drinking porter that has plenty of chocolatey and caramel character, not to mention a smooth and velvety texture due to the fact it’s served on nitro most days. Bonus: There is now a coffee variation of it that came out this fall.
Pepper’s Pils is a popular German pilsner named after Judickas’ bull terrier, the Cloud Bound New England DIPA carries flavors of white wine and juicy papaya, and their Scarlet Crush Brett Belgian blonde spent more than two years in a red wine barrel with tart cherries.
The Cloud Bound New England DIPA carries flavors of white wine and juicy papaya, and their Scarlet Crush Brett Belgian blonde spent more than two years in a red wine barrel with tart cherries.
On the horizon: One Allegiance has recently been issued a permit for a kitchen, where Neopolitan pizzas and burgers will fill the menu. “We want to complete the full experience and make it a true destination,” Judickas says.
From the brewery: “Our goal is to serve fresh local beer to our community, so we promise to keep variety flowing as long as you promise to enjoy a cold one in good company.” — Owner and head brewer Zack Judickas