Champaign’s The Blind Pig expands with brewery for downtown night life

The Blind Pig Co. is expanding its business in downtown Champaign to include brewery. The bar opened its doors on Thursday at 3 p.m.

“The Brewery is similar to what we have (at the Blind Pig Co.) – an English beer pub,” said Jason Ewing, bartender at the Blind Pig Co.

The only significant difference is the emphasis on home brewed beers.

“We’ll have brewed beers as well as a diverse menu of bottles like we have at the Pig,” said Becca Vann, senior bartender.

The menu will be diversified, however. Whatever the Blind Pig Co. serves, the Brewery will serve something different, Vann said.

“It’s really just expanding our business,” she added.

The brewed beers will not be available at the grand opening however.

“It’ll be another month before we can get our beers going,” said Chris Knight, owner of the Blind Pig Co.

Knight expects the beers to be on tap by Independence Day. Nevertheless, with 10 beers on draft and 200 domestic bottles, the bar is still fully stocked.

“We have 10 of the best beers in the world ready to pour,” he said.

Knight expects an enthusiastic response from the public.

I’ve been talking about a brewery for five years,” he said. “It’s amazing we don’t already have one.

The business suits downtown Champaign’s demographic and culture, said Chris Watson, Champaign resident.

“I think there’s a market for this – people enjoying locally crafted beer,” Watson said.

“Local brews would be nice around here,” he added.

Kevin Kaplan contributed to this report.