Tim Kovac, founder and brewmaster at Small Town Brewery, started home brewing in 1988. That’s when he found out that brewing was in his blood. Legend has it that Tim’s ancestor was a ship captain and brewer who made gruit ales in the 1600s. Growing up, he had never heard much about his family history until he expressed an interest in making beer.
In 2010 Tim started Small Town Brewery. A year later, his son Jake joined him in experimenting with beer and a root beer beer was actually his idea. It took them two years to perfect the recipe working out of their small brewery in Wauconda. Tim quit his day job as a Creative Designer in March of 2013 and started brewing full time in his hometown of Wauconda, Illinois.
Small Town focuses on making botanical, gruit-inspired brews with classic American flavors. Gruit (German for “herbs”) is an ancient way of bittering and flavoring beer using roots, spices, flowers, and berries. This is how most beer was brewed for thousands of years and throughout the middle ages – before hops took over as the main bittering agent. Small Town’s brews are inspired by this long forgotten artisanal method of brewing. Tim’s goal with Small Town Brewery is to honor his family’s beer making tradition by creating specialty beers with unique and flavorful ingredients.