Who’s Behind the Brews

We’re a small team led by founders Samantha Lee, Stephen Bossu and Jonathan Fritz. The team is comprised of folks from all sorts of backgrounds, including nonprofit advocacy work, large production brewing and organic food sales — all of which inform our approach to running a brewery that not only makes high-quality, accessible beer, but is welcoming to all and provides a rewarding work environment for our employees.

  Hopewell Feb Production 27

Hopewell’s History

All originally from Chicago, founders Samantha, Stephen and Jonathan met while attending the University of Illinois in Champaign. This was in the early 2000s, while the American craft beer scene was relatively nascent, but beginning to swell beyond its more humble status. Like many founding stories go, all three got into flavorful beer and began home brewing together (with admittedly mixed results). But it wasn’t until after graduation and a long road trip out West touring the region’s many breweries that their bond strengthened and a grand plan emerged: Open a brewery of their own. 

And like many more founding stories go, the path was long and arduous.

Samantha and Stephen both moved to Portland, Oregon and then Brooklyn, where Samantha worked for nonprofits, and Stephen for a couple production breweries. Jonathan entered the world of food sales and had a stint in Philly before coming back home to Chicago. Along the way, the three worked on their vision of a brewery. After eight years of planning, Hopewell opened in Chicago in 2016 — and here we are today! 

Since opening, we have grown the team with a group of dedicated folks who are instrumental to the ongoing success of Hopewell. With our team, we hope to build a business that centers people over profits and community over individual gain. 

  Hopewell Process Grain_Web-0008
  Hopewell Feb Production 55
  Hopwell Taproom_Web-0008