A Tale 

of Two Piggies

It was the season of light beers.
It was the season of dark beers.
"Owner and British person Chris Knight came to Champaign Urbana to join the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois. After recovering from the realization that Champaign Urbana is not actually in Chicago, Chris settled down here in the Twin Cities, intent on getting out of them as soon as his contract allowed. That was over 30 years ago.

 

 

In 1990 he opened Blind Pig number 1, at the bar they now call Cowboy Monkey. A music club, it had live bands 5 nights a week. Over the years some unbelievably big names played there, and many people still associate the Blind Pig with live music.

 

Chris sold that first location and opened a second Blind Pig almost next door, on Walnut St., in 2004. Modelled after the village pub of his home town of Hemingford Weasel In the Dell, it has a comfortable, cozy atmosphere, no TVs, and dozens of great craft beers. Within months, it was voted the 26th Best Beer Bar in the entire United States by Beer Advocate, and has now been included in the top 150 bars in the US by both Imbibe and Draft Magazines.

 

Amazingly, the Blind Pig is also consistently in the top 100 PBR and Jameson accounts in the nation.

 

As a student in England, Chris brewed his own beer, shortly before the first world war. Of course, it was revolting, but there were no fatalities, and he became more and more convinced that the merry community of Champaign Urbana would greatly benefit from his beer brewing prowess. Mercifully he met professional brewer Bill Morgan in 2003. Bill actually knew what he was doing, having graduated from the Seibel Institute, and had years of experience working in breweries in Cleveland, and later Japan. Together they planned Champaign's first ever whole grain brewery, which opened in 2009 at the Neil Street location.

 

Today we have 4 different locations in Downtown Champaign. They are all within a few blocks of each other, and are all called The Blind Pig, a situation which causes no end of confusion, even for those who have lived here for years. To clarify, a quick summary is in order.

 

1. The Blind Pig Company (120 N. Walnut St). Known as the Big Pig, it features 27 guest taps.

 

2. The Blind Pig Brewery (120 N. Neil St). Our main brew pub, where we use our pilot system to brew splendid experimental beers to test the palates, dedication and endurance of our guests. Locally referred to as the Piglet, or Little Pig.

 

3. The Blind Pig Brewery (9 Taylor St). This adjoins the one above, but is located on Taylor St. Known as the Dandy Pig, (because it used to be a store called Dandelion), it has a superb beer garden, which it shares with the other Blind Pig Brewery, above. See how simple this is? No, nor do we. 

 

4. The Blind Pig Brewery warehouse (505 N. Market St). This is our packaging facility. Here we keg our most popular beers, and ship them to all 4 corners of the globe {almost}.

The Blind Pig Co. 

Location: 120 N Walnut Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Hours: 5pm - 10pm Sunday - Thursday

            5pm - 12am Friday & Saturday

The Blind Pig Brewery 

Location: 120 N Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Hours: 3pm - 10pm Sunday - Thursday

3pm - 12am Friday & Saturday

© 2017 The Blind Pig Co.

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