Our History

Our story started with Marilee and Karl Rutherford around 10 years ago. A passion for home brewing quickly evolved into a spare room filled with shelves of equipment, fermenting beer, a 14-tap kegerator under a lofted bed for overnight guests. And parties. Lots. Of. Parties.

They cooked, and cooked, and brewed and brewed, and daydreamed out loud about how they could quit their day jobs and brew their own beer. By the grace of the beer gods (perhaps Ol’ St. Auggie) the Rutherfords’ path intersected with now business parter, Todd Ruddick – also a passionate homebrewer, who we all call “The Missing Link.” Each partner brings a deep love of beer, a thoughtful perspective on flavor, and a unique mix of skills – in and outside of the brewery – that allow them to combine into a sort of brewpub super being. 

Now, here we are. From humble, wonderful beginnings, to a larger-than-life space for all kinds of people to enjoy, precisely how we always envisioned. [Insert warm fuzzies here.]

This brewery, this beer, this food, is so many things. But more than anything, Twisted Hippo is about community. The Hippo® is nothing without the weird, wonderful people who share their time and talents to get this beer to the weird, wonderful people who drink it!

So what makes us unique?…Aside from the giant pink hippo with antlers, a pig’s tail, and wings (Hello, Pinky!) we exemplify our philosophy to ‘Embrace Your Strange’ in everything we do. Our taproom is filled with vibrant colors and bold architectural details. Our menus are the perfect balance of interesting and approachable. Our staff is a carefully curated group of fun folks who embody what it means to work hard and be perfectly yourself, whatever your weird may be.

So, let’s do this, Chicago. Let’s all get weird but awesome together. Cheers!