Press release


Due to some recent events, we are changing our name from Mercenary Brewery & Distillery to Maplewood Brewery & Distillery.  We currently produce three beers: The Charlatan (American Pale Ale), Fat Pug (Milk Stout), and Creepy Ginger (Belgian Golden Strong Ale). 

A few months ago, we received a Cease and Desist letter from the attorneys for Odell Brewing Company.  This letter alleged that our brewery and distillery name infringed Odell’s trademarks related to their Myrcenary Double IPA beer.  Odell Brewing Company holds the trademark to the word “Myrcenary,” which was first registered in May 2011.  Upon receiving the Cease and Desist, we attempted to work with Odell to reach a resolution that would allow Mercenary Brewery & Distillery to amicably co-exist with Odell Brewing Company’s Myrcenary Double IPA. 

We offered Odell multiple potential solutions and explained that we have been using the name Mercenary (albeit informally) since we began homebrewing in 2007. However, as is their legal right, Odell did not allow us to continue to use any form of the word “Mercenary.” Odell was kind enough to allow us to run through our current label stock prior to the name change, which we appreciate.

As a result, and in the interest of not becoming dastardly trademark infringers, we have decided to move forward and change our name to Maplewood Brewery & Distillery.  This name was chosen in honor the former village of Maplewood, which was one of the areas that survived the Great Chicago Fire and aided in the rebuilding of Chicago after the fire.  Maplewood was annexed by the City of Chicago in 1889, and helped form Chicago’s Logan Square, which we think is pretty cool.  Maplewood is also where our brewery and distillery is currently located (2717 N. Maplewood Ave).  After running through quite a few potential names, we agreed that Maplewood Brewery & Distillery works out nicely.

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery founders, Ari Megalis and Adam Cieslak, began homebrewing in the summer of 2007.  Over the years, they became more serious about craft, including spirits as well.  As things do, a hobby became an obsession, which eventually evolved into a profession.  With a passion for both craft beer and spirits, Adam and Ari began working on a business plan to open the Illinois’ first brewery and distillery hybrid facility, as there is much commonality between brewing and distilling.  In January 2014, they signed a lease on a 7,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Logan Square.  By October 2014, they began to distribute The Charlatan Pale Ale and the Fat Pug Milk Stout.  Their new beer, Creepy Ginger (a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, brewed with organic ginger), will begin distribution Monday, April 20th.  Additionally, they recently acquired their federal craft distiller’s license and will soon begin distilling and aging whiskies and gins.  They are also working hard to get their beer into cans, and have begun the build out process for a 1,100 sq. ft. taproom/cocktail bar at the brewery.

To honor the name change and release of their new beer, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery is holding a “Creepy Ginger Release and We-Were-Going-To-Be-Sued-So-We-Had-To-Change-Our-Name” event at Kaiser Tiger (1415 W. Randolph St.) on Friday, April 24th, starting at 6:00 pm.  Here is a link to the event: (note: you have to be logged in to facebook first for the link to work, as it is an ages 21+ event)

Maplewood is distributed by Stoller Wholesale (

Thanks for all of the support!

Adam & Ari, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery