how mikerphone brewing came to be


Why MIKERPHONE, not MICROPHONE you may ask?  Well Owner and Head Brewer Mike Pallen has always had two passions in life; music and beer. 

During Mike's youth, his father worked at Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Mike was exposed to the entire brewing process.  Although he grew up around beer most of his life, Mike did not brew his first batch of beer until he was attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  For credit in a Botany class, Mike and his roommate brewed an English Brown recipe.  After the experience and receiving an A, Mike was hooked.  Shortly after moving from Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois, Mike received a new homebrew kit from his mom, and thus began Mikerphone Brewing. 

During that time, Mike spent his days working in the music industry, promoting and managing bands, licensing music, securing and interviewing top artists for Fortune 500 branded campaigns, and helping run the International marketing for School of Rock.  When not working, Mike spent countless hours writing recipes, brewing test batches, and sampling out those batches to whomever would try them and provide feedback.  One such person was Gerrit Lewis, owner of Pipeworks Brewing Company

While helping brew and bottle at Pipeworks, Mike met Drew Fox, Owner and Head Brewer of 18th Street Brewery.  Mike and Drew hit it off, so much so that Drew asked Mike to be his Assistant Brewer and help with Social Media and 18th's Kickstarter campaign.  Drew also allowed Mike to develop out Mikerphone Brewing and set up shop within 18th Street. 

Before Mike could brew any Mikerphone beer at 18th, he was presented with the opportunity to become the Head Brewer at BreakRoom Brewery, a new brewpub that was in the works.  It was an exciting opportunity, but one that meant Mikerphone Brewing would need to be put on hold.  So Mike accepted the opportunity, and spent a year and half developing recipes and building brand presence for BreakRoom. 

As the days went by, Mike realized the best option for him and his family was to relaunch Mikerphone Brewing.  Mike purchased a 3.5 barrel direct-fire brewhouse and was ready to ship it up to his hometown in Wisconsin and begin the build out of Mikerphone.  Shortly before that delivery was schedule, Steve Miller, Owner of SlapShot Brewing Company, presented Mike with an opportunity; set up Mikerphone Brewing at SlapShot and become SlapShot's new Head Brewer.  And here we are today!

Mikerphone Brewing...Craft Beer Inspired By Music. 


During Mike's time in the industry, he has had the privilege of brewing and shadowing with some of the best brewers in Chicago and around the world.  Below are those breweries.


18th Street Brewery, 350 Brewing Company, Burn'em Brewing, DryHop Brewers, Spiteful Brewing, and Trientaycino



5 Rabbit Brewery, Argus Brewery, Begyle Brewing, Lake Effect Brewing Company, One Trick Pony Brewery, Pig Minds Brewing Co., Pipeworks Brewing Company, Revolution Brewing, Temperance Beer Co., Triple Voodoo Brewing, and Urban Legend Brewing Company




2015 Best New Brewer in Illinois (RateBeer)

One of the Best New Breweries of 2015 (BeerAdvocate)

1st Place in the Specialty Beer Category - 2014 Bell City Winter Warmer Competition - 'Tis The Saison (a French Saison brewed with Orange Peel and Ginger)

2nd Place in the Imperial Stout Category - 2013 Belle City Winter Warmer Competition - R.I.S.E. (a Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Espresso)

3rd Place in the Specialty Beer Category - 2013 Bell City Winter Warmer Competition - The Sour Puss (a Sour Brown ale)