Tighthead Brewing Company is a craft brewery located in Mundelein, a suburb of Chicago. Our brewpub is a neighborhood institution where friends and families can meet up and enjoy great music, wonderful company, and the best beer in town. Since we opened our doors in 2011, we have poured our heart and soul into every glass. Stop in and taste what we're talking about!
Owner / Head Brewer
Brewmaster / Brewery Operations
Brewer / Beer Facilitator / Janitorial Engineer
Brewer / Tri-Clamp Wizard
Tap Room Manager
Tighthead Brewing Company was founded in 2010 by Owner and Master Brewer, Bruce Dir. Like most brewery adventures, the dream goes back many years and has uncountable iterations. The final version came down to one man finally finding the heart, with a little shove, to drop out of Corporate America and follow what is every brewers dream...opening your own brewery!
In 1993, Molly, Bruce's fiancée (now wife) gave Bruce a homebrew kit for Christmas. Bruce’s brother, Doug, had already caught the homebrew bug and suggested it as a good gift. He was right…the obsession was born. Already an avid gardener and canner, Bruce found a new platform to expand his deep-seeded creative personality.
Brewing became the main focus of Bruce's attention outside of his day job as a Human Resource professional. After moving to Mundelein to start a family, Bruce quickly involved himself with a group of local homebrewers who eventually founded and became the BABBLE Homebrew Club of Lake County. Bruce was passionate about reading books and periodicals on brewing. Eventually, he became a certified beer judge and started judging and organizing homebrew competitions.
In 2009, after 20 years in Corporate America, an opportunity presented itself in the form of reorganization . Bruce immediately began writing a business plan based on his dream of opening his own brewery. His wife, Molly, fully supported and encouraged him to start a business and be his own boss. This was just the push Bruce needed and began to plan for a production microbrewery and tap room in his hometown of Mundelein. Bruce supplemented his 16 years of brewing experience by attending the world renowned Siebel Institute of Technology Brewing School in Chicago. He also honed his professional training by assisting Brewmaster Art Steinhoff at Flatlander’s Brewing Co. for a year.
Production began in the brewery in September of 2011. At that time, Billy Oaks, a local homebrew supply shop manager, prolific brewer, and friend of Bruce's, was hired and became a partial owner in the company. Billy is a graduate of the American Brewers Guild Brewing school and apprenticed at the The Ram Brewery in Wheeling, IL. Billy manages all aspects of the Brewery Operations and is the Head Brewer.
Oh yeah! The name Tighthead... Bruce played rugby for 13 years mostly as a Tighthead Prop, a position that involves being in the front row of the scrum supporting the Hooker. The explanation is too long for this story, but we encourage you to research and understand the origin of the name and become a fan of a great sport!
We welcome you to visit us in the tap room and enjoy some great beer, growlers to go, and the company of other craft beer enthusiasts.