DREAM BIG & Work Hard
BuckleDown Brewing was originally conceived in the summer of 2012. Ike, a long-time homebrewer, was ready to take the plunge into brewing professionally. And after a crash-course in production brewing courtesy of Haymarket’s Pete Crowley, the BuckleDown dream came to life. Months of planning, bank meetings, carpentry, welding and plumbing work culminated as we opened our doors in December 2013.
Ike continues to have a hand in all brewing operations. A huge fan of classic beer styles, Ike’s influence is on display everyday with our taproom beer list. From hoppy IPAs to clean-drinking lagers, we put an emphasis on consistently flavorful beers brewed with dedication and skill. None of this would be possible without the other pillar of BuckleDown, Michelle Orcutt. A long-time entrepreneur, Michelle closed her flower business to take over the business operations of BuckleDown. From managing inventory to negotiating lease extensions, Michelle keeps the business on a solid path and makes sure the beer keeps flowing.
Our hand-built taproom is open 7-days a week and is the best place to experience what BuckleDown is all about. Our amazing staff will take great care of you…and if you happen to visit on a Saturday afternoon, you’ll probably get to meet the whole Orcutt family.
Cheers! We can’t wait to see you!
Ike and Michelle
Meet John, our Director of Sales.
John originally grew up in Riverside and has lived in the towns near BuckleDown most of his life. Shortly after college, John started his career in the beer business with a local distributor, Burke Beverage. After 17 plus years learning the distributor side of the business, John switched to the brewery side and joined BuckleDown in February of 2016.
You can normally find John in licensed accounts all across Illinois, sharing the BuckleDown story and sampling out our delicious beers! In his free time, John enjoys spending time with his 3 kids, enjoying live music whenever possible and kicking back a pint with friends and family.
John lives by the motto, always be selling. So, if you see him out a local bar or liquor store, he’s likely to be talking about BuckleDown.
Don’t forget to ask for the order!
Meet Barry, our Taproom Manager here at Buckledown.
Barry emigrated from Ireland back in 2007 where he held many positions with various different companies — most recent as Restaurant Manager at Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant in River North, Chicago.
You can find Barry telling stories of old Ireland at the taproom while selling and sampling our various beers on Tap. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and with our very own Buckledown mascot Davey the Golden Retriever.
Barry aims to bring a little something different to our taproom, with some of that great Irish Hospitality and charm.
Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends
Meet Mary Kate, one of our Buckledown bartenders!
Mary Kate has been working in the service industry for almost 10 years, and is so excited to finally be on the craft beer side.
Mary Kate can be found working the football games and taking care of our first responders and fellow service industry workers. She especially loves helping those who are new to craft beer find their new favorite brew!
Speaking of helping people learn, outside the taproom Mary Kate is a full time middle school teacher and can be found grading papers, spending time with her family, or hanging out with her two crazy cats.
So next time you are in, say hello to Mary Kate!
Many of you know Billy. Billy played a crucial role in the development of Ike's brewing abilities. Billy was Ike’s taste test guinea pig on some of the first ever small batch brews he whipped together in his garage in Elburn. Billy is Michelle’s brother making him Ike’s brother in-law (surprise). Bill grew up in Downers Grove and is a huge sports fan. He loves Notre Dame football and all Chicago teams except for the White Sox.
When Billy is not at BuckleDown he is working his full time job doing outside sales at a sanitary equipment distributor and fabricator. You can find Billy on the basketball court or playing softball in his free time. You never know, he might even jump out of a plane for kicks! You can find Billy working the taproom on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Laura has been with BuckleDown for a few months now, and is loving every minute of it. She has enjoyed getting to know the BuckleDown crew and our incredible customers, both old and new, and is grateful for the warm welcome. One of her favorite things about bartending at BuckleDown is helping first-time taproom visitors pick out a flight of beers to try... bonus points if a non-beer drinker finds a beer they love!
When she isn’t at BuckleDown, Laura can be found taking her dog on adventures throughout the western suburbs or working for her other job in the water quality industry. She loves traveling, reading, concerts, and her newly-found quarantine hobby: cooking