About four years ago Dr. Stacia Familo-Hopek, who has a PhD in industrial organized psychology, and who worked for years in the corporate world, told her husband Robert Hopek that she needed a change. Eventually they decided to open a brewery, and in 2017 wound up buying a piece of warehouse property on 2866 Washington Street in Avondale Estates.
“We felt like this is becoming a destination area,” Stacia said recently. “Avondale’s master plan shows it’s trying to grow in a way to allow for more pedestrian traffic, and that’s just perfect for us.”
The Hopeks plan to debut The Lost Druid in late April/early May, with a 6684 square-foot facility that includes 20 taps “that will frequently change out” and an upper level mezzanine that can be rented out for special events.
The Hopeks, who’ve been married 22½ years, will only sell the Lost Druid brand. They won’t do any bottling or canning but after the first nine months will distribute their beer to selected area restaurants that are “beer oriented.” The Lost Druid will also have a kitchen serving, among others, charcuterie, cheese boards, light sandwiches and salads.
Stacia says the name originates from their readings about the ancient Druids.
“They were all about nature and were also known as alchemists, and that fits in with who we are and what we’re doing,” she said. “The Druids were also people of oak, and the brewing process includes aging in wood.
“As for the ‘Lost’ part,” she added, “that basically means we’re trying to explore, to figure things out.”
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