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Chicago, Illinois

A Former Meat-Packing Plant Turned Green: A Tour and Tasting

Explore the hidden networks inside The Plant, a retired pork factory from Chicago's meat- processing years.

The Plant is a 93,500-square-foot former pork-processing plant that was active from 1925 to 2007. In its glory days, it was one of Chicago's largest pork-processing facilities. In 2010, Bubbly Dynamics, a sustainable industrial developer, purchased the building. Today, The Plant now houses 16 different food-producing businesses, all focused on reusing materials and contributing to the circular economy.

Plant Chicago, the 501(c)3 non-profit housed inside the building, conducts educational programming around the circular economy model demonstrated inside of the building, including tours and hands-on workshops. Plant Chicago also runs a year-round farmers market, research projects based on reusing food waste from businesses at The Plant, and a demonstration aquaponic farm in the basement. 

On this tour, you'll get a detailed description of the circular economy in action at The Plant, a look at Plant Chicago's aquaponic system, some outdoor farms, Pleasant House Bakery, Whiner Beer Co., 4 Letter Word Coffee, outdoor gardens, the building's energy system, and much more.

Pleasant House Bakery mills some of their own wheat and bakes their own bread using a masonry wood-fired oven. They distribute their bread and savory pies to their restaurant, Pleasant House Pub (in Pilsen) and to farmers markets all throughout Chicago. Whiner Beer Company hosts a taproom inside of The Plant, as well as a brew house and barrel aging room where they make and distribute their brews. Atlas Obscura Society Chicago guests will get an exclusive look inside The Plant, get a taste of some Pleasant House bread, and a chance to sip on what Whiner has been brewing.


  • Tickets are $25 for the tour with no beer tasting from Whiner Beer Company, or $31 for the tour plus a beer flight.
  • Look for Field Agent Kirby Barth in the lobby. She'll be the one with the look of someone looking for someone.
  • The event is all ages, but participants must be 21+ to participate in the beer tasting.
  • Closed-toe shoes are REQUIRED!
  • Limited ADA access.
  • Some street parking is available, and you can also take the #9 Ashland bus to within a block of The Plant.
  • This ticket is non-refundable, but you can transfer it by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial. 



Email kirby.barth@atlasobscura.com

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.