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Prairie State

Illinois has breweries aplenty that have a rich history of brewing a variety of beers in an assortment of styles. With breweries of all sizes, we are happy to introduce the members of our Craft Beer of the Month Club to a few of the finest craft breweries from around the state.

Chicago is hailed as one of the largest beer hubs, not only in the state but also across the country. Even though they may not have the most brewery labels out of every state, according to data from 2015, the 144 registered Chicago craft breweries took up more square feet of business space than any other city in the US. Chicago opened its first brewery, J. & W. Crawford’s Chicago Brewery, in the 1830’s by European immigrants. The name was later shortened to simply Chicago Brewery and produced a number of brew styles including Stouts, Cream Ales and Porters. However, the successful business came to an abrupt end as a result of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Although Chicago’s first brewery is no more, they paved the way for future generations of immigrant brewmasters of their time. Namely, John Ewald Siebel who founded the existing and thriving 145 year-old Siebel Institute of Technology in order to educate others on the science of brewing yeast. Today, you can find a host of brewmasters who graduated from this prestigious school of brewing science.

A fun fact about the origins of the famous Red Stripe brand - did you know it originally was an Illinois brand? The Galena Brewing Company opened in the 1830’s and created the first recipe for the Red Stripe brew and continued to sell it for the next 100 years before the brewery closed its doors and the brand was moved to Jamaica.

While there are large commercial breweries in Illinois, it is also teaming with small, up-and-coming craft breweries who are brewing top-notch beers. We have featured several of them in our monthly Craft Beer Club including Argus Brewery, Church Street Brewing Company, Baderbräu Brewing Company and more.