Food & Drink

History of Chicago Brewing

Chicago's rich brewing tradition continues to thrive


Chicago has always been a big beer town. With its large German, English, Irish and Eastern European immigrant population, the city always had breweries. By 1900, Chicago produced upwards of 100 million gallons of beer annually for local consumption by about 60 breweries, including Wacker & Birk, Seipp and Schoenhofen. It even had the Siebel Institute of Technology, a pioneering brewing academy that continues to operate out of its Lincoln Park headquarters today, educating aspiring brewers from around the globe.

If it hadn’t been for Siebel and those pioneering brewers, most of which shuttered due to Prohibition, Chicago wouldn’t have the thriving brewing scene it has today with the likes of Goose Island, Half Acre, Metropolitan, Argus, Revolution, Lagunitas, Begyle, Pipeworks, Piece and so many more. So next time you’re having a drink, raise a pint and toast to the forerunners who helped you get that tasty brew. (via Calumet412 and the Chicago History Museum.)

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