Beer in Chicago

"The brewers of Chicago were political figures, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, millionaires, socialites, and scoundrels."

The year 1833 marks not only the incorporation of Chicago as a town, but also the establishment of Chicago's first commercial brewery. German immigrants William Haas and Konrad (Andrew) Sulzer came to Chicago from Watertown, New York. They brought with them one hundred and fifty barrels of ale, a load of malt, brewery equipment and $3000. The Haas & Sulzer brewery was an immediate success, producing approximately 18,600 gallons of ale for town of 200 (presumably thirsty) soldiers, traders, and adventurers. By 1860, there were thirty-two breweries in Chicago, as well as significant "imports" of beer from Milwaukee breweries. The brewing industry in Chicago continued to grow and develop during the late 1800's, undergoing consolidations, mergers, and buyouts. The local industry limped along after the setbacks of The Great Fire of 1871 and Prohibition, but was ultimately unable to compete with the national beer brands.

Source: Skilnik, Bob. The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago 1833-1978, Pogo Press, St. Paul, MN, 1999. Crerar HD9397.U53C453 1999

Chicago brewers who also influenced politics in Chicago:

Rudolph Brand City Treasurer 1881-1883
Michael Brand Alderman 1872-1873
John A. Huck Alderman 1859-1860
Louis C. Huck County Treasurer 1875
Ernst Hummel Legislator 1885-1887
John H. McAvoy Alderman 1869-1870
Hermann Plautz City Treasurer 1887-1889
Jacob Rehm Chief of Police 1873-1875
W. C. Seipp City Treasurer 1879-1881

Premises of the Wacker and Birk Brewing and Malting Company

Skilnik, Bob. The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago 1833-1978, Pogo Press, St. Paul, MN, 1999. Crerar HD9397.U53C453 1999

Premises of the McAvoy Brewing Company

Skilnik, Bob. The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago 1833-1978, Pogo Press, St. Paul, MN, 1999. Crerar HD9397.U53C453 1999