About Illinois Beer
Illinois’ brewing history began with the French, who were the state’s earliest settlers. The first unofficial brewery in the state was opened in 1765 in Kaskaskia, which was actually part of Mississippi at the time. In 1833 the first official brewery, Lill and Diversey, was opened in Chicago. The state saw a boom in breweries; however, the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and Prohibition would curtail the growth of the beer industry. Although Prohibition crippled breweries elsewhere, the mob gangs of Bugsy Malone and Al Capone were running as many as 20 breweries through prohibition. The biggest blow to the brewing industry came in the 1970’s, when the smaller breweries could no longer compete with the brewing giants located in Milwaukee and St. Louis.
The state’s oldest operating brewery is Goose Island which opened in 1988. The state has since seen another brewing boom, and Chicago had more breweries than all other cities in the nation.
Illinois Beer Reviews
Goose Island IPA