Expert relates little-known history of breweries in Joliet, Ill.

Serving tray for Fred Sehring Brewing Co., Joliet, Ill., advertising 'Standard Pale and Muenchener bottle Beer.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Victorian Casino Antiques

Serving tray for Fred Sehring Brewing Co., Joliet, Ill., advertising ‘Standard Pale and Muenchener bottle Beer.’ Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Victorian Casino Antiques

JOLIET, Ill. — Like many people in a 1970s, John Bittermann of Joliet collected splash cans.

But when a crony offering Bittermann a mop that a Fred Sehring Brewing Company in Joliet expelled in 1906, a dumbfounded Bittermann asked, “There were breweries in Joliet?”

Bittermann afterwards embarked on a decades-long mindfulness with Joliet’s brewery history, one that has constructed an endless collection of beer-related outfit and a extensive demeanour during an attention that helped figure Joliet, as good as a whole country, he said.

“Everyone can describe to beer. Unlike wine, it’s a common man’s drink, a operative man’s drink,” Bittermann said. “Adams was a brewer; Washington was a brewer; Jefferson was a brewer. It goes behind to a Mayflower; we can demeanour it adult – ‘our spread being many spent, generally a beere.’ The Pilgrims headed toward a seashore given they were out of food and beer.”

On Jul 17, Bittermann will conduct a presentation at the Joliet Area Historical Museum on “The Architectural History of Joliet Brewery Buildings.” Bittermann will plead a layouts and skeleton of a brewery buildings; a expansion of a brewery buildings via a years; when a breweries were built, by who, and during what cost; what happened to a brewery buildings after they closed; and what exists during a locations today.

Why was beer so appealing to Joliet residents of a 19th and early 20th? Generally fascinating as a beverage, it was also used to forestall disease and cholera, consequences of infested water, Bittermann said.

“It was served during cooking to children,” Bittermann said. “People had complicated stouts during breakfast to uphold them. Nursing mothers were speedy to splash it. Breweries were among a initial industries to be set up, not only in Joliet, though in a nation. Just about any place we had H2O and could grow grain, we could make beer.”

And in Joliet, people did. Porter’s ale, stouts and porters were favored by the Irish, Bittermann said, while Joliet’s German and Slavic populations were fans of Fred Sehring beer. Prohibition was indeed profitable to Joliet breweries.

“We were only distant adequate of out Chicago to be ignored,” Bittermann said, “but not so distant that we could send things and not be noticed.”

Most of Bittermann’s information about Joliet’s brewing story came from aged internal newspapers archived during a Joliet Public Library, he said.

“I would go there any Monday night for 3 to 4 hours, only scrolling by microfilm,” Bittermann said. “I have review by 70 percent of them.”

An 1862 announcement for Porter Ale promotes a thought that his batch ale – delivered in two, 3 and 5 gallon demijohns – is specifically for family use and guaranteed to be kept “fresh and nice.”

In a second announcement – from Aug. 30, 1862 – Porter betrothed to compensate a top cost for primary barley delivered to his Bluff Street Brewery. One poser brewer, famous as G. Simpson Phoenix, has no residence solely a Joliet P.O. box, Bittermann said.

Yet, Bittermann deduced, that association advertised home smoothness in a Joliet newspaper, so it apparently was a Joliet brewery. In a days before refrigeration and pasteurization, splash was a rarely perishable product, so many brewers were located within a few blocks of their business and delivered their splash uninformed any day, he said.

“All we know is a name, a P.O. box and a fact he done deliveries in Joliet,” Bittermann said. “The rest is mislaid to time.”

Like many of today’s businesses, Joliet brewers promoted their business by giveaway merchandise. Bittermann’s Joliet brewery collection is full with these items: mugs, eyeglasses with etched logos, calendars, signs, tappers, cigar cutters, change purses, matchboxes with grooves for distinguished matches, and timber cases that hold both pencils and combs. Bittermann also collects splash barrels, timber boxes for shipping beer.

“They’re cool, aged pieces that paint a time and an attention that is prolonged given gone,” Bittermann said.

When celebration beer, Bittermann prefers heavy, dim beer. With a assistance of friends, Bittermann has done splash as a home brewer. He attends beer-related uncover and events, as good as beer-tasting festivals.

Bittermann pronounced a vendors he meets during those events are a friendliest people in a world, peaceful to speak to anybody, anytime. Of course, Bittermann mostly is one of those vendors.

“I move things to sell,” Bittermann pronounced with a smile, “so we have income to buy some-more stuff.”

Source: The (Joliet) Herald-News

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Serving tray for Fred Sehring Brewing Co., Joliet, Ill., advertising 'Standard Pale and Muenchener bottle Beer.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Victorian Casino Antiques

Serving tray for Fred Sehring Brewing Co., Joliet, Ill., advertising ‘Standard Pale and Muenchener bottle Beer.’ Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Victorian Casino Antiques