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View Full Version : Sieben's Brewery....current operation?



Jono
09-06-2008, 19:04
http://www.io.com/~tweek/siebens/
http://blogs.trb.com/news/local/morningnews/blog/2006/11/historic_beer_makes_comeback.html

"In 2000, Siebens took brewing classes at Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. While going through old storage logs, Sieben discovered that some of the yeast used in his family’s brewery had been preserved in a Siebel Institute freezer. It helped reproduce an important aspect of Sieben’s recipe.

“I was dying to find out what the beer tasted like,” Esp said. “It’s smooth and well-balanced. Not sweet; a clean finish.”

For a fraction of the cost of building their own brewery, they hired a brewery to produce the recipe. After a year of experimenting with ingredients, temperature and ph-levels, the beer will hit bars and stores at the end of the month.".....

"Sieben’s has a colorful history, which includes doing business with the mob. The details are unclear. But, according to John Binder, author of The Chicago Outfit, prohibition put breweries in a tough spot.

“Either you shut down or make near (non-alcoholic) beer, which nobody wanted to drink, or you sold out to the bootleggers, or you took them in and run full-blast and make real beer.”

Binder said Chicago mobster Dion O’Banion (north side) told his rival Johnny Torrio (south side) he was planning to retire and wanted to sell his share of the Sieben’s Brewery. On May 19, 1924, they met at the brewery, which was raided by police. Torrio knew he’d been set up. O’Banion made sure the cops would be there. He also knew that because it would be Torrio’s second prohibition offense, that Torrio would end up behind bars. This is what led to the infamous “handshake murder” of O’Banion at his flower shop. It was the spark that set off the north and south side gang wars, including the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929."

I wonder if any of my fellow Chicago area SBers know of this beer...supposedly, it is revived and being produced again:

http://www.siebensbrewing.com/

Who is producing it? The brewery is not identified.

http://www.united-nations-of-beer.com/beer-on-the-pier-chicago.html
http://www.united-nations-of-beer.com/siebens-real-lager.html


"The story of the day at Beer on the Pier Chicago laid in wait until we approached a humble table with one and I mean only one brand, Sieben's Real Lager Beer.

There was no Light, Dark, Genuine Draft, Extra, Ultra, Rub'n Tug... er, uh, anyway, my point is Sieben's Real Lager Beer is a beer lover's beer.

It’s a man's beer with a 5-O'-clock shadow, the sizzle when a steak hits the grill. Too good to summarize in this brief report: click here to read my full review and history."

craigthom
09-06-2008, 22:54
Aren't you in McHenry or Crystal Lake or Woodstock or something? They list Binny's and something called Corkscrew Point in McHenry as retailers.

jesskidden
09-07-2008, 03:41
Who is producing it? The brewery is not identified.



According to a quick search of TTB label approvals (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/publicSearchColasBasic.do), in 2006 the beer was being brewed by Lakefront (Milwaukee) in kegs with bottles from Gray's in Janesville WI (http://www.graybrewing.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1). Later they got an approval for a keg label from Gray's in 2007.

Jono
09-07-2008, 06:33
Aren't you in McHenry or Crystal Lake or Woodstock or something? They list Binny's and something called Corkscrew Point in McHenry as retailers.

Yeah, I will have to try it....I was curious about where it was actually being made.

Jono
09-07-2008, 06:36
According to a quick search of TTB label approvals (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/publicSearchColasBasic.do), in 2006 the beer was being brewed by Lakefront (Milwaukee) in kegs with bottles from Gray's in Janesville WI (http://www.graybrewing.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1). Later they got an approval for a keg label from Gray's in 2007.

I an not familiar with Gray's or Lakefront....thanks for the info.

craigthom
09-07-2008, 07:56
Gray's used to make a hoppy pale ale I liked, but they quit. They did infrequent tours, and I never made it to one. They are (or at least were) on state highway 81 on the west side of Janesville.

Lakefront is another story. When I first did their tour the entire brewery was in two rooms, and their "bottling line" was hand operated, one bottle at a time. They had three tanks, each bearing the face of one of the Three Stooges. At the beginning of the tour you were given a cup and told where the tap was. "If you run out during the tour, come back and get more". The tour never got more than fifty feet from the tap, anyway. The place was that small.

They moved to a much larger location on the river in Milwaukee, and the tour beers, which still generous, are not unlimited. The Three Stooges tanks are still there, but they are surrounded by bigger, newer equipment. The tour is still great.

You should do a Brewery Tour Saturday in Milwaukee. It would make a nice day trip and give you a good overview. You could do Lakefront, Sprecher, and Miller to see all sizes of breweries.

Sprecher used to be smaller, too, but that's another story. They are now up in Glendale, right down the street from Solly's, home of the artery-clogging Butter Burger.

Jono
09-07-2008, 13:07
Thanks for the great local info! I will pick up some Sieben's today.

cowdery
09-07-2008, 14:34
I seem to recall they opened a brew pub on Erie in River North in the building that had housed the illegal brewery during Prohibition, the one that was shot up. I think there were even still bullet holes in the walls. It operated as Siebens for a time, then was taken over by Goose Island, and the space now houses a Middle-Eastern restaurant (a good one) named Reza's.

I've eaten there a couple of times in each of its incarnations. Maybe not as Reza's, but I've eaten at their original Andersonville location many times.

I think all this is right. I'm doing it from memory.

The Siebel Institute is very highly regarded and produced many brewers and even a few distillers (e.g., Greg Davis at Tom Moore).

craigthom
09-07-2008, 20:18
The Web site says the family had nothing to do with the brewpub.

Your memory is very close! I can beat it from mine, though, since I went there several times when visiting Chicago.

It was on the last block of Ontario. It had a beautiful brewing facility. It was a brewpub back before they were a dime a dozen.

Then it was bought by the Berghoff, not Goose Island, so none of those killer potato chips.

I didn't know my way around Chicago very well back then. I'd likely be at the Art Institute or something, so I'd go north to Ontario, drive out past Michael Jordan's, and there I'd be. Getting home was a lot easier, since a hard right off Ontario put me on the ramp to the Kennedy.

Jono
09-07-2008, 20:24
My local source was out...will check back again soon.

cowdery
09-07-2008, 23:50
The Web site says the family had nothing to do with the brewpub.

Your memory is very close! I can beat it from mine, though, since I went there several times when visiting Chicago.

It was on the last block of Ontario. It had a beautiful brewing facility. It was a brewpub back before they were a dime a dozen.

Then it was bought by the Berghoff, not Goose Island, so none of those killer potato chips.

I didn't know my way around Chicago very well back then. I'd likely be at the Art Institute or something, so I'd go north to Ontario, drive out past Michael Jordan's, and there I'd be. Getting home was a lot easier, since a hard right off Ontario put me on the ramp to the Kennedy.

You're right about Ontario, but I don't recall The Berghoff ever having any outposts. We're talking about the same place. I can picture it clearly and I believe it was the same location as the illegal distillery.

I used to have an office in that neighborhood, so I was lunching in that area every day.