• Crystal Lake Brewing Company (map)
  • 150 N. Main St.
  • Crystal Lake, IL 60014
  • USA

The Chicago Brewseum is bringing its series of beer history talks to the northwest suburbs! Upon arrival at Crystal Lake Brewing Company, enjoy a welcome pint of CLB beer, then see where it was made with a tour of the brewery. Afterward, beer historian and McHenry native Brian Alberts will tell you about Chicago’s early German immigrants…and how their love of beer led them to clash with police in the Lager Beer Riot of 1855 (description below). Along with the talk, we’ll give you an insider’s look at the Chicago Brewseum’s upcoming exhibit on beer and Chicago during the 1800s.

$20. Includes your welcome pint, the talk, brewery tour, and exhibit preview. 100% of proceeds go toward the exhibition’s fundraising efforts. The exhibit opens at a major Chicago museum this November. The Chicago Brewseum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

Purchase tickets here.

Beer, Bigots, and Brawls: When the Nord Seite Marched on City Hall

Early Chicago was filled with mud and muck, but it was home. A steady stream of arriving citizens promised to transform a frontier town into a metropolis, and among them were thousands of German immigrants. They brought with them a new type of beer called lager, which they drank in staggering amounts as part of a boisterous and festive culture.

German-Americans used beer to help adjust to their new home, but to some Chicagoans it represented a dangerous foreign influence. When those groups took control of the city government in 1855, they used liquor laws to attack immigrant communities. Those communities fought back, resulting in the Lager Beer Riot and a city that could never go home again.