• Metropolitan Brewing (map)
  • 3057 North Rockwell Street
  • Chicago, IL, 60618
  • United States

Join us for an evening of 19th Century beer history at Metropolitan Brewing. Upon arrival at 7:30pm, enjoy a welcome half liter of beer followed by a brief tour of the brewery at 8pm. At 8:30pm we gather to hear from beer historian, Brian Alberts, who will take a look at Chicago's Sunday Liquor Ban of 1872 (lecture description below).

$30 ticket price includes a half liter of beer, tour, and lecture. 100% of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Chicago Brewseum's campaign to build an exhibition focused on 19th Century Chicago beer history. The exhibition opens at a major Chicago museum this October.

Purchase tickets.


A Spice of Sin: German immigrants, Lager Beer, and Chicago's Sunday Liquor Ban of 1872

If Chicago’s Lager Beer Riot of 1855 proved one thing, it was that the local German community considered their beer halls and Sunday gardens a “palpable personal right,” and would fight for them if necessary. So when temperance agitators clamored for a citywide ban on Sunday liquor sales in 1872, many watched the city’s innumerable German saloons and beer gardens, anxious for signs that Chicago history would repeat itself. When the city council approved the ban, the specter of renewed violence loomed overhead.

No riot ever took place--not because German immigrants' commitment to beer had changed, but rather because the rest of the city had. The passage, opposition to, and eventual repeal of the 1872 Sunday ban testifies to the riot's uncivil place in Chicago memory, the evolving politics of beer, and the influence of the German immigrant community.