Craft brewing industry growing in Illinois as beer made for the state’s bicentennial celebration hits retail shelves

Beer

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Governor Rauner and local officials gathered today in the state’s capital to unveil the first cans of a beer created to celebrate the state of Illinois’ 200th year.

Hand of Fate Brewing Co. of Petersburg was chosen to create the special birthday brew after winning the Bicentennial Craft Beer Contest at the Illinois State Fair in August.

Brewed, which airs on WQAD News 8 on Saturday’s, was there when Hand of Fate Brewing Co. won the competition in August. Watch this interview with owner Mike Allison:

The beer, named "1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale" after the year Illinois became the 21st state to join the union, will be sold in most of the Hy-Vee's on the Illinois side of the river in the Quad Cities. It can also be found at Jewel-Osco's and Binny's throughout the state of Illinois.

“We are so thankful to the Governor and the Bicentennial Commission for providing the opportunity to brew 1818,” said Hand of Fate owner Mike Allison.  “This is a dream come true for my family and my employees.”

According to a press release from the Governor's office, the beer features staple Illinois crops including corn, wheat and oats. The crystal hops are grown by Hallowed Hops of Lewistown, and fermented with a hybrid saison yeast developed by Omega Yeast Labs of Chicago.

The beer also represents a growing craft brewing industry in the State of Illinois.

There are over 240 craft brewers in the state. The Illinois Craft Beer industry has seen a 350 percent increase in the number of craft breweries over the last five years.

Hand of Fate Brewing Co. is a brewery that opened in Petersburg in May of 2016. The company brews a variety of beers that appeal to all spectrums of craft beer drinkers.

“This is a great Illinois small business story,” said Governor Rauner in a press release.  “Hand of Fate started their business less than two years ago and this opportunity is helping catapult their well-earned success.  ‘1818’ honors our agricultural legacy with quality Illinois ingredients, and I look forward to beer drinkers across the state enjoying this Bicentennial beverage.”