The Berghoff

Liz Garibay
Written By Liz Garibay

Getting folks excited about history through tavern & beer history. Talks, tours, travel & boozy history experiences happening often.


Chicago is a city built on beer because the rich brewing history many of its immigrants brought in the early 19th century. In particular, the tens of thousands of German immigrants that settled into Chicago brought their knowledge of meats, baking, and of course, brewing. In 1870 Joseph Berghoff left his native Dortmund, Germany and began making Dortmund style lager in Indiana by the late 1880s. His eyes were on Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair where he would introduce the world to his product. The beer sold well and eventually allowed him the opportunity to open up The Berghoff in 1898 and an establishment that would be a Chicago institution. The bar was able to stay open during prohibition by selling “near beer”, which contained less than .5% of alcohol along with a line of sodas that are still popular today!

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Chicago's Beer History

The Berghoff

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