Breweries of Freeport Illinois - Stephenson County - New Book In Process

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Breweries of Freeport Illinois - Stephenson County - New Book In Process

Bordering Ogle County to the north is Stephenson County.
A new book about the beers and breweries of Freeport Illinois and Stephenson County is planned for publication in 2008 . If you have information about an old Freeport Brewery, please contact us.


Pretzels and Beer

The History of Brewing In The Pretzel City
Freeport, Ill & Stephenson Co.


By Harvey L. Wilhelms


This is the story of the pioneers of Stephenson County, the tribulations and hardships of moving to a new and strange country. Their attempts to recreate the homes and cultures they came from. It is a story not only of the Germans, but also the cultures of the English, Irish, French and Swiss.

Included will be the 30 year research project of Harvey L. Wilhelms from Freeport in his attempt to put a face on these early pioneers and their effect on the general population.

There are many photos of the breweries with the actual caverns and ice houses used. Included will be seldom seen interior shots of the brewing and bottling process, used during those early years.

The families and their descendants will share many stories of the people of Freeport who were involved in this industry. There is also the recipe of the Yellow Creek Brewery beer written in German script and translated to English from daily ledger books dated 1871-1891 from the brewery.

Names of the families involved in the brewing industry in Freeport include:

  • Hettinger
  • Roth
  • Aiker
  • Kachelhoffer
  • Baier
  • Seyfarth
  • Ohlendorf
  • Beck
  • Hertrich
  • McGee
  • Wade
  • Franz
  • Huber
  • Schmich
  • Steffen
  • Milner
  • Bear
  • Fritz Brewing Co. (Smith Family)
  • Sterling Brewing Co.

As an added feature, the entire Freeport Breweriana collection of the author and selected pieces of collectors in the area will be included on a bonus DVD. Pictured will be bottles, kegs, cases, cans and advertising items such as: serving trays, glasses, calendars, and openers.

We'd love to hear from you!
As this book is still in the construction stages, we welcome any information or photos you may have.
You may contact