Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (400 E)

In the 1870s, a Chicago suburb called Grand Boulevard shared its name with its main road. After an organization called the South Parks Commission lined the road with trees, it was renamed South Park Way. In 1889 the area was annexed by the city of Chicago. On August 1, 1968, then-Mayor Richard J. Daley renamed South…

State Street (0 E/W)

State Street is located on the northern end of what was called Hubbard's Trail, which was itself a portion of the Vincennes Trace, a buffalo migration route. Gurdon Hubbard used the buffalos' route to establish a successful trade route, complete with helpful mile markers; the route was so successful that it became Illinois' first state…

Cermak Road (2200 S)

Cermak Road is 22nd Street. It is bordered on the east by the McCormick Place Convention Center. Westbound, the street passes through Chinatown, Pilsen, North Lawndale, then into the suburbs of Cicero and Berwyn, then eventually into Illinois Route 56. It is named after the 34th mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, who was assassinated while…

Brewing in the Archives

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has launched an effort to document America's craft beer renaissance! Per this article from Business Wire: Beer and brewing have been an important part of the American experience since before the nation’s founding and into the present day, and beer production for the past 30 years has been…

Beer’s Role in the Discovery of Carbonation

In 1767, Joseph Priestley, a curious minister and tinkerer, popped over to a brewery. He had lately been tinkering with air, and the brewers allowed him to tinker with the air above a batch of fermenting wort. Because the yeast were secretly* doing their work, the air above the wort was full of carbon dioxide.…

Beer Brewing Nuns

In the 12th century, Hildegard von Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess, wrote that the bitterness of hops "inhibits some spoilage in beverages to which it is added, making them last longer." Fast forward to today, Sister Doris Engelhard of the Mallersdorf Abbey in Germany brews 80,000 gallons a year of hyper local craft beer, brewed…

Drink Your History

On nearly every brewery tour that my husband and I have taken, the tour guide quizzes the group. They ask, “What are the ingredients in beer?” Some tour guides tout their brewery’s adherence to the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law (prohibiting anything other than water, barley, and hops to be used to brew beer).*…