Made in Illinois, the Prairie State Farmhouse Ale debuts in Chicago

CHICAGO (Feb. 8, 2018) — Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced the availability of the official Bicentennial Craft Beer and tapped the first keg at Binny’s Beverage Depot Tasting Room in Lincoln Park. 

Hand of Fate Brewing Co. of Petersburg created the special birthday brew — 1818 Prairie State … Farmhouse Ale — which is being distributed statewide by Breakthru Beverage Illinois.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our state’s Bicentennial than with a craft beer that is made in Illinois by a local business with local ingredients,” Rauner said. “Cheers to 200 years, Illinois!”

On hand for the announcement was Breakthru Beverage Co-Chairman Rocky Wirtz. 

“On behalf of the 1,000 Illinois employees of Breakthru Beverage, we are proud to partner with the Bicentennial Commission and to be able to make 1818 available across the entire state,” Wirtz said.

Hand of Fate Brewing was chosen to brew the official beer after winning the Bicentennial craft beer contest at the Illinois State Fair in August. 

“This is a dream come true for my family and employees,” said Hand of Fate owner Mike Allison. “We started a small business a year and a half ago, and thanks to the governor and the Bicentennial team we have a chance to grow a very successful business.”

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 members of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild are incredibly excited for Hand of Fate and the success of 1818. We have seen a 350 percent increase in the number of craft breweries in our state over the last five years and that number will continue to grow in 2018,” said Danielle D’Alessandro, executive director of the guild.

Restaurants and bars featuring craft beer will offer 1818 throughout Illinois. In early March, 1818 will be available in cans at retail locations.


Hand of Fate Brewing Co. is a small brewery that opened on the historic Petersburg Square in May 2016. The company brews a variety of high quality beers that appeal to all spectrums of craft beer drinkers. With the statewide release of 1818, Hand of Fate looks to expand with more offerings throughout Illinois.


Cicero-based Breakthru Beverage Group is a leading North American beverage wholesaler driving innovation in the marketplace with a nimble and insightful approach to business. The company represents a portfolio of premier wine, spirit and beer brands in the United States and Canada. Family ownership is active in the business and committed to being stewards of heritage and champions of innovation. For more information, visit


On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are #IllinoisProud. 

Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud. Partners and event and project managers planning activities between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018, can apply for endorsement to become an official part of Illinois Bicentennial by visiting the PARTICIPATE page at

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