The colorful history of Thornton Distilling Company. begins with Illinois' oldest standing brewery. The historical brick and limestone building was built in 1857 by the John S. Bielfeldt family on the west bank of Thorn Creek in the small Village of Thornton, Illinois. An artesian well was still on the property where a log cabin saloon and brewery had operated in 1836. The Bielfeldt family built a residence above the well and The Bielfeldt Brewing Company began producing exceptionally fine beer using the pristine artesian well water. At the onset of Prohibition, the Bielfeldt Brewing Company was sold.
The new owner bottled soda pop and also captured the eye of Chicago bootlegger, Al Capone, who had a network of beer and booze suppliers for speakeasies throughout Chicagoland's South Side. His henchman, Joe Saltis, moved in to take control. Inevitably, federal agents launched a raid. Legend has it, thousands of gallons of beer were dumped into Thorn Creek. . It was only a matter of time before Chicagoland’s bootlegging gangsters engaged in territorial disputes and the violence of gangland wars began. After prohibition, a handful of breweries operated in the building, the last of which closed its doors in the 1950's. Pristine limestone-filtered water still flows from that very well. The adjacent, popular tasting room and special event venue are now known as The Well at the Distillery.
Enjoy tours and the craft cocktail bar with house-made spirits along with and delicious flatbread pizzas and appetizers. A recently obtained brewing license will allow the expansion of plans to release traditional beers originally produced in the 1800's. Until then, on tap are draft beers from some of the finest craft breweries in the US.Please visit ThorntonDistilling.com to book your tour back into history, learn more about our distilling process and explore our special events venue. Our finely-crafted spirits are available for purchase. Find us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWell1857/