Old Bakery Beer

Every year, wintering bald eagles migrate to Alton, a riverside city nestled along the meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway.  With the opening of the region's only 100% organic craft brewery featuring 15 original IPAs, beer connoisseurs are joining the flock.

| words

A passion for craft beer, the love of hometown, and a commitment to locally sourced ingredients: the perfect bakery mix.

Old Bakery Beer Company reclaims the essence of the original Colonial Bakery building in downtown Alton—a Southern Illinois gem that produced bread for nearly a century. Even the taproom's furniture has a local heritage—the beer tappers are made from rolling pins, and the bar's 50-foot-long centerpiece is made from the floor joists of a one-room schoolhouse in Collinsville. On top of that, every beer is USDA certified organic, relying on local, sustainable ingredients from organic farms. 

Brewmaster James began his craft-beer journey with his own homebrews, soon parlaying his passion into the prestigious American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering Program. Today, James serves as brewmaster, working in the garage where Colonial Bakery delivery trucks used to park. The space is now lined with stainless-steel fermentation tanks producing varietals ranging from Golden Oat to India Brown Ale. 

Old Bakery's commitment to reclaiming the region's heritage extends to their onsite restaurant, which pairs their beers to a menu of seasonally-rotating artisan sandwiches. As trucks distribute cases of Old Bakery Beer throughout the region, one can't help but think how similar it must be to when Colonial delivered fresh loaves to every doorstep. The legacy of local lives on in every can.

Discover more Illinois artisans at Illinois Made.

 


Love the Story?
Save to Favorites Remove from Favorites

Related Reads:

Tighthead Brewing Company

Tighthead Brewing Company
in Illinois MakersFood & Beverages

For Bruce Dir, focusing on his passion for craft brewing came easily, given that...

Marcoot Jersey Creamery

Marcoot Jersey Creamery
in Food & BeveragesIllinois Makers

Downhome simplicity and old-school methodologies yield untold pleasures of natur...

Sangamon Reclaimed

Sangamon Reclaimed
in CraftsIllinois Makers

In the Illinois capital, a collective of veterans and firefighters take old barn...