Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Hand (Peter) Brewing Co.
Hand (Peter) Brewing Co.

Hand (Peter) Brewing Co.

This company originated in a local brewery founded in 1891 on North Avenue by Peter Hand, a Prussian immigrant who had worked earlier for the Conrad Seipp Brewing Co. Before Hand died in 1899, his brewery already enjoyed considerable success with its “Meister Brau” brand. The enterprise survived Prohibition and employed nearly 600 people when it was purchased in 1965 by a group led by James Howard. Under the new management, the company was renamed Meister Brau Inc., and its operations expanded. By the end of the 1960s, annual production had reached one million barrels, and annual sales topped $50 million; this put Meister Brau among the top 30 beer companies in the United States. But the company was losing money, and in 1972 it sold its brand names to the Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Co. When the Peter Hand Brewery closed in 1978, there was not a single brewery left in the city of Chicago.