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Bicentennial craft beer debuts

Gov. Bruce Rauner has 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.

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