Historic Beer Revival: Seipp’s Extra Pale Pilsener
today at 11:43 pm
I finally got a chance to buy some of Seipp’s Extra Pale Pilsener, the revival of a historic Chicago brand.
The Conrad Seipp Brewing Co. was established by the descendants of Mr. Seipp, a German immigrant who started brewing in Chicago in 1854. The brewery was one of the few to survive the Chicago Fire, and at its peak in the mid 1870s was one of the country’s largest brewers, producing 100,000 barrels a year. Like other brewers, they were crippled by Prohibition, and Seipp closed its doors in 1933, ironically just as Prohibition was about to end. The brewing complex was torn down immediately to build Michael Reese hospital.
Just a few years ago, Seipp’s 3x-great granddaughter began to work on reviving the brewing name. She worked with Doug and Tracy Hurst of Metropolitan Brewing to create what they called a “Pre-Prohibition Pilsener” called Seipp’s Extra Pale.
The new beer began distribution this past June. I finally spotted some on my local store shelves, and grabbed a sixer. I poured a glass in front of my iPad to shre my impressions:
The beer has a golden color with a lot of bubbles feeding a thick head. A good “beer” smell: some spicy noble hops, and a clean toasty malt note. Hops are pretty pronounced on the palate. That pepper of German Noble varietals sticks around. The hops support a light, dry malt with no extra sweetness.
The “Pre-prohibition” tag can cover a wide range of beers. It’s usually what craft brewers use to describe their light lagers with adjuncts like corn or rice. This was needed to lighten up beer for U.S. tastes, and to reduce the protein haze caused by American six-row barley. But they also made up for the lighter malt taste with more aggressive hopping, and this beer cerainly does that.