Stenger's Brewery in Naperville, IL
The dates of opening differ depending on the source, but it was first opened by Peter Stenger around 1850, either being purchased from, or opened with, one Jacob Engelfritz and survived until 1893, when Peter's son, John Stenger retired. After Peter, John and his brother Nicholas ran the brewery until Nicholas' passing in 1864.
|What appears to be a siding on the CB&Q line at Naperville for the brewery. I don't think this is the line which ran along Ewing Street that served the quarry which became Centennial Beach, since the brewery was a few blocks east of there.|
|Naperville's Ewing Street Spur, which served the quarry which is today's Centennial Beach. I don't know if it had any relation to the above photograph, as it seems more likely the brewery had its own private siding.|
The Tribune wrote in 1996 of the brewery, "The Stenger beer--more potent than today's brew, with an alcohol content of 6 to 7 percent--was sold in one of two ways. Residents could bring a bucket to the brewery and fill up at tap outside the stone building. The beer also was poured into kegs, loaded onto wagons and delivered to pubs in surrounding towns. That all ended in 1896. The stone buildings that once housed the brewery became a mushroom factory in the 1920s, then were demolished in 1956 to build a regional office for what is now an Ameritech branch office at Franklin and Webster streets."
|"Once a brewery, now a large mushroom plant. Built 1864, Naperville, Illinois".|
Despite going out of business over 100 years ago, the Stenger family continues to reside in Naperville, IL, and are certainly a large part of the city's entrepreneurial history. Additionally, several artifacts from the brewery remain at the nearby Naper Settlement museum, which chronicles the early history of the City of Naperville quite well.
That said, at the site of the brewery, there's no plaques or visible historical markers of the area's history, which is kind of sad. Apartment buildings dwell on the site today.
I'm surprised a local brewery such as Two Brothers hasn't made a beer in their memory, at least not to my knowledge.
Thanks as always for reading!