FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – What was once a staple in the Fort Wayne area is now making a comeback.
Entrepreneurs Brad and Sheila Klopfenstein, in collaboration with 2Toms Brewing Company, are bringing back Alps Brau beer to local bars and stores after a 45-year hiatus.
The beer was originally created by Centlivre/Old Crown Brewing Company in 1957 as a celebration of the brewery’s 95th anniversary. The beer became popular in the city and throughout the Midwest. The brewery began facing competition from national brewing companies like Budweiser and Alps Brau ended in 1978. Old Crown Brewery closed its doors in 1973.
“I’ve always had an appreciation for history and brewing history,” said Brad Klopfenstein. “There are many people who have connections to their ancestors and businesses that used to be around across Indiana.”
He believes this will bring back memories for younger people’s grandparents and give people who don’t remember the fondness and connection to the once popular beer a taste of Fort Wayne history.
He along with his wife, Sheila, started thinking about bringing back Alps Brau about a year ago when they started having conversations with breweries across the state and other parts of the country. Some of the breweries they met with weren’t interested in making it and then they met Tom Carpenter from 2Toms Brewing last year at a beer festival and they began talking about bringing the beer back.
“Tom followed up with us about the idea this past fall and he decided to take us on,” he said. “We liked him because he makes good products.”
The Klopfensteins believe the return of Alps Brau will be a good fit for the region and that the beer will be a good nod to the past while still having a modern flavor.
They have also collaborated with the Centlivre family so they could learn about them and their history and the styles of beer they once made.
The Centlivre family originates back to 1862 and they created Alps Brau after one of their previous brands, Old Crown, was being phased out due to being towards the end of its life cycle. Klopfenstein said a typical beer has around a 20 year life cycle. Old Crown lasted for nearly 25 years.
The response the Klopfensteins have received from people about the return of the iconic beer has been positive.
He said although other former beers that returned to the region have been hit or misses, he believes returning Alps Brau to the city will be a success.
“Come sample some history and the long connection to Fort Wayne,” he added.
The Klopfensteins will be hosting an event Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. at 2Toms Brewing Company to officially celebrate the return of Alps Brau for anyone who is interested in attending.