Excel Bottling Company has created and bottled soda in the small Illinois town of Breese for more than 75 years. This year, the family owned and operated company added beer brewing to its expertise.

(The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported on Excel entering the beer business.)

Excel's newly finished brewery began brewing on Wed., Sept. 26, with the first of three labels to be introduced in 2012 marking the beginning of a new era at the third-generation local business. The company will produce two additional labels next spring and summer.

“This is a proud moment for our family,” says William Meier, general manager at Excel Bottling Company and third generation operating the family business. “This became more of a reality about a year ago when Illinois changed its distribution law to allow for self-distribution. The reason this project was undertaken was not to significantly grow our company, but to ensure that we remain viable and continue to serve our already loyal customers.”

The beers:

  • The first label, Shoal Creek Wheat, is a German-style Hefeweizen. Hazy-gold in color, this beer gives off a crisp balance of sweet malt. Shoal Creek Wheat is made following the German Purity Law of 1516. The law states that beer can only be made with water, barley and hops.
  • The second, Excel Golden Brew, is a light blonde ale made from very simple ingredients to produce a light hoppy taste. The simplicity of the golden beer allows the richness of the malted barley to come through.
  • The final product to be released this winter is Shoal Creek Winter Ale, created as a heavier beer with hints of anise, nutmeg and vanilla.

This spring, Excel Bottling Company expects to produce and bottle Excel Citra, a light beer with hints of lemon and orange, just like its already manufactured “Ski” soda. Next summer the brewing company plans to introduce Carlyle Lake Lager a light, clean, summer beer.

For more information about where to purchase Excel Bottling products, call 618.526.7159, or visit excelbottling.com. Get updates on the company’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ExcelBrewery.

Excel Bottling Company, 488 S. Broadway, Breese, Ill., 618.526.7159, excelbottling.com


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