For Jim Barrie, brewing is a family tradition that extends back centuries. In the middle of the 19th century, Jim's great-great-great grandfather Philip Kling, a cooper by trade, immigrated to the United States from Germany to set up a barrel shop. Upon settling in his new country, he changed careers and founded Peninsular Brewing in 1863, which was eventually renamed Ph. Kling Brewing Co. Kling was part of a wave of German immigrants in the mid-19th century who changed local preferences from English ale to clean German inspired lagers. Ph. Kling Brewing Co. became popular in the Michigan brew scene until it was forced to shut down because of Prohibition.
Philip's daughter fell in love and married a man closely tied to the industry, great-great grandfather Louis Schimmel. Now Louis was a different type of brewer. He founded Tivoli Brewing in 1897 where his Altes Lager beer became one of the most popular beers in Michigan, most likely due to its "aged-in, sealed-in flavor"! During Prohibition, Tivoli operated under ground and ran beers under the table. Tivoli's Altes Lager brand was one of the few to survive prohibition with Jim's great grandfather Hugh Martin as Vice President, and it continued to be brewed by various breweries until 1990. For Jim, brewing is more than a business and passion - it's literally in his DNA.
Like our ancestors, we proudly carry on the tradition of predominantly brewing lagers. Export and Pilsner are always on tap just as they were over 100 years ago. We're willing to put in the time to refine, reflect, and retry hitting the delicate balances on the world's toughest styles. Long live lager!