Alps Brau Beer returns to the Fort Wayne area after 45 years

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (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 Alps Brau beer back to local bars and shops after a 45-year break.

The beer was originally created by Centlivre/Old Crown Brewing Company in 1957 to celebrate the brewery’s 95th anniversary. The beer became popular in the city and throughout the Midwest. The brewery began to face competition from national breweries such as Budweiser and Alps Brau, which ended in 1978. The 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 ties to their ancestors and businesses that used to exist throughout Indiana.”

He believes this will stir memories for younger people’s grandparents and give a taste of Fort Wayne’s history to those who don’t remember the fondness and connection to the once-popular beer.

He, along with his wife Sheila, began thinking about bringing back Alps Brau about a year ago when they began holding talks with breweries across the state and other parts of the country. Some of the breweries they met weren’t interested in making it and then they met Tom Carpenter from 2Toms Brewing at a beer festival last year and they started talking about bringing the beer back.

“Tom approached us about the idea last 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 fits the region well and that the beer is a good nod to the past while still having a modern flavor.

They have also worked with the Centlivre family to learn more about them and their history and the beer styles they once made.

The Centlivre family dates back to 1862 and they created Alps Brau after one of their earlier brands, Old Crown, was discontinued due to the end of its life cycle. Klopfenstein said a typical beer has a life cycle of about 20 years. Old Crown lasted almost 25 years.

The Klopfensteins’ response to the return of the cult beer has been positive.

He said while other ex-brewers who have returned to the region have been hit or miss, he believes Alps Brau’s return to the city will be a success.

“Come and taste some history and the long connection to Fort Wayne,” he added.

The Klopfensteins are hosting an event on Saturday February 18th at 4pm at 2Toms Brewing Company to officially celebrate the return of Alps Brau for anyone interested. Alps Brau Beer returns to the Fort Wayne area after 45 years

Dais Johnston

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