It’s been nearly 45 years since vintage beer brand Alps Brau left Indiana store shelves, but now, the efforts of a Lawrence entrepreneur and beer afficionado have brought it back to Indiana stores and bars, where it was once a staple.
“I used to sell beer for Monarch Beverage, and still have a lot of connections in the business,” said Brad Klopfenstein, the entrepreneur who, with his wife, Sheila, led the effort to bring back the beer.
Brad Klopfenstein is also president of the Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.
“I never thought it would be so hard to bring an old brand like this back,” Klopfenstein said. “But to me, it’s worth it. I’ve always had an affinity for old Indiana beers, their history and the people who made them. So, I was immediately interested when I heard about this dormant brand.”
Originally, the beer was brewed by the Centivre/Old Crown Brewing Co., starting in 1957. It became popular throughout Indiana. But competition forced Old Crown to close its doors in 1973.
After finding the brand trademarks available, the Klopfensteins began looking for a brewing partner, and they found one in Alps Brau’s original hometown of Ft. Wayne, 2Toms Brewing, owned by Tom and Stacie Carpenter.
Tom Carpenter was immediately open to the prospect of a partnership.
“Brad Klopfenstein approached us, and this past fall I remembered that we had a beer recipe that we had developed that I thought would be a great fit with the original beer’s ‘Crisp and Clear’ tag line,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the beer’s taste is closer to a pale international lager than an international lager. He also said sales have been better than expected. As a result, the brewery has ramped up production and expects to keep it on tap at both their Fort Wayne and Fishers taprooms.
“You’ll also find it at several liquor stores, craft bars and restaurants,” Carpenter said.