Chicago family business pouring root beer for 90 years

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Smack in the middle of prohibition, root beer became widely popular across the U.S. That was just about the time, 1926 to be exact, when Filberts Draft Style Root Beer poured into the market in Chicago.

His dad was at the helm when at the ripe old age of 12, Ron Filbert got his first taste of the family business.

“My grandfather started it.  Before my grandfather got in the root beer business my great grandfather was in the dairy business,” he says. “We had our root beer in half barrels and quarter barrels also so that’s what I started doing washing barrels at a nice young age.”

Nearly 90 years later and Filberts is the only local soda company still bottling in Chicago today.

Today Filberts bottles and sells 30-different flavors to 400 locations across the area. They have survived the Great Depression and the recessesion.  As a number of others have closed up shop, in the last year the business has picked up 100 new accounts. How they’ve managed to stay afloat all these years is somewhat of a mystery.

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