Limited Edition

"The 844" Commemorative Beer

THIS COMMEMORATIVE IMPERIAL PILSNER was crafted in honor of the 844 who lost their lives on July 24, 1915 during the S.S. Eastland Disaster in the Chicago River. The victims were Western Electric workers, their families and friends -- many of whom were Czech immigrants. On the 100th anniversary of this tragedy, we raise a glass to their memory with a crisp, golden beer inspired by their Czech heritage.


This unique beer was locally brewed by Ale Syndicate and was created in collaboration with the Eastland Disaster Historical Society. Liz Garibay, Principal at History On Tap and EDHS board member, conceived the idea by combining her passion for Chicago history with her equal passion for craft beer. She met with Ale Syndicate Brewers, a local craft beer brewery that shares the same passion for Chicago history and craft beer. The two discussed ways to create a beer that would respectfully encompass the stories of victims, survivors, and responders.

Creative agency 88 Brand Partners lead the design efforts for The 844. Their pro bono rebranding work with EDHS created the distinctive design and labeling for the packaged goods. The 25.4 ounce bottles not only have a custom Ale Syndicate branded label, each bottle also contains a “neck tag” depicting one of nine different people together with the story of their involvement in the Eastland Disaster.

The 844 is a smooth and full bodied Czech imperial styled pilsner, with a nice kick of Saaz hops coming in on the finish and an ABV of 8.44% (rounded to 9%). The beer has been brewed and crafted in honor of the 844 who lost their lives on July 24, 1915 during the Eastland Disaster in the Chicago River. The victims were Western Electric workers, their families and friends – many who were Czech immigrants. On the 100th anniversary of this tragedy, we raise a glass to their memory with a crisp, golden commemorative beer inspired by their Czech heritage.

A limited edition of 844 bottles will be released in area liquor stores. Each bottle will be hand numbered and will highlight the story of one of nine different victims, survivors, or responders of the tragedy.

Commemorative Neck Tags Now Available For Purchase!

The collectors edition of The 844 neck tags are now available. The complete set of 9 neck tags -- 1 each for the 9 families listed above -- are now available for $25 (plus shipping). Click here to order your set today. Limited quantities available. While supplies last.


Each neck tag is 2.875-inches by 10.75-inches. One side of each neck tag contains the specific story of each person/family, while the reverse side commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Eastland Disaster.

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