Land Of Lakes

Land of Lakes was brewed by the Pilsen Brewing Company of Chicago, IL. The brewery had a rich history, being established by European immigrants, primarily Bohemians and Czechoslovakians, in 1903.

A group of seven tavern owners put their minds and their funds together and built one of the most impressive brewery operations that Chicago had ever seen. The group sought to combat the monopoly that had been established by Schlitz which was keeping beer prices high and making it difficult for tavern owners to profit from the sales.

The operation occupied six acres. In 1907, Pilsen incorporated a notable beer garden on a lot adjacent to the plant. This area was known as Pilsen Park and was expanded to include a park, dining area, saloon and stage. The park provided an area where the large European immigrant population would come to celebrate their cultural heritage with festivals and other gatherings.

The primary beer produced by Pilsen was YUSAY, which signified the style originated in Pilsen, Bohemia, but was brewed and bottled in America. They did not want to simply name it Pilsen because that implied the beer was imported. They tried to name it U.S.A. but there were objections to that, so the company added a Y fore and aft to come up with the locally famous beer YUSAY.  They produced many other smaller run brews, one of which being Land of Lakes. However, not much information is available on this particular label, other than it being produced in the 1950s, but regardless, we think it makes for some pretty cool artwork on your shirt!

Pilsen Brewing Co. was purchased by Canadian Ace in 1963 and closed shortly thereafter. Four years later, Pilsen Park was also closed, and a mall was constructed which incorporated one of the original brewery buildings and still stands today.