Hey, a state turns 200 only once, so why not celebrate with a bicentennial beer?

Gov. Bruce Rauner joined state Rep. Tim Butler and Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, both Bicentennial Commissioners, to debut the first cans of the Official Bicentennial Craft Beer at Binny’s in Springfield yesterday. 1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale is now available at most Binny’s, Jewel-Osco’s, HyVee’s and other select retailers statewide.

Hand of Fate Brewing Co. of Petersburg was chosen to create the special birthday brew after winning the Bicentennial craft beer contest at the Illinois State Fair in August. The beer is distributed by Breakthru Beverage Illinois.

With over 240 craft brewers in the state (a 350% increase over the last 5 years), Governor Rauner gave a shout out to the growing industry:

This is a great Illinois small business story,” said Governor Rauner. “Hand of Fate started their business less than two years ago and this opportunity is helping catapult their well-earned success. ‘1818’ honors our agricultural legacy with quality Illinois ingredients, and I look forward to beer drinkers across the state enjoying this Bicentennial beverage.

The beer features staple Illinois crops including corn, wheat and oats. The crystal hops are grown by Hallowed Hops of Lewistown, and fermented with a hybrid saison yeast developed by Omega Yeast Labs of Chicago.

According to the website Illinois200.com, '1818' is available at Schnuck's here in the Rockford area. For other statewide locations, click here.