MEET FATHER & SON OWNERS, STEVE & HUNTER FIERS
Lions carved in stone have stood strong for centuries and protected many of history’s creations, including beer. Nations of the past crafted beer that until the last several decades have been lost in time to the industrialized notion of beer. We are all part of the introduction of the craft beer revolution whereby craft brewers interpret past beer styles and impart unique twists to innovate new styles with no boundaries.
Steve and Hunter Fiers established Lionstone Brewing Company in 2014 to awaken these dormant beasts and the beer styles and traditions they have protected. History is being revitalized since Lionstone Brewery and Gastropub is located just 100 yards from where a brewery once stood 125 years ago. The name Lionstone was inspired by the Fiers family’s European heritage. The lion is the protector of the Belgian coat of arms and the mark of the Fiers’ brewery.
Let us pour you a pint and help us write the future. We invite you to run with the pride. Cheers!
I started homebrewing in college because I thought it would be an interesting challenge and it seemed like a great blend of science and creativity. As is true with many brewers, after my first couple of homebrew kits I was hooked on brewing. My sister gave me some hop rhizomes for my birthday, which was the perfect gift because gardening was becoming a hobby of mine. I was now growing the ingredients to make beer. The degree I sought turned out to be agriculture because I wanted to grow hops. I received my Bachelors of Science in Agriculture from Western Illinois University. It was in college that I met a friend from Geneseo who introduced me to Lionstone Brewing.
I knew that after college I wanted to be involved in the alcohol industry although I wasn’t certain how I would go about doing that. Originally I thought about starting a craft distillery but I didn't know anything about large scale distilling. After some job searching, I accepted a position as a Distiller in Chicago at Koval Distillery. My coworkers and I would often grab a drink at one of the nearby breweries after work on Fridays. I was intrigued with the creative potential that breweries allowed and knew that eventually I would go back to my roots and brew beer. During my time as a Distiller, I met Steve, owner of Lionstone Brewing and as they say, the rest is history.
I never thought homebrewing would take me to this point. Brewing started as a hobby with making experimental batches of beer, cider, mead, and wine and has now turned into my career as Brewer for Lionstone. I am excited to bring my passion for hops, brewing, and making alcohol as well as my desire to create to Lionstone Brewing.
MEET BREWER, TIM KNACKSTEDT
I have always had a love for beer. It is a communal beverage that just seems to bring people together. As a child it was present when many of the people I loved would come together to celebrate or commiserate, and it remains a fixture in the gatherings of family and friends to this day.
My infatuation for craft beer began as a college student at NIU in DeKalb, IL. I worked at the live music venue, Otto's. It was known for its music but also had the best selection of craft beer in town. It was here that I fell in love with the various sights, smells, and tastes of many beer styles. I remained a rabid consumer, but my curious side started thinking about trying to create my own.
I started home brewing about 10 years ago. Like most, I started with an extract kit. My passion for brewing was immediate and I promptly immersed myself in all grain brewing. I began building a brew system and developing recipes, and fell in love with the blending of art and science that brewing presents. The knowledge and skills I acquired helped me in past jobs with Rock Bottom Brewing Co. and Two Brothers Brewing Co. My passion for brewing has led me to education at Siebel Institute of Technology.
I have been a part of the craft beer community for many years and I'm still amazed at the passion and dedication within. Small breweries have been leading innovation in the industry and benefiting their communities at large. It is something I feel very fortunate to be able to do at Lionstone Brewing Co.