Business: Bankers' Brewery

A consistent money-maker even during Prohibition, when it carried on with near-beer, was Prima Co., one of the only five Chicago breweries that survived the dry years. Founded in 1892, Prima built its name on brands like Rienzi. With the coming of Repeal the sons of the founder, Hilmar and L. Wainright Ernst, recapitalized their old family business, sold some stock to the public. Early in this revitalizing program, the Ernsts ran into difficulties, had to borrow heavily from two Chicago banks, First National and Harris Trust & Savings.

Shortly the banks became...

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