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Monarch Brewing was founded in 1890 as the Josef Hladovec Brewing Company in Chicago. It was purchased and renamed by I. Baumgartl and Charles Stein as the Monarch Brewing Company in 1892 and later merged with the United Breweries Company in 1898. They stayed in operation through the prohibition years making soda and near beer but were suspected of making underground real beer, a common rumor for every brewery in the city. After prohibition was repealed they struggled with competition from larger companies and the Great Depression. They turned to television advertising in the late 40’s and switched to conetops and flat tops for their cheaper brands like Bullfrog. In 1958 Monarch was sold to former Al Capone Lieutenant Joseph Fusco and renamed Van Merritt Brewing. It stayed at the old plant with the new name until it closed in 1967.