Book a tour of Excel Bottling & Brewing Co. on your upcoming Downstate Illinois adventure in Breese, IL! Excel produces Southern Illinois' beloved soft drink, Ski, as well as craft beer at their new brewing company. In 1936, Edward "Lefty" Meier caught a bank robber — and he used his reward money to purchase a bottling machine! Thus, Excel Bottling Co. was born. The bottling company originated in the home of Lefty's wife's grandmother. Now, Excel is a modern soda bottling and brewery plant. Excel remains one of the only independent family bottlers in the nation and is the only returnable bottling line remaining in Illinois. Although distribution has spread throughout Southern Illinois and the greater St. Louis area, people still pick up their Ski soda from the Breese plant. Grab your own case of Ski when you visit Excel Bottling & Brewing Co. in Breese, IL. Make your Downstate Illinois adventure tasty!