Yeah, we are the Brick City. We are also becoming the Beer City of the Midwest. The history is certainly there, but the influx of microbreweries since Schlafly broke the mold in 1991 has been amazing to witness.
Usually we look back at our past and pine for the good old days (World's Fair and Riverboats, I'm looking at you). Fact is, when it comes to beer, the past was indeed great...but the present and future is better.
St. Louis' beer scene is on the rise and getting more and more diverse. I thought we could only sustain maybe five breweries in St. Louis (a city of ~310,000). Boy was I wrong.
The latest trend is small town Missouri breweries opening locations in St. Louis...they want to join the scene and man, are they welcome.
First, 2nd Shift Brewery moved it's operations from New Haven, Missouri to an industrial section of the Hill Neighborhood at 1601 Sublette Avenue...adding a place...you know, place making in a spot you usually wouldn't visit. Feast Magazine reported on the move back in May, 2016:
"We're so excited to be located on the Hill," 2nd Shift co-owner Libby Crider said in a release. "Not only to be able to provide beer more locally to St. Louis, but also to be part of this amazing neighborhood."
Welcome, welcome, welcome 2nd Shift. I love off the beaten path locations, and you've done a great job with your space and of course the beer.
Then, yesterday I was driving home after visiting the new Kiener Plaza and noticed Charleville Brewing was open.
They are the newest brewery to open a St. Louis location from their winery/brewery in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri.
Per the bartender, the rehabbed building was a former truck parts manufacturing facility. The nice one-story building is at 2101 Chouteau Avenue right across the street from Lafayette Square in the Downtown West Neighborhood. The pulley's and beams are still visible providing a nod to the past.
So we stopped in for a quick sample and will be back Fo-Chouteau.
I'm not here to rank beers or talk up one brewery vs. the other, I'll leave that to the experts. To me, all St. Louis breweries add to our city vibe and Charleville is a welcome addition.
I will say one thing, though: I'm a pilsner fan and their offering is...um, way up there. I'll leave it at that.
“The whole idea is to connect with the (St. Louis) community,” says Tait Russell, director of operations for Charleville...
For the new brewery and restaurant, Charleville is partnering with Paul and Wendy Hamilton, owners of Eleven Eleven Mississippi, Vin de Set, PW Pizza and 21st Street Brewers Bar.
Russell says Charleville reached out to the Hamiltons about the new brewery's restaurant operation while still searching for a location. During that discussion, Russell says, Paul Hamilton mentioned that he had recently bought the building at 2101 Chouteau, directly across South 21st Street from the complex housing Vin de Set, PW Pizza and 21 Street Brewers Bar.
They did a fantastic job with the building and interior space...but man, the pilsner was the star. There are 14 taps to choose from.
The large windows along Chouteau really make a bright, vibrant space.
There is a garage door that opens up to provide an al fresco experience leading to a small outdoor patio.
There is also an event space and of course the brewing areas.
There are nice nods to our wonderful city.
Not into beer? How about some house made root beer and the food looks dynamite.
Welcome, welcome, welcome Charleville Brewing! That pilsner should be in cans/bottles for the summer!
Edit: they have the pilsner in cans, it's called Long White Cloud. Proof:
Cheers, St. Louis!