When Evan Benn mentioned last night that he had some exciting news about the St. Louis craft beer scene, I thought for certain it would be able a local brewery choosing a site for their next brewery. What caught me by surprise was that it wasn’t the brewery I expected.
While all of our new local breweries seem to be growing at a crazy clip, without a doubt Urban Chestnut Brewing Company has got to be the fastest growing brewery. So while I wasn’t expecting them to announce building a new brewery in St. Louis city, I shouldn’t have been surprised. UCBC began with 3500bbls in 2012 and plans to double that this year.
The new location, located at 4465 Manchester Ave, will be built in the former Renard Paper Company. (A quick aside, as a longtime fan of the now departed Newstead Tower Public House, I would drive by Renard on a regular basis. The exterior of this building is still nice enough that it’s only today that I learned that the company no longer exists.)
Urban Chestnut is partnering with Green Street St. Louis to not only build the new brewery, but also make sure that it’s a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building as well. “People might ask why open a second facility and ALSO locate it in St. Louis? Well, first & foremost 95% of the beer we sold last year was in St. Louis, and like Schlafly and many of the other small, local brewers, we’re dedicated to the evolution of St. Louis as a craft beer destination,” remarked David Wolfe, co-founder of UCBC.
The initial capacity of the new brewery will be about 15,000bbls, but with over 70,000 square foot of space in this new facility, UCBC expects to be able to expand up to 100,000bbls. The additional space will also allow them to feature a tasting room on-site.
But this doesn’t mean they’re abandoning their original spot. They still plan to use the original location for smaller production beers and test beers. There is no specific time-table for the new location to be open, but if UCBC continues the trend of moving at light-speed, I’m sure we’ll all be enjoying a few beers there soon.