This is excellent news. I just got an e-mail from Florian Kuplent, one of my favorite brewers at A-B (including Mitch Steele, of course). His Bavarian Wheat beer is/was divine. Last week he left A-B and along with fellow ex-A-B employee David Wolfe to open a new craft brewery in St. Louis. The new brewery, Urban Chestnut Brewing, will be located at 3229 Washington Avenue, “in an old 1920’s garage that has been outfitted to accommodate our ‘new world meets old world’ brewery’ in a district of St. Louis known as Midtown Alley.”
From the press release:
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC), an unconventional-minded yet tradition-oriented brewer of craft beer, is excited to announce its plans to open a micro-brewery in the Midtown Alley district of St. Louis, MO. UCBC plans to brew and distribute its draught and bottled beers to local restaurants, bars, grocery and liquor stores and other retail establishments in the St. Louis area.
Scheduled to launch in late 2010, UCBC is operated by two former Anheuser-Busch employees: Florian Kuplent, UCBC’s brewmaster, and David Wolfe, UCBC’s marketing and sales principal.
Co-founders Kuplent and Wolfe believe their passion for craft beer coupled with their unique expertise in creating, brewing and marketing beer will bring a fresh approach to the local craft beer market in St. Louis. The pair also shares a passion for local community development. By using local ingredients in their beer and food offerings whenever possible, and by partnering with local businesses and non-profit organizations, UCBC hopes to contribute to St Louis’ progression as a strong and vibrant local craft beer community and community as a whole.
- UCBC will look to distinguish itself from other craft breweries through its unique brewing philosophy, Beer Divergencya ‘new world meets old world’ brewing approach wherein UCBC contributes to the ‘revolution’ of craft beer through artisanal creations of modern American beers, and pays ‘reverence’ to the heritage of beer with classically-crafted offerings of timeless, European beer styles.
- Their philosophy is shaped around co-founder Florian’s lifelong passion for the culture and tradition of brewing and his dedication to the art and science of brewing. A German-born and educated brewmaster, Florian brings two decades of brewing expertise to UCBC. His career in brewing has spanned small and large brewers in the U.S, Germany, Belgium and England and his beers have won awards at the Great American Beer Festival, the North American Beer Awards and SIBA Wheat Beer Challenge. Florian is active in the brewing community serving as a judge at national and international beer festivals, as a contributor to brewing publications and as a member of various brewing clubs. It is his passion for creating new, artisanal beers coupled with his background rooted in the heritage and culture of beer that has helped to form UCBC’s brewing philosophy Beer Divergency. “In launching UCBC, my vision is to delve into both th3 exploration of modern, American craft beer and the traditions of old world brewing, simultaneously. It is the fusion of these two brewing cultures, new and old, that has shaped our brewing philosophy of ‘Beer Divergency’— embracing the revolution of American craft beer, while simultaneously appreciating the heritage of European beer,” Florian shares.
- UCBC will work to contribute to St. Louis’ evolution in local craft beer by adding to the number of small, local brewers who distribute their beer in bottles. The co-founders believe St. Louis is a burgeoning local craft beer community that unquestionably boasts a significant community of knowledgeable craft beer drinkers and has a proud and active base of small brewers. UCBC sees an opportunity to add to the overall growth of and appreciation for local craft beer, by bottling and selling their beer at establishments all over town. Wolfe, who grew up in St. Louis, comments, “As UCBC prepares to join the community of small, St. Louis area brewers who are already contributing to the culture of local craft beer, we are excited to begin packaging our beer in both bottles and kegs, and we look forward to collaborating with as many local merchants as possible to reach as many beer drinkers as we can.”
Beyond distributing their beer, UCBC will have a taste room and outdoor biergarten where guests can enjoy UCBC beers and other locally brewed craft beers accompanied by small food pairings. Wolfe remarks, “Our taste room & biergarten won’t quite be the traditional brewpub. I like to tell people, ‘think wine bar for beer’; a casual place to hangout and experience a selection of local craft beers accompanied by small plates of cheeses, meats, and other little eats that pair well with beer.” Kuplent adds, “It is my goal to bring a little bit of Bavaria to UCBC. While our taste room will have a touch of old-world feel, our biergarten is where we’re trying to create an authentic, German beer-drinking experience by importing biergarten tables from Europe and planting shade-giving chestnut trees.”
The Urban Chestnut name is also derived from its philosophy of “Beer Divergency”; Urban—a nod to the locales of the modern craft beer revolution and Chestnut—a symbol of the heritage and tradition of beer; the chestnut tree has been utilized by Bavarian brewers for centuries to give shade to their biergartens and bierkellers.
According to the website, they’ll be doing two series of beers:
Revolution Series: Our contribution to the renaissance of craft beer—brewing artisanal, modern American beers.
Reverence Series: Our celebration of beer’s heritage—brewing classically-crafted, timeless European beer styles.