St. Louis newcomer already plans 2nd brewery

Only two years old, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company in St. Louis has announced plans to open a second and significantly larger production brewery in the city.

The new facility will immediately increase UCB’s annual brewing capacity to about 15,000 barrels. The project, expected to cost about $10 million, will add approximately 10 full-time and 30 part-time jobs within the next two years. Projected to open in early 2014, UCBC is partnering with Green Street St. Louis (Green Street), an real estate firm recognized for the sustainable redevelopment of underutilized St. Louis-area commercial properties into LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings.

UCB co-founders Florian Kuplent and David Wolfe worked with Green Street for over a year to identify a suitable property. They chose the former Renard Paper Company at 4465 Manchester Ave., which will become a 70,000 square foot production brewery, packaging facility, warehouse and indoor/outdoor retail tasting room. Beyond embracing the principles of environmental stewardship and social responsibility by seeking LEED certification, UCBC & Green Street also plan to modify the façade of the current city-block long warehouse to visibly and physically integrate it into the already vibrant “The Grove” neighborhood.

“People might ask why open a second facility and also locate it in St. Louis? Well, first and 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,” Wolfe said for a press release.

Kuplent, who oversees the brewing said, explained that the original facility would soon be at capacity. “We never imagined we’d grow this fast,” he said for the press release. “Essentially it means we’re going to run out of the space to add further capacity at our current location sometime this year . . . and we mostly have St. Louis beer drinkers and our retail partners to thank for that!”

Operationally, Urban Chestnut plans to brew, package and sell beer at both locations:

– The current 20-barrel brew house, tasting room and biergarten, located at 3229 Washington Ave. in Midtown St. Louis, will remain open and will be utilized to primarily test, brew, and package smaller batch beers.

– Initially the new brewery will have an annual capacity of approximately 15,000 barrels using a 60-barrel brewhouse, with the space to expand to 100,000 barrels.