St. Louis craft beer boom

6:52 AM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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By Dana Dean

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - St. Louis native Beamer Eisele went to college with the best and brightest at Harvard University.

"A lot of my friends were doing banking," he said.

But Eisele had a different recipe for success; a beer recipe he cooked up in his college dorm room.

Eisele said, "Used as many resources as I could, starting off with the chemistry department at Harvard."

And soon, all that hard work will pay off when Modern Brewery opens just south of Forest Park. Beer tastings will be by appointment only, but his beer will be available on restaurant menus. And the way he'll be delivering the product will likely turn heads.

"It's a '49 Chevy and it's sitting on top of a 2003 Ford Explorer," he said.

Modern isn't the only craft brewery opening in the St. Louis area this year, according to food critic Evan Benn, formerly of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and now with the Miami Herald.

Benn said, "People are liking chef-driven restaurants. It's the same thing with craft beer."

He asked us to disguise his face due to his line of work. Benn's been writing about beer for the past four years. He says after InBev took over Anheuser-Busch, he noticed St. Louisans started to change their loyalties.

"And they were finally saying, 'Hey, I can try something other than Bud and Bud Light,'" he said.

Today, he says there are a total of 24 craft breweries within a two hour driving distance of St. Louis.

"That's the most we had in St. Louis since before prohibition," said Benn.

But with so many craft breweries already, is St. Louis reaching its saturation point?

"There hasn't been an answer yet. Schlafly has completely reached their capacity. They're looking for a new brewery space," he said.

As for Eisele, who's the new kid on the beer block, he thinks St. Louis can drink as much beer as craft breweries can make.

"I wouldn't be surprised if another 20 craft breweries opened after us," he said.

For a map of the 24 craft breweries in the area, including the ones opening in 2013 like Alpha Brewing (opened in April), Heavy Riff, and Modern, visit our special Craft Breweries Map.


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