Urban Chestnut To Buy German Brewery

Here’s some interesting news, and a nice twist or role reversal of recent events. Florian Kuplent, the talented former Anheuser-Busch brewer, in 2011 opened the Urban Chestnut Brewery in St. Louis, after A-B was acquired by InBev. I first met Florian in Denver shortly after he’d brewed an excellent German-style hefeweizen at the Fort Collins A-B brewery. Kuplent was born in Bavaria, Germany, and also was trained as a brewer at Weihenstephan.


According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Urban Chestnut “has acquired the Bürgerbräu Wolnzach brewery in Wolnzach, which is about 35 miles north of Munich.” That’s right, a small craft brewery has bought a German brewery. Apparently, Bürgerbräu Wolnzach closed down around six months ago, and Klupent saw an opportunity. The Post-Dispatch explains that the “St. Louis-based company plans to brew small batches of beer at the Bavarian facility in the second quarter of 2015. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.”


Beer Birthday: Stan Hieronymus

Today is fellow beer writer and blogger extraordinaire Stan Hieronymus’ 66th birthday. Stan’s most recent book is For the Love of Hops, followed closely by Brewing with Wheat, among many others. He recently moved to a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, where he continues to write the Real Beer blog, Beer Therapy, along with Appellation Beer, Beer Travelers, and Postcards from a Barstool, and Brew Like a Monk, the blog. Stan does not like being reminded of his birthday, so be sure to join me in wishing Stan a very happy birthday.

Fearing I would run a ten-year old photo of him taken at the Seattle CBC, he sent me this one a couple of years ago. Here’s Stan at Cantillon in Brussels. Thanks, Stan, I like this one, too.

Stan and his family, Daria and Sierra, with their motorhome in our driveway during a brief visit during their trip.

Stan Hieronymus & Tom McCormick @ Great Divide
Stan with CCBA director Tom McCormick at Great Divide during GABF week 2009.

Me and Stan at the grueling World Beer Award judging session in Chicago a few years ago.

Daniel Bradford, Stan and me on a panel discussion at GABF a couple of years ago.

Four out of Five, the Cilurzos and a Stan. From Left: Natalie Cilurzo, Stan, Vinnie’s mother and father, and Vinnie Cilurzo at the World Beer Cup gala dinner in 2008.

Beer In Ads #833: Christian Staehlins Phoenix Brewery

Thursday’s ad is for the Christian Staehlins Phoenix Brewery, from 1850. The brewery was located in St. Louis, Missouri. I love these old posters of longshots showing the entire brewery complex. Don Russell was just telling he’d recently learned that a lot of these were created for insurance purposes since photography was expensive and hard to do from the vantage point you’d need to get the whole brewery in the shot.


Beer In Ads #530: Christian Staerlin’s Phienix Brewery

Friday’s ad is old one, undoubtedly from the 19th century. It’s for a St. Louis brewery, the oddly named Christian Staerlin’s Phienix Brewery. I love these old industrial illustrated love letters, showing large, gleaming colorful industrial complexes. They seem to have been quite common at one time. I wonder if anyone’s ever done a survey of all of them. Now that would be a cool coffee-table book.


Missouri Beer

Today in 1821, Missouri became the 24th state.


Missouri Breweries

Missouri Brewery Guides

Guild: None known

State Agency: Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control


  • Capital: Jefferson City
  • Largest Cities: Kansas City, Saint Louis, Springfield, Independence, Columbia
  • Population: 5,595,211; 17th
  • Area: 69709 sq.mi., 21st
  • Nickname: Show Me State
  • Statehood: 24th, August 10, 1821


  • Alcohol Legalized: December 5, 1933
  • Number of Breweries: 41
  • Rank: 13th
  • Beer Production: 4,530,683
  • Production Rank: 14th
  • Beer Per Capita: 23.8 Gallons


Package Mix:

  • Bottles: 32.8%
  • Cans: 59.4%
  • Kegs: 7.4%

Beer Taxes:

  • Per Gallon: $0.06
  • Per Case: $0.14
  • Tax Per Barrel (24/12 Case): $1.86
  • Draught Tax Per Barrel (in Kegs): $1.86

Economic Impact (2010):

  • From Brewing: $6,740,265,346
  • Direct Impact: $7,922,625,437
  • Supplier Impact: $5,170,179,818
  • Induced Economic Impact: $4,126,112,200
  • Total Impact: $17,218,917,455

Legal Restrictions:

  • Control State: No
  • Sale Hours: On Premises: Most establishments:
    (Mon–Sat) 6:00am–1:30am
    (Sunday) 9:00am–12:00am
    Special licenses in Kansas City and St. Louis: (Daily) 6:00am–3:00am
    Off Premises: (Mon–Sat) 6:00am–1:30am
    (Sunday) 9:00am–12:00am
    Sales permitted until 3:00 am in those Kansas City and St. Louis bars grandfathered into the ability to double as liquor stores.
  • Grocery Store Sales: Yes
  • Notes:
    • No open container law.
    • No state public intoxication law.
    • Liquor control law covers all beverages containing more than 0.5% alcohol, without further particularities based on percentage.
    • Cities and counties are prohibited from banning off-premises alcohol sales.
    • No dry jurisdictions.
    • State preemption of local alcohol laws which do not follow state law.
    • Certain bars in Kansas City and St. Louis grandfathered into the ability to double as liquor stores.
    • Special licenses available for bars and nightclubs which allow selling alcohol until 3:00am in Kansas City, Jackson County, North Kansas City, St. Louis, and St. Louis County.
    • Grocery stores, drug stores, and even gas stations may sell liquor without limitation other than hours.
    • Patrons allowed to take open containers out of bars in Kansas City’s Power & Light District.
    • Parents and guardians may furnish alcohol to their children.
    • Missourians over 21 may manufacture up to 100 gallons of any liquor per year for personal use, without any further state limitation, state taxation, or state license. (Obtaining a permit from the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and meeting other requirements under federal law probably still is required for private citizens to manufacture distilled alcohol — but not wine or beer — for personal use.)

    Missouri law recognizes two types of alcoholic beverage: liquor, which is any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol except “non-intoxicating beer”; and “non-intoxicating beer,” which is beer containing between 0.5% and 3.2% alcohol. Liquor laws apply to all liquor, and special laws apply to “non-intoxicating beer.”


Data complied, in part, from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac 2010, Beer Serves America, the Brewers Association, Wikipedia and my World Factbook. If you see I’m missing a brewery link, please be so kind as to drop me a note or simply comment on this post. Thanks.

For the remaining states, see Brewing Links: United States.

Dan Aykroyd For Schlafly Beer

Paul A. Ner, who writes By the Pint, tweeted a fun photo of SNL alum and Blues Bro Dan Aykroyd holding a bottle of Schlafly Pale Ale.


Nice, I’m convinced one of the ways to pull more people into the craft beer world is through celebrity endorsements, not paid ones, just by seeing more and more famous folks drinking craft beer. Somewhere I have a current TV show star drinking a Drake’s IPA through a straw. I’m going to have to dig that up.

It reminds of a famous marketing strategy I learned about in college, perhaps one of the first stealth marketing campaigns. The Lacoste brand — the one with the crocodile on polo shirts — did well in Europe but not in the U.S. So in the late fifties and early sixties they began sending free shirts to famous people; movie stars, politicians, etc. Low and behold the shirts starting showing up in magazine, newspaper and newsreel photos of the celebrities and sales began to take off. Perhaps we should do something similar, maybe a Flickr pool of the famous drinking craft beer.

Urban Chestnut Brewery To Open In St. Louis By Former A-B Brewer

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.