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Jan 21, 2018
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Brew Hub will open taproom, shelves plans for Chesterfield partner brewery

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017



Partner brewing company Brew Hub is set to open The Brew Hub Taproom in early in 2018 at 5656 Oakland Ave., the former home of St. Louis Ribhouse. The company, which was founded in St. Louis, currently has a taproom and a 100,000-barrel brewhouse in Lakeland, Florida.

“There’s a lot of work still to do, but we’re hopefully we’ll be ready in February,” said CEO and co-founder Tim Schoen.

As The Scoop reported in 2014, Brew Hub initially planned to open a partner brewing facility similar to its Lakeland property in Chesterfield. Schoen, a former Anheuser-Busch executive, said the company isn’t abandoning the original plan, but is making a “strategic shift.” He said the craft beer marketplace regionally and nationally has recently experienced a downturn, and the Florida facility can handle the current demand.

“Right now the craft marketplace nationally and regionally has shifted, and we have more equipment and volume in Florida,” Schoen said. Instead of building a new brewing facility in the St. Louis area, the plan is to have the new taproom stimulate regional interest, then build a production brewery here when demand increases.

Schoen said the new taproom would have 20 taps, featuring Brew Hub’s own beers like Diver Down Red Ale and Keybilly Island Ale, as well as offerings from some of its partner brewers, including Toppling Goliath, Blackberry Farms Brewing and Palmetto Brewing.

The taproom will feature full lunch and dinner menus from chef Andy White, known for his work at Harvest and the Schlafly Tap Room, with small plates and larger options focused on ingredients from local purveyors. The space will have around 120 seats and a 30-seat patio area.

The new spot will also have a four-barrel pilot brewing system, a distillery and a barrel-aging program, all under the aegis of Schlafly vet and Brew Hub chief of brewing operations Jim Ottolini. Schoen said he expects these features will let the company experiment and work on new ideas.

Photo courtesy of Brew Hub

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Schlafly brewmaster heads to Brew Hub

• Brew Hub to construct second partner brewery in Chesterfield

• Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017


The Scoop: Schlafly brewmaster heads to Brew Hub

Thursday, January 8th, 2015



Change is in the air at Schlafly. Brewmaster and longtime employee Jim “Otto” Ottolini has accepted a new position as chief of brewing operations for Brew Hub, as reported by Lisa Brown of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ottolini said his last day at Schlafly is Jan. 16.

Brew Hub announced plans to open its second partner brewery in Chesterfield in September 2014, after opening its first location in Florida that same month. In addition to moving its corporate headquarters to Chesterfield, founder Tim Schoen explained that Brew Hub would partner with breweries from around the country to brew, bottle, package and distribute their products in a remote facility.

In his new position, Ottolini said he would oversee construction of the large brewery and then brewing processes for all the partners when production begins in early 2016. “In a very broad sense, I’m going to try to make sure the whole kit and caboodle moves along well and efficiently and can make the beer it needs to make,” he said.

Ottolini said Brew Hub, which plans to open five such facilities across the country, appealed to him as a company focused on the future of craft brewing in the U.S. “Knowing the folks that started Brew Hub – they’re local; they were at (Anheuser-Busch) – we’ve known each other, and I really admire their business model,” he said. With thousands of new breweries popping up in the last few years, he explained, brewers are looking to expand without building new facilities in other parts of the country. Brew Hub is “building the ability to meet the market demand,” he said.

Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman said Ottolini was instrumental to the brewery’s growth during the last 22 years, often devising solutions to tricky problems at a time when few suppliers carried equipment for small operations. Before serving as brewmaster, Ottolini had been Schlafly’s director of brewing operations since 2003.

“Where Otto really excels is to see a problem in a small brewery and come up with a solution that wasn’t necessarily off the shelf,” Kopman said. “He’s been a fixture for 22-plus years … I’d say its sudden news, but for various reasons, it did make sense for both him and for Brew Hub … It’s a great opportunity for him, and we wish him very well.”

Ottolini said his decision to leave was a difficult one. “I can’t imagine a more appropriate setting to use the term ‘bittersweet,’” he said. “It’s a family. It’s been my honor and privilege to work there. My hat is off to Tom Schlafly and I’m forever grateful to him for taking a risk and sinking his money into a company that a lot of smart people said probably wouldn’t make it.”

Kopman said there were no plans to replace Ottolini at this time. Instead, he said he wants to focus on empowering Schlafly’s team of young brewers as the brewery prepares for its own eventual expansion in the next few years. “There is definitely a youth movement at Schlafly Beer,” he said.



The Scoop: Brew Hub to construct second partner brewery in Chesterfield

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014


First we had big breweries. Then we had craft breweries. Now St. Louis prepares for its first brewery dedicated to partner brewing. Enter Brew Hub, which this week announced it will construct a new brewing facility in Chesterfield.

This will be the second such facility for Brew Hub, which opened its first location last weekend, Sept. 5 and 6, in Lakeland, Florida. The company was founded by Tim Schoen, a former Anheuser-Busch executive.

The new Chesterfield location will also serve as Brew Hub’s corporate headquarters as it prepares to expand to other three other states. Construction is slated to begin on the massive facility at the end of this year, and when doors open in early 2016, its initial brewing capacity will register at 75,000 barrels. “The overall master plan has always been to build five breweries strategically located in regional hubs,” Schoen said. “We’re on a mission to build the first high-end craft brewery network that serves … partner brewers.”

Partner brewers use Brew Hub’s facilities to brew their products under the remote supervision of their own brewmasters, as well as bottle, package and distribute their products. Brew Hub will make additional business services available, Schoen explained, including sales, marketing, legal matters and logistics. Partners, who enter three-year contracts with Brew Hub, can range from established craft brewers looking to expand to other markets to home brewers who want to transform their hobby into a business enterprise.

In addition to its central location, Schoen said St. Louis’ passion for craft beer was one deciding factor when looking for Brew Hub’s next location. “(St. Louis has) a great emerging craft beer scene,” he said. “Really, the talent pool on the craft side is outstanding, and on the business services side, we have a lot of really good talent in the market.”

Once completed, the Chesterfield facility will include a 3,000-square-foot tasting room and Biergarten, where the public can sip beers currently produced at Brew Hub. The brewery will also offer tours, and Schoen said food will not be forgotten. “Food pairings with beer are really essential and something that consumers want,” she said. “As we look at a St. Louis brewery, we’re going to be looking at … what that might look like. There will be a unique (community-based) food option.”



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