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Feb 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Jake Hafner’

Civil Life will expand brewery, tasting room in 2018

Monday, October 9th, 2017



Civil Life Brewing Co. is poised to expand its operations. As reported by NextStl, owner Jake Hafner has announced plans to build an additional facility next door.

As The Scoop reported in October 2016, Hafner purchased the former auto body shop last year with the intent to tear it down, though he wasn’t sure what he’d do with the land at the time.

A year later, Hafner’s plans have evolved. He said the entire project will include two new bars, a canning facility and a small retail space, along with improvements to the existing Civil Life location. The surrounding property will also include new sidewalks, curbs and streetlights. The current Civil Life location will remain open during construction.

Hafner said demolition of the structure should take place in April or May 2018, and he’s still determining how much of the expansion project to tackle at once. If he decides to start with the canning facility, Hafner said it could be completed as early as fall 2018. The entire expansion will take at least nine months.

“We know we’re doing something, we’re just not sure if we can afford to do the whole project at one time,” he said. “Whether or not we do the whole project or we phase it in – that’s the decision to be made.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
The Civil Life purchases neighboring building

Ones to Watch 2017: Troy Bedik of Civil Life Brewing Co.

The Civil Life Brewing Co. to offer first canned beers

Ones to Watch 2017: Troy Bedik of Civil Life Brewing Co.

Sunday, January 1st, 2017



Title: Brewer, Civil Life Brewing Co.
Age: 29
Why watch her: She does whatever she wants.

Before she became a professional brewer, Troy Bedik concocted a homebrew recipe so good, Steve Crider of 2nd Shift Brewing mass produced it. Now, after recently landing the highly competitive and coveted position of brewer at Civil Life, she’s already developed a Kölsch recipe owner Jake Haefner declared a favorite of the past year.

Considered one of the most passionate in the field by her peers, this won’t be the last time you hear about Bedik. But first, hear it in her words:

“I love getting my hands dirty – it’s my favorite part of what I do. I like being on my feet all day, moving around, getting to move heavy things. I like having a job where I’m physically crafting something. I can brew the beer, package the beer, put the beer on draft and then enjoy the beer. It’s the ultimate satisfaction.”

“The craft beer world can be a very intimidating environment for women. It’s gotten better, but you have to fight for people to take you seriously, to prove that you know what you’re talking about. It’s good to have a strong support group.”

“I always get the joke from people: ‘Oh, you’re a brewer – where’s your beard?’ Sometimes if I’m wearing a dress, I wonder if it automatically discredits me because I don’t look the part. I think people mean well by it, but you don’t have to look a certain way – like a 30-year-old bearded guy. There’s room for everybody.”

“One of my favorite moments while working at Civil Life was one day when I was wearing my big work boots, work shorts, a headlamp and safety glasses, and I walked into the bathroom and saw this little 5-year-old girl.

“She asked me, ‘Why are you dressed like that?’

“And I said, ‘I’m a brewer. I work over there.’

“Her eyes got wide and she said, ‘That’s so cool!’ Then she ran over and told her dad.

“I loved it because she saw that you can have a job that lets you get a little dirty – you can do whatever you want to do.”

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

From big brewery announcements to new pastry shops in Kirkwood, here’s what’s went down last week in the STL food scene, ICYMI.




1. After five years of pouring pints in South City, The Civil Life Brewing Co. will finally can its American brown ale. Co-owner Jake Hafner said fans can pick up six-packs of 12-ounce cans at the brewery beginning Aug. 16.

2. Soon, hockey lovers will have a new place to enjoy the game in Midtown. Center Ice Brewery is slated to open at 3120 Olive St., a couple doors down from Southern and Pappy’s Smokehouse, in early 2017.

From left, customers can watch co-owners and pastry chefs Lee Lee and Nathaniel Reid hard at work through the large window behind the counter that observes the kitchen.


3. Internationally renowned pastries are now available in Kirkwood. Pastry chefs and co-owners Nathaniel and Lee Lee Reid opened Nathaniel Reid Bakery at 11243 Manchester Road on Aug. 1, serving up sweet and savory breakfast pastries, sandwiches and colorful tarts and cakes.

4. I Scream Cakes closed doors at its Maplewood location Sunday, Aug. 7, just three months after opening at 7326B Manchester Road.




5. General manager Justin Cardwell has moved on from the bar at BC’s Kitchen, which he helped opened eight years ago. He has accepted a position as West Coast brand ambassador for the Spanish liqueur, Licor 43.

6. Molly’s in Soulard is growing with a new dining room and a new executive chef, Brandon Busby, who took the helm early last week.

The Scoop: The Civil Life Brewing Co. to offer first canned beers

Thursday, August 11th, 2016



After five years of pouring pints in South City, The Civil Life Brewing Co. will finally can its American brown ale. Co-owner Jake Hafner said fans can pick up six-packs of 12-ounce cans at the brewery beginning Aug. 16. This marks the first time the brewery has offered a canned option; previously, if customers wanted Civil to-go, they had to fill growlers onsite.

“The brown is our most popular beer. It makes up 60 percent of our sales,” said Hafner. “We waited a while to start canning because we didn’t really have the space for it.”

Civil Life has made the space, temporarily, bringing in mobile services to can the beer and pack up when the job is done. Hafner said he has no plans to distribute at this time; cans are available at the brewery only. He plans to can once a month, possibly more if demand is high. The English pale ale, rye pale ale and The Angel and The Sword are all on deck to see aluminum in the fall.

For now, the ever-popular American Brown will do. “We’ve had a lot of requests from customers to can the brown,” Hafner said. “We’re excited that customers will be able to drink it fresh from the tap at the brewery, or fresh from the can at home.”

The Scoop: The Civil Life purchases neighboring building

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015




The Civil Life Brewing Co. announced today, Oct. 13, that owner Jake Hafner has purchased the vacant auto body shop next door and has grand plans – to tear it down

After working with city officials and surrounding businesses, Hafner said he was able to acquire the building in anticipation of growth. The immediate plans, though, are to raze the building and expand the parking lot. “There are no guaranteed plans for expansion,” he said. “If draft sales increase, we have the space to add on, and our bar business is doing really well, so we could expand there. We’re in this for the long haul.”

Whether the brewery adds production or brewpub space, Hafner plans to let expansion happen naturally. “I guess I’m kind of old-fashioned when it comes to growth,” he said. The newly acquired building will come down and the parking lot expanded in 2016.





The Scoop: The Civil Life Brewing Co. takes gold at Great American Beer Festival

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014


{From left, Civil Life brewers Brandon Stern and Dylan Mosley accept the gold award for their Rye Pale Ale at the Great American Beer Festival.}


The Civil Life Brewing Co. is raising a pint or two in celebration following its victory last Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Brewers Dylan Mosley and Brandon Stern accepted the gold medal for Civil Life’s Rye Pale Ale, which bested more than 80 beers entered in the rye category.

“I would like to think that maybe what made it stand out was that it was a very well-rounded, well-made beer,” Mosley said. “The category rye allows for a lot of self-expression and possibly even a lot of experimentation.” Though he has not yet received official feedback from the judges, Mosley said he thought The Civil Life’s experimentation with a traditional pale ale caught their attention.

“We shoot for something that’s a little deeper and copper in color,” he said. “Rye tends to be a little on the lean side. It can have a spicy note to it.” Mosley and Stern balance that spice with sweetness, using different malts and citrus- and pine-forward hops from the Pacific Northwest.

This was the first year The Civil Life attended the Great American Beer Festival, which attracts thousands of breweries from across the country. Mosley said taking top honors both validates the 3-year-old brewery’s beermaking style and also raises the bar for what’s to come.

“We may have a lot of pretty traditional beers in our portfolio. When you can do well with something that is not immediately as exciting … as some of other things (out there) … it says something about your philosophy and technique,” Mosley said. “We’ve got to make sure that everything we’re doing lives up to the moment that we were getting recognition for.”


-photo courtesy of Jason E. Kaplan

33 haiku

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

I buy retail late
Sit at a table and write
No one throws me out

You may have heard that Jake Hafner has sold his (and my and possibly your) little corner of heaven in Lafayette Square, 33. I’m clearly not writing to break this news but to say a hearty thanks to Jake for all the good times I’ve had and to bestow an open-armed welcome to new owner Jeff Stettner.

Mr. Stettner, I’m sure many regulars have relayed this sentiment already, as they tend to be an outspoken bunch, but for any who haven’t, please allow me: For the love of God, don’t change anything! OK, not anything, doubling the space and filling it with more seats and wine will be nice. Oh, and put a Web site back up, too.

So I talked with Mr. Stettner and am confident that 33 will remain the place to take out-of-town guests if you want to hear them say, “Wow! I wish we had a wine bar like this in [insert big, pretentious city here].”

Mr. Stettner, I’m not afraid to say that I will cry if I am no longer mentioned in the elaborate wine descriptions on the menu, but I won’t love 33 any less.

Dennis Lowery
Photo by Jonathan S. Pollack

The Scoop: Passing the torch

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

We’ve heard the whispers for months now, but 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar owner Jake Hafner confirmed the news today that he is selling the Lafayette Square spot. New owner Jeff Stettner is in the process of obtaining a liqour license and will take the reins once that process is complete. While Hafner says that much of 33’s relaxed vibe will stay the same, he also notes that Stettner has a few changes planned, including an expansion that will provide room for a small retail shop.

In an e-mail announcing the news, Hafner thanked the shop’s customers: “I sincerely thank you for letting me serve you at 33, for making it part of your life. For showing up when you desired a drink and when you were celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, solemn when you remembered friends passing and all those places in between. For letting me provide a place to share your life.”

The ownership transition is expected to occur with little fanfare, and Hafner’s fans will have the chance to say farewell: He will remain behind the bar for some time to help the new ownership learn the ropes.

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