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Feb 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Russ John’

First Look: Brick River Cider in downtown St. Louis

Friday, February 9th, 2018

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Brick River Cider Co., the first cider works in the St. Louis area, is set to open on Friday, Feb. 16, at 2000 Washington Ave. downtown.

As The Scoop reported in April, owner Russ John renovated a former firehouse downtown to launch the cidery. The facility currently produces four ciders in its six 60-barrel fermenters: Cornerstone, Firehouse Rosé, Homestead and Brewer’s Choice. Ciders are available onsite, and head cider maker Evan Hiatt said that the company will soon be self-distributing to select local retailers.

Brick River also has a full compliment of food to pair with its cider. The cuisine is a collaboration between executive chef Carlos Hernandez and consulting chef Christopher Lee. Described as “classic country cooking from England and France,” the menu features sharable plates and flatbreads, salads and soups, sandwiches and entrees like house trout and pork Normandy.

In addition to cider, the bar pours a trio of cocktails made with Brick River offerings: the Irish Winter Cider made with Cornerstone cider, Jameson Irish whisky and lemon; the Firehouse Martini with Firehouse Rosé cider, Big O ginger liqueur and Absolut vodka; and the White Cider Sangria with Cornerstone, pinot grigio, brandy and fruit.

The building dates back to 1892 and still retains many of the interior appointments from years past, including a functional overhead door on the first floor and some of the original wall tiles. The first floor seats 50 with a few flat-screens above the bar and in the dining room are available for those who want to keep track of the score. The second floor dining room, originally the firemen’s bunk area, now seats almost 120 and features a soaring ceiling and large windows overlooking Washington Avenue.

Brick River Cider Co. will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here’s a first look at St. Louis’ first cider works:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Brick River Cider, St. Louis’ first cidery, to open downtown

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

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St. Louis has seen an explosion of craft breweries in recent years, and soon it will welcome its first dedicated cidery.

Owner Russ John is in the process of opening Brick River Cider Co. downtown at 2000 Washington Ave., in a former firehouse. The name of the company is a nod to St. Louis’ position as a leading national supplier of bricks in years past. John said he hopes to have construction and permitting completed in August, then start production and have cider ready to drink just in time for bonfire season.

“My heart is hoping to make Halloween weekend, but I’m optimistic, probably, to hope it’ll be that soon,” he said. “It’s probably realistically sometime in November.”

John has a background as cider homebrewer. His family has owned apple orchards in the area since the late 1860s and has made cider on a small scale almost as long.

“The family legend is that the two bottles of cider I have on my desk were made by my grandfather during Prohibition,” John said.

John is currently putting together a group of a half-dozen different suppliers within a day’s drive of the cidery in an effort to support local agriculture. He plans to work exclusively with fresh-pressed Midwest apple juice.

The Brick City space will not only house a production facility, but it will also boast a tasting room. The space will have a 30-to 40-seat bar area on the first floor, along with the cider production facility, and a larger dining room on the second floor with a full kitchen.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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