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Posts Tagged ‘Stuart Keating’

First Look: Earthbound Beer on Cherokee Street

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

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At long last, Earthbound Beer’s new home is ready to welcome customers. The brewery and tasting room at 2724 Cherokee St., opens Saturday, Sept. 23.

The massive 2,500-square foot tasting room has been a project two years in the making. As The Scoop reported in September 2015, co-owners and brewers Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons announced they were moving from their flagship location down the street at 2710 Cherokee St. The space was less than 1,000 square feet and only allowed the brewers to make one beer at a time.

Eight old Earthbounds could fit into the new space that once housed part of Cherokee Street Brewing in the late 1800s. The tasting room seats around 80 on the first level and mezzanine, a feature designed by architecture and general contractor Nathan Dirnberger. The mezzanine appears to float above the tasting room thanks to railings made of tension wire and heavy-duty chains suspended from the 17-foot barrel ceilings.

Read more: Go underground at Earthbound Beer during construction

Behind the bar, 16 taps will pour Earthbound brews and a few guest taps, with another two nitro taps available. A small selection of spirits will be available (still no mixers or ice, the owners noted) with the potential for batch cocktails in the future. Earthbound patrons can now enjoy wine, too, with two reds, two whites and a rosé available by the glass.

Below the tasting room, a 7-barrel system will increase Earthbound’s production tenfold. The space also houses a canning line that will crank out 16-ounce four-packs of staple brews. Caves underneath neighbor 2720 Cherokee St. will allow for a barrel-aging program in the future.

As The Scoop reported in August, Vista Ramen chef-owner Chris Bork will helm the food program at Earthbound. The menu will feature smoked meats, sausages and sandwiches, though food won’t be available until November at the earliest.

Earthbound’s new location means new hours, too. It will be open Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at Earthbound Beer’s new home.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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Vista Ramen will helm kitchen at new Earthbound location

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

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{ Vista Ramen chef-owner Chris Bork (center) } 

Earthbound Beer will partner with fellow Cherokee Street denizen Vista Ramen to run the kitchen for its new tasting room at 2724 Cherokee St. Instead of Vista’s namesake noodles, Vista Ramen chef-owner Chris Bork said bill of fare will feature smoked meats, sausages and sandwiches.

As The Scoop reported in September 2015, the folks at Earthbound Beer have slowly but surely been working to get their new location up and running. After several delays, Earthbound co-owner Stuart Keating said things look good for a September opening.

Now that the end is in sight, Keating and his partners’ thoughts turned toward food service for the new place. Rather than helm the kitchen themselves, they followed in the footsteps of other area tasting rooms like 4 Hands Brewing Co. and 2nd Shift Brewing, which have enlisted local favorites Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. and Guerrilla Street Food, respectively, to handle their food programs.

 

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{ the interior of the new Earthbound Beer location in May 2016 } 

 

“We obviously can’t do our food down there,” Bork said. “It’s too close — it’s less than a city block away. But the opportunity to work on a new project, and the opportunity to work with Earthbound, was attractive. Earthbound is a brewery that’s really trying to do some different things, which I definitely appreciate. And that’s what we’ll be trying to do with the food.”

Bork said Vista would serve as a commissary of sorts for the project initially, though some items will be prepared at Earthbound.

“I’m not trying to get into the barbecue business, but we will have a smoker (at Earthbound) and a lot of the food will see time in the smoker or be based out of it,” Bork said. He plans on doing a rotating selection of smoked meats, along with sausages and a selection of sandwiches.

“We’re thinking of trying out a mostly beef kielbasa and probably a straightforward bratwurst,” Bork said. “Also probably one rotating barbecue plate, depending on what’s available, a couple of small plates, one of which might be a smoked fish dip.”

Orders will be placed at the bar, and patrons will be given a buzzer that will notify them when the order is ready. To avoid confusion, Bork said the Earthbound project may get a new name to differentiate it from Vista Ramen. He said food service would start sometime after the brewery’s grand opening.

Bork photo by Carmen Troesser; Earthbound photo by Catherine Klene

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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Extra Sauce: Underground at Earthbound

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Extra Sauce: Underground at Earthbound

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

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{Earthbound Beer co-owner and brewer Stuart Keating} 

One hundred and fifty years after beer fermented at a stockhouse at 2724 Cherokee St., Earthbound Beer is preparing to brew its singular suds in the same space.

As The Scoop reported in September 2015, Earthbound Beer announced its plans to leave the tiny brewery at 2710 Cherokee St. for a massive new facility that housed Cherokee Street Brewing starting in 1866. Co-owners Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons have been hard at work turning the space (most recently Waberi Grocery, which moved across the street) into a brewery and tasting room worthy of its history. Sauce took a tour in April to check out the progress at the new space.

 

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{The future tasting room at Earthbound Beer’s massive new space on Cherokee}

 

Upon entering, we stood in the cavernous forthcoming tasting room, which was filled with rubble, not brewing equipment at the time. A film of dust covered everything, the result of ripping 30 tons of plaster, flooring and building materials off the walls and ceiling, which now climbed 17 feet high and exposed barrel-vaulted archways.

Amid the debris, Keating described the future 3,200-square-foot space, tracing his fingers over lines drawn and redrawn on blueprints. Here, he explained, is where the long bar will run along the right side of the room. Tables will be scattered throughout, and overhead a yet-to-be constructed mezzanine will overlook the scene below. A small full-service kitchen (TBD on the menu) will be tucked behind the bar.

But the public tasting room was only a part of the story. To get the full picture of the new Earthbound, we had to go underground. An extension ladder stretched its way from a hole in the tasting room floor down another 20 feet to the basement. Keating quickly descended; after months spent plumbing the depths of the new space, he claimed he can scurry up and down the ladder with a beer in one hand.

 

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{The basement at Earthbound Beer’s new location}

 

Bathed in bright florescent light, the basement was roughly the same size as the tasting room, sporting the same towering support columns. A long conveyor belt was camped in the middle of the room, surrounded by piles of gray stone waiting to be zipped up to the first level. This basement will house Earthbound’s fermenters, bottling and packaging line, and office. The new seven-barrel brewing system has the potential for up to 1,500 barrels a year. That’s a far cry from when they first opened, brewing one batch at a time in the tiny shotgun space.

 

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{Unearthing more space in Earthbound Beer’s basement}

 

Off to the right, Keating led the way through a low opening in the wall, revealing what appeared to be an archeological dig, right down to the shovels and wheelbarrows. The Earthbound team spent weeks excavating the room, removing loads of dirt and unearthing rows of low brick archways. The curved lines and cool temperatures lend themselves to perfect barrel-aging conditions – and perhaps a room for chef dinners or private events, Keating said.

Back in the main room of the basement, an eerie green light illuminated the far corner. We climbed down an even steeper ladder, taking care to step on the small footbridge of two-by-fours placed over a shallow puddle. The sub-basement smelled dank and cool, and a soft trickle of water could be heard from the shadows. A cell phone signal couldn’t penetrate this far below the earth.

 

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{The entrance to the sub-basement at Earthbound}

 

Earthbound dug its way back in time to the building’s roots, pumping 80,000 gallons of water from the sub-basement in order to descend to its depths. Keating shone a flashlight on the wet stone walls; the constant flow of water seemed to melt the rocks into one sheet. He believes this was the limestone quarry that was covered over and converted into a brick factory before its life as a brewery. His small flashlight barely illuminated the inky black caverns below. Once the water is finally removed and the stone sealed, Keating said they envision a dance space here, or perhaps a single screen movie theater.

 

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{Earthbound Beer’s current tasting room is less than 1,000 square feet.} 

 

Back above ground and down the street, the current Earthbound space seemed even more cramped than before. While it may hold sentimental value, Keating said he and the Earthbound crew are looking forward to brewing more than one batch at a time – in a space bigger than a bedroom closet. “It seems silly to build something new when you’ve got a great, beautiful, functional space that doesn’t take much to get it up and running,” Keating said. Look for the new Earthbound to open to the public in September.

 

-photos by Catherine Klene, Meera Nagarajan and Michelle Volansky

 

The Scoop: Local breweries take top RateBeer awards

Monday, February 1st, 2016

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{Mahlab ESB at Earthbound Beer}

It was a good weekend for the St. Louis beer scene as several breweries, restaurants and retailers took home RateBeer awards at the website’s annual festival and awards show last weekend, Jan. 30 and 31. The awards are based on user reviews of craft beers from around the world.

Earthbound Beer took home the award for Missouri’s best new brewery. “They sent us and email, and we thought it was a scam,” said co-owner Stuart Keating. The award was legitimate though, and an honor for the expanding brewery. “I’m so proud of everyone at Earthbound,” Keating said. “It’s a group effort and everyone works so hard and to have that effort recognized is supremely awesome.”

Earthbound plans to start keg distribution to 35 St. Louis metro bars and restaurants in February and move to a larger brewery and tasting room on Cherokee Street later this year.

Perennial Artisan Ales took home best beer in Missouri with its barrel-aged Abraxas. “It’s one of the most labor intensive beers,” said Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore. “I think that comes through in the finished product.”

Wymore said he values the democratic process by which winners are chosen and acknowledges the pressure to keep performing at a high level. “It’s a real honor when we win, but the patting ourselves on the back is a short process,” he said. “We need to meet a level of expectation.”

Side Project Brewing also took top honor as best brewer in the state and rated the eighth best brewery in the world. “It was crazy, absolutely crazy and an incredible honor for how tiny we are,” said co-owner Karen King. “It’s motivating us to make the best beer we can.” The Side Project Cellar was also honored as the top Missouri brewer tap room. “I’m very excited about that,” said King. “We have a great team there.”

Other area restaurants and retailers took top spots, including Schlafly Tap Room, which won Missouri’s best brewpub. Baileys’ Range was awarded Missouri’s best restaurant beer retailer, while Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar won Missouri’s best bar beer retailer. Clayton’s Wine and Cheese Place was rated Missouri’s best bottle shop.

 

The Scoop: Earthbound Beer to expand to new brewery on Cherokee

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

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{From left, co-owners Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons}

St. Louis’ smallest brewery is about to hit a growth spurt. Earthbound Beer owners Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons announced today, Sept. 15, that the nanobrewery and tasting room located at 2710 Cherokee St., will move operations down the block to a larger space at 2724 Cherokee St. Keating said they expect to take possession of the space Nov. 1, and anticipate opening doors to the brewery’s tasting room in June 2016.

Keating, Schranz and Siddons founded Earthbound Beer last November in a shotgun-style space that holds less than 1,000 square feet for both the brewery and tasting room. Earthbound’s future home, currently occupied by Waberi Grocery (slated to move across the street), will include a 3,200-square-foot tasting room to seat 260 thirsty patrons, a 1,700-square-foot Biergarten and a full-service kitchen dishing up a menu of hot dogs.

With a basement, sub-basement and ample ground floor space, Earthbound Beer will expand its brewing capacity to a seven-barrel system, initially producing 150 barrels annually with the potential for up to 1,500 barrels annually. The expansion will enable Earthbound to distribute its brews to St. Louis-area bars, once the brewhouse is completed in early 2016. Keating and his business partners also plan to adding a canning line in the future. “The plan is to get the brewhouse open before anything else,” he said. “It’ll take us a year to get (the tasting room) open.”

This is not the first time that the building at 2724 Cherokee St., has seen brewing equipment within its walls; it once served as the stockhouse for Cherokee Street Brewing Co. Keating said the building’s history and existing design appealed to him and his partners, who intend to give the facility the look and feel of its 19th-century roots. “The building was designed to be a brewery,” he said. “It’s got a lot of what we’re looking for already in it.”

-photo by Michelle Volansky 

Sneak Peek: Earthbound Brewing

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Cherokee Street’s Earthbound Brewing will soon lay claim to the title “St. Louis’ Shortest Brewery Tour.” At less than 1,000 square feet, it takes a person less than 30 seconds to walk from the front to the back of the shotgun-style space. Located at 2710 Cherokee St., Earthbound is smaller than most tasting rooms, but co-owners Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons have big ideas for their new brewery, which opens doors tomorrow, Nov. 22.

As The Scoop first reported in July, the Earthbound Brewing team is turning their homebrew habit into a full-fledged business. Beer recipes saluting both classic styles and unique ingredients are in the works; Keating said some of the first Earthbound beers he hopes to offer include a pale ale brewed with rosemary and juniper as well as a pecan-chicory stout. Batches will be small and frequently rotated since space to actually brew is limited.

About 30 people can imbibe at the bar or at tables and stools that Keating, Schranz and Siddons crafted with salvaged local wood. The trio also decorated the narrow walls with antique farm implements and maps framed inside refurbished window frames.

Behind the bar, eight taps will eventually pour a selection of Earthbound brews and those by local favorites like Augusta Brewing, The Civil Life, Ferguson Brewing and more. Patrons can also order that most hipster of canned beers, Stag, or choose from a selection of spirits. There’s no food service at Earthbound, but customers are encouraged to pick up fare to-go from a Cherokee Street eatery and dig in over a pint.

Earthbound will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to midnight.

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

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