rockwell beer co. opens this week in the grove photo by michelle volansky

First Look: Rockwell Beer Co. in The Grove

A project more than two years in the making, Rockwell Beer Co. will officially open at 1320 Vandeventer Ave. on Thursday, Nov. 29.

Founder Andy Hille and crew have spent the two years transforming a former machine shop into a brewery and 90-seat tasting room. The brewhouse features a 15-barrel system and three Missouri oak foeders for future aging projects.

Head brewer Jonathan Moxey, who worked with Hille at Perennial Artisan Ales, is finishing the first batches of Rockwell beer, which they hope to have on draft this weekend or early next week. Debut beers include Simple Needs, a hoppy blonde ale, Byrd Up!, a dry-hopped rye pale ale brewed in collaboration with Byrd & Barrel owner Bob Brazell, and Velour Tracksuit, an East Coast-West Coast hybrid IPA brewed with Ekuanot, Mandarina Bavaria and Simcoe hops.

In the meantime, Rockwell opens with guest taps from 4 Hands Brewing Co., Civil Life Brewing Co. and Oskar Blues Brewing. Customers can also order simple cocktails from the full bar, like a Beermosa or a Manhattan, or sip one of six wines. Nonalcoholic options include Kaldi’s nitro cold brew, Confluence Kombucha, WellBeing Brewing Co. Heavenly Body Wheat and Topo Chico mineral waters.

Hille partnered with James Beard award winner Gerard Craft to develop Rockwell’s food menu, inspired by the Cinq à Sept happy hour at Craft’s Brasserie by Niche in the Central West End. Brasswell chef Joe Landis prepares single or double-patty burgers, a classic beer brat and thin-cut crispy fries. Vegetarians can try a house-made veggie burger or an off-menu grilled cheese. Brasserie also lends Brasswell its brunch beignet recipe for a sweet finish, and Landis said the kitchen will soon churn rotating soft-serve flavors.

Rockwell will be open Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a first look at St. Louis’ newest brewery.

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.