from left, owners archie and ashley harmon photo by adam rothbarth

First Look: Chillax Tap & Co. in Wentzville

“Passion project” is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but it doesn’t always stick. In the case of Ashley and Archie Harmon, it does. A lifelong beer lover and brewer, Archie decided earlier this year to leave his career as a speech pathologist – he has a PhD in the field – to open up his own beer shop, Chillax Tap & Co.; his wife, Ashley, an elementary school teacher by day, helps out on nights and weekends. “It’s definitely a family-run business,” she said.

Converting an old Pizza Hut building at 714 W. Pearce Blvd. in Wentzville into a modern-industrial bar and bottle shop, the Harmons basically redid everything, from replacing the windows and the ceiling to adding a fully functional garage door that opens to the patio. 

The bar has about 30 rotating taps that are updated frequently, sometimes daily. “There’s always something new and different to try,” Archie said. His philosophy there revolves around keeping the offerings fresh and up-to-date, moving with the beer market and rarely keeping anything on long enough to get boring. 

Bottles run in a similar current – with everything from Pilsners, ciders and IPAs to stouts, shandies and lagers, Ashley said they aim to cater to everyone. Their list is well-researched and balances local breweries like Rockwell Beer Co. and Perennial Artisan Ales with domestic heavy (craft) hitters like Prairie Artisan Ale, Stillwater Artisanal, Crooked Stave and Off Color Brewing

Though Chillax doesn’t have a kitchen, they do allow outside food indoors and on the patio; Archie said popular local favorites enjoyed at Chillax include Blue Anchor Bistro, Alfano’s Pizza and Duke’s BBQ Shack. They’ve also hosted vendors like Super Smokers BBQ

Learn more about Chillax Tap & Co. in the slideshow below.