5 Questions With Modern Brewery Owner Beamer Eisele
Following the opening of the brewery’s doors at 5231 Manchester Ave., we talked to President and CEO Philip “Beamer” Eisele about his background in brew, the craft beer scene in St. Louis and Modern Brewery’s plans in the city.
ALIVE: Tell us a little about your background in brewing.
Beamer Eisele: I’m from St. Louis, and I graduated from Lindbergh High School with Ronnie Fink, our VP of Brewing Operations. Then, I went on to Harvard, where I created my own brewing curriculum, with classes like Brewing Science and Science of Beer and Food Pairing. I also interned at Boston’s Harpoon Brewery, came back home and worked at Schlafly and then attended a Master Brewers Program at UC-Davis along with Ronnie.
ALIVE: What does the timeline look like for Modern Brewery’s development in St. Louis?
BE: Our beers should be in restaurants and bars soon. We hope to be around the area in the next few weeks. As of right now, our building is solely the brewery. We rented more space in a property right next door that we can eventually put a tasting room in, but that’s not super high on our priority list. We just want to get open and start selling, then we’ll upgrade the property. We hope to put in a small tasting room where people can try our beers. It’s not by any means going to be a restaurant or bar, just a small tasting room.
ALIVE: You have experience in brewing in many different parts of the country. What made you want to open the brewery here in St. Louis?
BE: My family is all here. The person I wanted to start the brewery with, Ronnie, is from here as well. We have a lot of friends and family here. The market was appropriate, and it’s cheaper to make beer here than almost anywhere else in the country.
ALIVE: How does Modern Brewery fit into the craft beer scene in St. Louis?
BE: When I was doing some research as to looking for investors, one of the most appropriate accounts that I had was in Colorado. At the time I looked, Colorado had seven or eight breweries in the top 10 in terms of output production in craft breweries, and St. Louis just had one. I just figured that number would rise and start to compare a little bit more to Colorado over time. We’re a beer drinking city, and even state, just like Colorado, but for some reason they had a bunch more craft breweries, so I figured we had some room for growth in terms of breweries in St. Louis.
ALIVE: What do you think sets Modern Brewery apart from the other craft breweries in town?
BE: I think what really sets Modern Brewery apart from the others in town is that we have a very small company. There’s only two people who run the brewery—myself and Ronnie. We are afforded complete control over what styles of beer we want to make, and complete control on how we want to make these beers. This allows us to pour all of our efforts into making the best beers possible. We focus our efforts in two “genres” of beer: Belgian Styles and American Craft Styles. Within these genres, we may choose to make a beer that is true to style in the traditional sense, or, we may opt to take what we like from two or more styles and sort of “blend them together”—this happens more often than not. We like to call this second option a “beer fusion.”