How One St. Louis Brewery Supports The City’s Tech Scene

Kevin Lemp, president of 4 Hands Brewery Company in St. Louis’ LaSalle Park, just upped the ante with an extension of the craft brewery’s ultra-popular flagship brew, City Wide. This month, 4 Hands is set to release a new take on the City Wide brand with the City Wide Pils, a refreshing, American-made pilsner brewed in St. Louis, for St. Louis. “It’s kind of the Yin to the Yang in the City Wide family,” Lemp says.

Like its predecessor, City Wide Pils is also on a philanthropic mission. “City Wide has always aimed to be more than just a beer. We really want it to become a pillar of the city.” In the spirit of enabling creativity, 4 Hands is teaming up with local startup incubators like Nebula, Tech Artista and Cortex. Each quarter, 4 Hands will donate a $5,000 scholarship to one of the incubators, which they can in turn award to a resident creator within their facility. “Entrepreneurs certainly do their part in making St. Louis a better place through innovation and creating jobs,” Lemp notes. Also, that kind of money can go a long way if you’re a startup trying to get your ideas off the ground. “For example, you can get your operating agreements created with $5,000, and have some money leftover. Ultimately, we want to try and help foster creativity within the city.”

Working to help burgeoning startup communities in St. Louis was an easy decision for 4 Hands, a startup brewery itself. Today, Lemp sees the culture of startups in St. Louis and co-working spaces, like the Cortex District, as the future of the city. “We have so much respect for what they’re doing at Cortex, and their future is unknown. Who knows how great it’s going to be?” he poses.

With the original City Wide surpassing all expectations, Lemp is even more excited to see what St. Louis will think of the new Pils in town, which he predicts will have an even bigger impact than the City Wide Pale Ale. “We have a very hoppy portfolio, and that’s what our customers like about us. It also gives us an opportunity to tap into different demographics that we’ve never really tapped into before.” And if you’re looking at numbers based on sole consumption, beer-lovers tend to drink a lot of light, sessionable beers. With the new City Wide Pils, Lemp is curious to see what the numbers will look like.

So, if you need help justifying that afternoon summer brew, bear in mind that the more City Wide you drink, the more entrepreneurs you’re enabling. However, with a bold and delicious flavor profile, we don’t think that’ll be a challenge. Made with American pilsner malt and American Citra hops, Lemp notes the flavor has a floral, fruity aroma, with a slightly bitter kick at the end. “St. Louis is an awesome city, and it has so much potential,” he says. “That individual—that entrepreneur who is thinking outside the box in order to create great things—makes our city what it is today.”

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