Urban Chestnut To Bring Its German-Born Bier To The US

By Matt Sorrell
In Food

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For years, the craft brewing scene in St. Louis was a small one, relegated to the fringes and existing in the shadow of large corporate brewers. But several years ago, this began to change as a host of talented brewers began setting up shop all across the area, turning out a cornucopia of brews spanning all styles and even coming up with some new ones along the way.

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One of the vanguards of this movement has been Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, which opened its doors in 2011. From day one, the brewery was a creative powerhouse, crafting unique custom brews for its Revolution series, honoring the classic styles with its Reverence line and hosting patrons at its Midtown Brewery and Biergarten. With business booming, UCBC expanded its operations in a most innovative way in 2013 when it took over a deserted warehouse space in The Grove and completely transformed it from an awkward white elephant to a stunning cornerstone of the neighborhood, The Grove Brewery & Bierhall. This expansive space houses a German-style bierhall and also expanded brewing facilities.

Now, the company has pushed the boundaries yet again and brought its unique vision to the Old World. Early last year, the company acquired a small brewery in Bavaria, homeland of co-founder Florian Kuplent.

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Now known as Urban Chestnut Hallertauer Brauerei, the brewery produces three main brews: Zwickel, a version of the company’s flagship Bavarian lager; Zuagroast, a pale ale brewed with Bavarian hops and malt; and Hopfenperle, a new hop-forward Helles lager. These German-brewed beers comprise a new, third UCBC series: Hallertauer Serie, utilizing, as Kuplent says “high-quality, terroir-specific ingredients from Bavaria to honor the bier tradition of Hallertau” while also incorporating “some modern American brewing ideals.”

Beer-lovers in Germany have been able to access small amounts of the St. Louis-brewed UCBC beer series since 2013. And now a German bier will be available to beer aficionados in the US. Hopfenperle, first brewed at Hallertauer Brauerei in June of 2015 and sold throughout Germany and some areas in Europe, will soon debut on these shores.

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The beer is brewed according to the German purity law of Reinheitsgebot and showcases hops from the Hallertau region of Germany, where the brewery is located. The St. Louisans who attended Urban Chestnut’s 5th Anniversary Festival, Wolpertinger 2016, were given a taste at The Grove bierhall this year, but if you’re looking to give the beer a deeper dive, you’re in luck. Americans can try it on draught and in 4-packs when UCBC begins distributing it in St. Louis, Boston, New York and Chicago later this spring.

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