by Nancy Stiles
It seems like craft breweries are popping up in St. Louis these days just as fast as food trucks. The latest is the Modern Brewery, which is looking to hit the market in the next few weeks. We talked to co-owner Beamer Eisele about what makes the Modern Brewery different and his days brewing in the basements of the Harvard dorms.
The space at 5231 Manchester Avenue will just be a production facility for now, though there's room next door to eventually open a tasting room. Eisele says that's not too high on their priority list at this point, though. He and parnter Ronnie Fink will be doing keg sales from the outset to local bars. The first two beers will be a Belgian saison and an American pale ale called Modern Pale Ale.
"What we're trying to go for with our beer is an approachable, interesting product. We're a very tiny, tiny company -- there's two of us that basically run the whole operation, and the guy that's basically running our production right now is a top-notch brewer with a lot of very cool, creative ideas," Eisele says. "We just don't compromise when it comes to making the best beer so we don't disappoint our people who come out and try our stuff."
Eisele got his start interning for Harpoon Brewery in Boston while a student at Harvard. It was too late to switch his major from government to chemistry, but he was able to work with the head of the department and craft an independent-study program around brewing beer.
He brewed in the small kitchens of the Harvard dorms, admittedly stinking up the place. After graduation, he worked for Harpoon full time in sales until returning to St. Louis, where he interned for Dan Kopman at Schlafly. As if he didn't already have enough brewing cred, he and Fink did the Master Brewers program at the University of California-Davis.
"We aren't your typical 'hop bomb' brewery -- we aim to make products that we think our consumers will love to drink time and time again," Eisele says. "Our unofficial mantra at the brewery comes from Leonardo Da Vinci, which says: 'Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.' Which we read as, 'Don't overthink the beer, and let the ingredients speak for themselves, because too much is just too much.'"
Eisele didn't have a final list when we spoke with him, but look for the Modern Brewery on a tap near you in the next few weeks. Follow the brewery on Facebook for updates.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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