Mothership, Inside Earthbound Beer, Offers Out-of-This-World Bar Food

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MOTHERSHIP'S ELEVATED BAR MENU | SARA GRAHAM
  • Mothership's elevated bar menu | Sara Graham

In September, after three years in a small Cherokee Street storefront and months of serious renovations, Earthbound Beer (2724 Cherokee Street) moved just down the block to the former Cherokee Brewing Company stock house.

The reincarnation also includes a new food concept, which debuted on December 1. Mothership has been named in keeping with the brewery’s moniker, which pays homage to the classic Nintendo game.

Partners Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons had planned on managing the food service themselves, but a partnership with acclaimed chef Chris Bork of nearby Vista Ramen was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. Josh Adams, formerly of Old Bakery Beer and Vista Ramen, helms the kitchen in collaboration with Bork.

Bork’s first step was to purchase a smoker and craft an elevated bar food menu around smoked chicken, kielbasa, turkey and pork. The small, counter-service menu is designed to pair well with Earthbound Beer’s unique flavor profiles.

SMOKED CHICKEN CHILI | SARA GRAHAM
  • Smoked chicken chili | Sara Graham

In fact, some of the menu items incorporate beer as an ingredient, such as the smoked chicken chili currently made with the New World Stout, along with chickpeas, black beans and pickled daikon and topped with cottage cheese.

SMOKED PULLED PORK PLATE | SARA GRAHAM
  • Smoked pulled pork plate | Sara Graham

A quintessential barbecue joint offering, the smoked pulled pork plate is served with thick Texas toast and any two sides: 12-hour cooked baked beans, a Korean-style potato salad with peas and Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise or a tangy, Asian-style slaw.

SMOKED KIELBASA SANDWICH | SARA GRAHAM
  • Smoked kielbasa sandwich | Sara Graham

A house-made smoked kielbasa sandwich is made with half beef and half pork, and topped with crushed pork rinds, yellow mustard and green onions.

SMOKED TURKEY PITA SANDWICH | SARA GRAHAM
  • Smoked turkey pita sandwich | Sara Graham

A smoked turkey pita sandwich features turkey that has been brined overnight in honey and lemon. It’s topped with yogurt, pickled red onions, cucumbers marinated in fish sauce and ground sumac.

VEGGIE BURGER | SARA GRAHAM
  • Veggie burger | Sara Graham

Schranz, a vegetarian, was the inspiration for Bork’s flavor-packed crimini mushroom-based veggie burger, which incorporates miso, eggs, carrots, Ritz crackers, panko, oats, pickled garlic, the Korean chile paste gochujang and fermented black beans, all topped with fontina cheese and Kewpie mayonnaise.

CORNBREAD | SARA GRAHAM
  • Cornbread | Sara Graham

A small meal unto itself, a perfectly grilled cornbread is served with gochujang butter. The bread's secret ingredient? Corn blended with milk.

According to Bork, the menu will change periodically, but will always include smoked meats, cornbread and a chili or soup.

A rotating beer menu offers fifteen beers on tap, including two guest taps. Known for its small-batch, creative lineup, Earthbound Beer offers experimental brews, such as a fragrant pale ale that uses rosemary and juniper instead of hops; the bitter Mahlab ESB, made from the pits of Syrian cherries; and a hopless witbier called Krampus Gruit, made with elderberries and peppermint. A small wine list is also available.

SUSPENDED MEZZANINE | SARA GRAHAM
  • Suspended mezzanine | Sara Graham

Dine and imbibe under 18-foot-tall barrel ceilings under or on a suspended mezzanine. The striking space was designed by architect and general contractor Nathan Dirnberger.

The building was constructed sometime before 1875 and is believed to be the oldest brewery building in St. Louis, complete with vaulted basement lagering cellars. While they're closed to the public, some are newly cleared out have been put into commission once again.

Still to come in the next year? A beer garden with a fire pit, a DJ night and special events and catering.

Mothership is open Tuesday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Scroll down for a few more photos.

SUSPENDED STAIRCASE | SARA GRAHAM
  • Suspended staircase | Sara Graham

BEER AT EARTHBOUND BEER | SARA GRAHAM
  • Beer at Earthbound Beer | Sara Graham
EARTHBOUND BEER | SARA GRAHAM
  • Earthbound Beer | Sara Graham

Follow Sara Graham on Instagram and Twitter at @engagetaste. E-mail the author at sara@engagetaste.com.