COURTESY OF TWISTED ROOTS BREWING COMPANY
Twisted Roots Brewing Company plans to stick to tradition. The brewery, which hopes to open next month at 3690 Forest Park Avenue, will be the fourth to take up residence in the small brick building in Midtown, following Falstaff Beer, Six Row Brewing Company and Pappo’s Pizzeria. Co-owners Kris Wangelin and Adam Patterson wanted to respect the place's history, but also knew they needed a twist.
That, they say, will mean focusing on the bar first and the brewing part second. “We want people to feel like they’re at their corner bar,” says Wangelin. "We’re a bar first, not a brew club first."
Even so, Wangelin and Patterson hope to offer an “open-door policy” for any brewing professionals who want to have another creative outlet. They're also thinking about opening a "beer school" to teach newcomers the basics.
And although they're “brewers by trade,” according to Wangelin, they will offer classic bar food with a twist, as well as vegetarian options. They say they aren't looking to get into distribution, but rather they want to focus on brewing and the environment they’re bringing to the area.
Both partners are from the Belleville area and both have experience locally in the industry. Wangelin has been an intern at 4 Hands and served as head brewmaster at Peel Wood-Fired Pizza. Patterson has been the head brewmaster at 4204 Main Street Brewing Company in Belleville.
The growing St. Louis beer market now features several dozen craft breweries. Competition can be tough, as a short history of the space proves. The well-loved Six Row Brewing Company shut down its operation on site after six years of business. Pappo’s Pizzeria, a product of Springfield, Missouri, moved in on site in January 2016, hiring the head brewmaster from Six Row Brewing Company to help them launch their new products. However, even after garnering five-star reviews, the restaurant closed after nearly a year and a half of business.
But Wangelin feels confident Twisted Roots can succeed where the others have failed, citing timing and the changing nature of its neighborhood.
The Midtown neighborhood is set to undergo a transformation with plans to build the City Foundry, a public market place housing everything from retail options to the city’s first food hall. And it’s not just Midtown that’s transforming. The Grove, for example, has also seen a rejuvenation with numerous restaurants and breweries opening, including Urban Chestnut, which moved into the neighborhood in 2014.
Wangelin hopes that the evolving neighborhood and the friendly, familiar atmosphere they have planned for Twisted Roots spell out a different and promising future. To honor the building’s roots, Wangelin says they plan to feature Falstaff paraphernalia but largely, the brewery will have a new theme to mark its new beginnings. Most importantly, Wangelin says, its goal is simply for people to come in and enjoy themselves.
For more about Twisted Roots Brewing Company, see its Facebook page
Editor's note: We changed one sentence after publication to better reflect the brewery's interest in collaborating with other brewers. We regret any confusion caused by the initial wording.