Alpha Brewing on the Move, Collaborating with Plantain Girl
St. Louis, MO/December 2, 2017 (STL.News) – Big changes are in the works for a downtown St. Louis-based craft brewer. Alpha Brewing Company is closing its downtown brewery at the end of this month (December 2017) ahead of their move to Tower Grove South. The new Alpha Brewing Company tap room and beer garden will open at 4310 Fyler Avenue in mid-February. The move represents more than a change of scenery. It also means the brewery will be able to grow and expand in more ways than one.
Alpha Brewing Company opened at 1409 Washington Avenue in 2013. The space was limited, but adequate for their 2.5-barrel system to produce about 200 barrels of beer each year. At the new site, Alpha is investing about $2 million on a second 10,000-square foot adjacent building for their new 15-barrel brew house. That extra space will mean extra capacity. Alpha Brewing owner and head brewer Derrick Langeneckert has said he hopes to make about 1,000 barrels of beer over the first year in the new facility. Eventually, production could go as high as 3,000 barrels a year.
All that extra beer making will create a need for extra staff. So, Langeneckert is hoping to expand his current staff of three to at least 10 once the new site is up and running. Expanding capacity and staff is only one of the current brewery trends in St. Louis that Alpha is part of. Another is collaborating with a local chef or restaurateur to provide food service inside the brewery’s tasting room. Alpha is on board with this trend too, tapping Plantain Girl Latin Catering and Events owner Mandy Estrella to create a whole new food service inside the brewery. After living in Florida, Estrella, a St. Louis native, returned home where she’s been doing pop-up dinners and catering with a Latin flavor for the past two years. Estrella will operate a permanent kitchen at Alpha’s brewery. Dubbed Alpha-Teria, the new eatery will feature Estrella’s signature Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican cuisine.
Langeneckert has said he was looking for food that would complement Alpha’s more aggressively flavored beers. Langeneckert discovered Estrella’s spicy dishes at a pop up dinner she had at Six Mile Bridge Beer in Maryland Heights. Estrella says she wasn’t quite ready to open her own restaurant yet, but the chance to open the kitchen inside Alpha presented her with a great opportunity. She’ll run Alpha-Teria at the brewery, and continue to cater under the Plantain Girl name too. So mid-February is looking like a very tasty time in the Tower Grove South neighborhood.