Courtesy The Factory
The Factory STL will hold its inaugural beer festival on Saturday, July 30.
Finally, there’s a solution for people who want to try beer from across the U.S. without spending too much time in the car.
The Factory STL (17105 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield; 314-423-8500, thefactorystl.com)
will kick off its inaugural beer festival Brewski Kicks on Route 66 on Saturday, July 30. The event will feature over 30 beers from 16 breweries, bringing beer from every stop along historic U.S. Route 66.
Though most St. Louisians know The Factory as an indoor concert venue, Assistant General Manager Dan Wessel says the team behind Brewski Kicks aims to expand its reputation beyond music.
“St. Louis, and beer drinking and music are kind of synonymous,” says Wessel, a self-proclaimed beer fan. “We're trying to get people out here, and I think one of the things [we can do] aside from music is offer a bunch of cool beers.”
The Factory will provide attendees with a map to keep track of their beer-themed “road trip,” which includes breweries from Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and California. Drinkers can opt for a Half-Road Trip or Full-Road Trip depending on the number of beers and breweries they wish to sample. Other themed features include “Oil Change” stations for attendees to dump and rinse their glasses, “Pit Stops” for hydration and snacks and a vintage-car show perfect for photographs. St. Louis DJ Ahmad the Prophet will spin “classic road trip tunes” for the first half of the event, followed by a set from St. Louis’ Bobby Ford Band.
Courtesy The Factory
The event will feature over 30 beers from 16 breweries, bringing beer from every stop along historic U.S. Route 66.
“There’s not a lot of beer festivals that have a theme — it’s just beer — but if you’ve been to the factory, it’s kind of natural,” Wessel says. “We have signs everywhere: road signs, stop signs, yield signs, guitars that have stop signs on them — all kinds of weird stuff.”
For decades, U.S. Route 66, often referred to as the “Mother Road,” was the nexus of American road-tripping culture. Erected in 1926, the highway once stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles, ushering in a new era of transcontinental travel and breathing life into the towns and cities through which it ran. Now defunct, the historic route still holds a special place in many Americans’ — and many St. Louisian’s — hearts.
At its core, the festival is a love letter to St. Louis, the largest city between Chicago and Los Angeles along the historic route. Even its name, Brewski Kicks on Route 66, alludes to the 1946 rhythm and blues song “Get Your Kicks On Route 66,” which St. Louis icon Chuck Berry famously covered.
“Living outside St. Louis for almost a third of my life, I always knew that St. Louis had this almost unusual pride to it,” Wessel says. “There's a myriad of different offerings in St. Louis and Missouri as a whole, and seeing that it's a Route 66 theme, we're leaning heavy on Missouri,” Wessel says.
Missouri offerings include beverages from 4 Hands Brewing Company, Brick River Cider and Urban Chestnut. When selecting breweries outside of Missouri, the organizers searched for the most unique offerings they could find, frequently turning to local craft breweries.
“We're constantly sitting down and [asking] how can we move the creative needle and get new, smaller breweries in here,” Wessel says.
Those specialty brews will include an Imperial double-milk stout by Heavy Riff Brewing Company and a bourbon county stout from Goose Island.
Brewski Kicks on Route 66 will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Wessel anticipates the event will be a blast for “beer drinkers and music lovers” alike.
“It’s essentially gonna be a mid-day party for everybody to come out and taste a bunch of great beers, listen to good music and have a great time,” Wessel says. “It’s going to be fun.”
Check out Brewski Kicks on Route 66 at The Factory STL at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 30.