Trailhead Brewing Co. Sold to Schlafly Beer, Brewpub to Reopen as Schlafly Bankside

Trailhead Brewing Co. Sold to Schlafly Beer, Brewpub to Reopen as Schlafly Bankside
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Changes are afoot in the local craft beer scene.

Schlafly Beer announced today that it has purchased Trailhead Brewing Co.'s brewery and operations at 921 South Riverside Drive in St. Charles, Missouri. The purchase marks the third brewpub for Schlafly, which currently owns Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-241-2337) and Schlafly Tap Room downtown (2100 Locust Street, 314-241-2337). The brewery will be rebranded as Schlafly Bankside.

Trailhead owner Bob Kirkwood opened the St. Charles institution more than two decades ago. As he prepares to retire, Kirkwood chose Schlafly to carry on the brewery's legacy in the community, according to a release. Current Trailhead employees will be given the opportunity to work at Schlafly Bankside.

“When considering the possibility of selling Trailhead Brewing Co., my partners and I felt that it was important to find a suitable buyer that would continue to brew quality beer, contribute the same positive experience to the customer and value the current staff," Kirkwood says in the release. "With these requirements in mind combined with Schlafly’s respected reputation within the brewing and hospitality industries in the St. Louis metro area, we found a perfect fit.”

The space will undergo improvements and renovations, per the release, including additional tap handles and food offerings similar to the fare served at its two existing locations. An on-site retail area will sell Schlafly merchandise, growlers and more.

The brewery also plans to host signature events at the St. Charles outpost, as it does as its two current brewpubs.

“We highly respect Bob Kirkwood’s operation and wish him a happy retirement," says Tom Schlafly. "We are committed to continuing what his customers and this community have grown to expect from their neighborhood brewery with the added Schlafly experience that our guests love.”

Situated along the Missouri River, the brewery will be renamed Schlafly Bankside as both a nod to its physical location as well as the history of Schlafly Beer.

"The name has roots in England, where Schlafly’s co-founders fell in love with English-style beers," the release states. "Tom Schlafly was inspired to open the Schlafly Tap Room after spending time at a continued education law course at the University of Oxford, and he tapped young brewer Dan Kopman, who studied brewing in England, to head up brewing operations. Bankside calls to a neighborhood in the borough of London along the southern riverbank of the River Thames. In the sixteenth century, a street by the river was known as a “banke syde,” which is where the neighborhood got its name."

Fans and regulars of Trailhead can visit the brewery through the end of January. The official grand opening date for Schlafly Bankside will be announced at a later date.

Follow Liz Miller on Twitter at @lizzaymillah. We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]
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