St. Louis Brewers Guild’s Troika Brodsky Talks Beer & Brewing In St. Louis

Just a week after the 10th Annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival’s successful debut on the St. Louis Arch grounds, St. Louis Brewers Guild’s Executive Director Troika Brodsky is still busy promoting the beer scene in St. Louis.

“Beer is booming and there has been a ton of growth right here locally as we have seen a significant number of new breweries open their doors recently with even more on the way,” Brodsky said. “Historically, this is the most breweries operating at one time in the greater St. Louis area and the last time we were near this many was prior to Prohibition. The people of St. Louis love drinking beer and there has never been a better time to be a beer drinker in this town. There is a tremendous amount of variety in beer styles coming out of the almost 50 breweries in our area and the quality is there too. With all of this growth also comes new jobs, and a lot more money going into the local economy and to local partners. So across the board, this growth is very positive for the city.”

Brodsky explains how St. Louis compares to other “beer” cities nationally.

“There are now over 4,500 breweries operating in the U.S., the most ever operating at one time…so, not only is there a lot of great beer, but there are a lot of great beer cities”, Brodsky said. “With the growth in number of breweries in STL and the quality and variety that they are putting out, there is no reason that St. Louis shouldn’t consistently be landing on lists for being one of the best beer cities in the country. Beer has been in our DNA more or less since the founding of the city. It is believed the first lager in the US was brewed here, we have historically been home to over 250 breweries, and through the 70’s we were home to the countries two largest breweries in Anheuser-Busch and Falstaff. Our story is an incredibly rich one, but it is not a new one.”

And what about the possibility of a “Beer Bubble”?
People within the industry certainly see the growth nationally and wonder whether or not we are approaching a bubble. The reality is that there are a tremendous amount of factors at play within the industry as well as how the industry connects to the local, national and global economies that will impact the big picture of how things shake out over the next 5-10 years. Whatever happens, it won’t be boring. Looking at the St. Louis area specifically, I honestly believe there is still a ton of opportunity for new breweries to open up and build their own following successfully. That said, there is only so much shelf space a grocery store will dedicate to beer, and there are a finite amount of tap handles a bar can have, so once you journey outside the safe harbor of selling your own beer over your own bar, the competition gets really fierce. Going forward, breweries who are making great beer, differentiating themselves, and connecting with their local communities should continue to find success.

For more information about The St.Louis Brewers Guild please visit www.stlbg.com.

See the “business of beer” in our next edition.