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Two ex-AB guys to start new St. Louis craft brewery.



The great Anheuser-Busch brain drain continues. One of A-B's highest-profile young brewmasters, Florian Kuplent, left the company last week, and plans to open a new St. Louis craft brewery in partnership with David Wolfe, a former Anheuser-Busch sales and marketing executive. The two call their new venture the Urban Chestnut Brewing Company ("Chestnut" as a nod to the Chestnut trees that are a fixture in German beer gardens, and "Urban," as a nod to its location in the Midtown alley district of St. Louis). The pair plan to have their new brewery up and running by the end of the year, and plan to package their beer in kegs and in bottles.

Kuplent and Wolfe say their new brewery will be "an unconventional-minded yet tradition-oriented brewer of craft beer" that will brew and distribute draught and bottled beers to on- and off-premise establishments in the St. Louis area.

The partners said Urban Chestnut will actually incorporate a beer garden as its central serving area. "Our taste room & biergarten won't quite be the traditional brewpub," Wolfe says. "I like to tell people, 'think wine bar for beer,' a casual place to hang out and experience a selection of local craft beers accompanied by small plates of cheeses, meats, and other little eats that pair well with beer." Kuplent adds, "It is my goat to bring a little bit of Bavaria to UCBC. While our taste room will have a touch of old-world feel. our biergarten is where we're trying to create an authentic, German beer-drinking experience by importing biergarten tables from Europe and planting shade-giving chestnut trees." Co-founders Kuplent and Wolfe say their passion for craft beer coupled with their unique expertise in creating, brewing and marketing beer "will bring a fresh approach to the local cratt beer market in St. Louis." They plan to use local ingredients in their beer and food offerings whenever possible, and partner with local businesses and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Kuplent says UCBC will look to distinguish itself from other craft breweries through its unique brewing philosophy--"Beer Divergency," that he described as a "new world meets old world" brewing approach wherein UCBC balances its portfolio with artisanal interpretations of modern American styles, and classically-made versions of fundamental European beer styles. "In launching UCBC," he says, "my vision is to delve into both the exploration of modern, American craft beer and the traditions of old world brewing, simultaneously. It is the fusion of these two brewing cultures, new and old. that has shaped our brewing philosophy--embracing the revolution of American craft beer, while simultaneously appreciating the heritage of European beer."

Brewmaster Kuplent brings nearly two decades of artisan brewing experience to Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Born in Bavaria. Mr. Kupient apprenticed at Brauerei Erharting before he attained his Master's in Malting and Brewing Science at the prestigious University of Munich-Weihenstephan. He also served an internship at the New England Brewing Co. of Norwalk. CT, during the early years of the U.S. craft beer renaissance. From there he went on to brew for several small and large German, Belgian, English and American brewers.

Prior to launching UCBC, Mr. Kuplent was employed in a variety of capacities as a brewer for A-B. In recent years, he was tasked with exploring experimental beers at A-B's pilot brewery, including the creation of craft-style beers under the Michelob brand. During that time, he met Mr. Wolfe. a sales and marketing executive tasked with developing and marketing specialty beers for A-B. More recently, Mr. Wolfe had directed U.S. marketing efforts for A-B InBev's European and Belgian beers.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:Aug 13, 2010
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