Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. (UCBC) has plans to open “The U.R.B.” (short for The Urban Research Brewery), which will be a consumer research and pilot brewery. Late in 2015, UCBC reached a lease agreement for a portion of the 4501 Manchester Ave property, with Restoration St. Louis, a St. Louis based real estate developer who’s been very active in development of The Grove, aka Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. Not to be confused with this big production facility from a few years ago.
The U.R.B., which was designed by the Grove firm, Space Architecture + Design, will house a small pilot brewery, a consumer research bar area, and a small pizza-by-the-slice counter. The 2 bbl pilot brewery will be the centerpiece of the location and will provide Urban Chestnut with the capability to brew very small batches of experimental beers. It will be accompanied by a consumer research bar area where beer drinkers will be able to provide instantaneous feedback on test beers via their cell phones, tablets, or other ‘smart’ devices.
“Two things our brewers have never been able to effectively do: 1.) brew small test batches and 2.) interact directly with beer drinkers regarding experimental beers”, said Florian Kuplent, UCBC Co-Founder & Brewmaster. “Having a small pilot brewery adjacent to our production brewery will provide our brewers the ability to create, research, and develop new beers that may ultimately end up in the UCBC portfolio.”
It’s important to Urban Chestnut to receive a lot of feedback regarding their experimental beers. In order to achieve this objective, UCBC is ensuring their research component is accessible to beer drinkers. As such, The U.R.B. will be open daily, offering “test flights” of (4) two-ounce samples for $1, with the one requirement that the “surveyee” provide feedback via an interactive digital platform. After that, if any of the “surveyees” would like to enjoy any of UCBC’s test batches further (or other select UCBC beers), a regular-sized pour will be offered at a standard price… if there is ample supply.
“We want The U.R.B. to be a place where anyone; home brewers, beer aficionados, and beer drinkers in general, can easily provide qualitative & quantitative input on our experimental beers, but we also want The U.R.B. to be a place where these same folks can hang out, drink beer, grab a slice, and engage in conversations about brewing or anything else. Additionally, it will provide UCBC with an ideal location to host taste panels, home brewer discussions, focus groups, etc.”, stated David Wolfe, UCBC Co-Founder.
The U.R.B. launch date is pending delivery of Urban Chestnut’s European pilot brewery and on federal and local licensing, all of which should be finalized this spring.