The City of Highland, Ill., announced today a partnership with Schlafly Beer, the famed craft brewery in St. Louis, to revitalize a 71-year-old building at 907 Main Street (Highland, IL 62249) into a Schlafly Brewpub. The yet to be named location, will be Schlafly’s first brewpub in Illinois and is expected to open in late fall of 2021. Schlafly currently operates three brewpubs in the St. Louis area: Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St.), Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue), and the most recent addition in 2020, Schlafly Bankside (920 S Main St, St Charles, MO 6330). Schlafly will hire 50 to 60 local employees for the establishment in Highland and will begin taking applications for all positions in Illinois later this summer.
Schlafly Beer will work with the City of Highland and TJO Holdings to bring their brewpub experience to Illinois with an 80-seat restaurant and three-season patio that seats 100 guests. Schlafly’s signature beer styles and pub fare will be on the menu, as well as specialty beer brewed just for the Illinois location. There will also be an onsite retail experience for Schlafly gear, growlers, brewpub-only special releases and more.
The 3,420 sq-ft base of the building previously served as the Highland Chamber of Commerce and has sat empty for roughly three years. In addition to brewery and restaurant renovations, Schlafly will help guide the team to add a kitchen to the space.
“Contributing to the cities that we live and work in is an integral part of the Schlafly Beer mission,” said Schlafly CEO Fran Caradonna. “When David Schlafly was approached more than 12 months ago, we had to carefully consider how we could make a mark during such a difficult time across many industries, especially hospitality. We’re thankful that the city of Highland has been an exceptional partner so we can work together to revitalize a space that will serve residents for years to come.”
For 30 years, Schlafly has transformed buildings into popular destinations across St. Louis. The historic Schlafly Tap Room opened in 1991 as the first brewpub in Missouri after Prohibition. The Tap Room was bought and rehabbed after sitting vacant after a massive fire destroyed the building. Schlafly’s investment helped to breathe life back into St. Louis’ downtown landscape and will soon be next door neighbors with the region’s new premier soccer stadium. Schlafly Bottleworks was built in 2003 and is an anchor for the small business district in Maplewood, Missouri, where they brew and bottle a diverse collection of beers throughout the year. Most recently, Schlafly was named the successor of Trailhead Brewing Co. in St. Charles, Missouri. Schlafly invested in improvements to the kitchen and restaurant/brewery operations and opened Schlafly Bankside in May of 2020.
“Our team knew that it was imperative to find a longstanding partner to become an integral piece of the community for years to come,” said Breann Speraneo, Director of Community Development for the City of Highland. “With Schlafly’s respected reputation in the brewing industry and positive guest experiences across the St. Louis metro area, we found a perfect fit.”
The Schlafly family also has historical ties to the city of Highland, and when approached about reinvigorating a building in the center of Town Square, it was an important project to be a part of. “Our family’s American dream began in Highland, Illinois,” Schlafly Cofounder Tom Schlafly said. “After immigrating from Switzerland, the Schlaflys landed in New Orleans in May of 1854, and made their way up the Mississippi and settled in the town now known as Highland, Illinois. Now, 167 years later, David and I are excited to give back to the same community where our ancestors set roots so many years ago.”
Schlafly Beer is St. Louis’ original, independent craft brewery — producing roughly 30,000 barrels per year with year-round true-to-style offerings such as the English Pale Ale and IPA to specialty beers like the award-winning Pumpkin Ale and Coffee Stout. Schlafly also hosts several destination-worthy festivals throughout the year and will look to host uniquely-suited events for the Highland community in the future.
“We’re very excited to welcome Schlafly to Highland. We’re a vibrant community with many downtown festivals, and we look forward to Schlafly hosting their own festivals in town,” continued Speraneo. “We know that Schlafly will fit in perfectly with our motto of Celebrate Today.”
Schlafly recently expanded in the Midwest with distribution throughout the state of Oklahoma and Indiana. Schlafly is now available in 16 states, primarily the states surrounding Missouri as well as the East Coast. See here for Schlafly’s distribution footprint.