Schlafly Beer Purchases Trailhead Brewing; Rebrands as Schlafly Bankside

Trailhead Brewing Co. announces today the sale of its brewery and operations to Schlafly Beer, the original independent craft brewery in St. Louis. Located at 921 S. Riverside Drive, St. Charles, Missouri, Trailhead Brewing Co. will become Schlafly Bankside, Schlafly’s third brewpub in the St. Louis area in early 2020, along with Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St.) and Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue).


After 25 years of operation, owner Bob Kirkwood has chosen to retire and selected Schlafly Beer to continue the legacy of Trailhead as a gathering place for the St. Charles community. He states, “When considering the possibility of selling Trailhead Brewing Company, 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. 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.”


Schlafly Beer will maintain the character and charm of the Trailhead Brewing Co. location with an additional investment for improvements and renovations to the space. Schlafly Beer will also bring their brewpub experience to the St. Charles location with an increased number of tap handles and a food menu of Schlafly’s signature pub fare as well as barbecue and pizza. There will also be an onsite retail experience for Schlafly gear, growlers, brewpub-only special releases and more.


In regard to the ask to continue on in Trailhead’s place, Schlafly Co-Founder Tom Schlafly says, “We highly respect Bob Kirkwood’s operation and wish him a happy retirement. 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.”


The name Schlafly Bankside has dual inspiration – both in geography and legacy. The brewery is located just steps away from the banks of the Missouri River. Also, the name has roots in England, where Schlafly’s co-founders fell in love with English-style beers. 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 16th century, a street by the river was known as a “banke syde,” which is where the neighborhood got its name. Now, Schlafly Bankside will call its own neighborhood home in St. Charles.


The brewery will remain open as Trailhead Brewing throughout January while the Schlafly team invests in renovations throughout the space. A date for the official launch of Schlafly Bankside will be announced at a later date. All Trailhead employees will be offered jobs at the new Schlafly Bankside and will train at the Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks locations during the transition.

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 St. Charles community in the future.

Schlafly recently expanded (December 2019) in the Midwest with distribution throughout the state of Oklahoma. Schlafly is now available in 15 states, primarily the states surrounding Missouri as well as the East Coast. See here for Schlafly’s distribution footprint.

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