Urban Chestnut Expanding Distribution to Chicago
Last year, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC), a St. Louis, MO craft brewery founded and operated by two former Anheuser-Busch employees, Florian Kuplent and David Wolfe, opened their second brewery, Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery & Bierhall, located in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood, aka The Grove. And just last month, they announced plans to open a third brewery later this year, Urban Chestnut Hallertauer Brauerei, in the Hallertau region of Bavaria in Wolnzach, Germany.

As Missouri’s third largest craft brewery, Urban Chestnut had been previously constrained by its capacity and limited to distributing their beers primarily to the St. Louis metro area, but with about 30,000 bbls of annual brewing capacity now on-line, the new operation in the Grove has allowed Urban Chestnut to expand its brewing output, and provide the brewery with the ability to increase its distribution footprint.

Last year, the company took advantage of their new capacity by expanding distribution to Columbia, Jefferson City and Kansas City, MO. This week, Urban Chestnut is preparing to open up the Chicago market.

“We’ve been seriously interested in selling our beers in Chicago for quite a while,” said David Wolfe. “We’re thrilled to be entering a market with such a hyper-dynamic brewing scene; a craft beer market with lots of local breweries, a constant stream of new entries, and an abundance of avid and knowledgeable beer drinkers.”

Urban Chestnut will be partnering with Lakeshore Beverage Company, Illinois’ largest distributor, to distribute their beers in Chicago.

“Lakeshore is a first-class operation, with a lot of talented people,” remarks Jon Shine, Urban Chestnut’s Head of Sales Operations. “Their commitment to growing craft beer in the Chicago area and belief in Urban Chestnut makes them an ideal partner for us.”

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s brewing philosophy centers around Beer Divergency—a ‘new world meets old world’ brewing approach wherein UCBC contributes to the “revolution” of craft beer through creations of artisanal, modern American beers, and pays “reverence” to the heritage of beer with offerings of classically- crafted, timeless European beer styles.

“Chicago has a very competitive craft beer scene; however, there is a thirst for these styles of beers that Urban Chestnut brews… beers that are full of flavor, classic styles, refreshing and drinkable. That’s just one of the reasons we are excited to bring Urban Chestnut to Chicago,” said Ted Champion, Import/Craft Manager of Lakeshore Beverage.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC) is an unconventional-minded yet tradition-oriented brewer of craft beer. Founded in early 2011 UCBC operates two breweries; Midtown Brewery & Biergarten at 3229 Washington Avenue in Midtown St. Louis and Grove Brewery & Bierhall at 4465 Manchester in Forest Park Southeast St. Louis, where it brews both small batches of artisanal, modern American beers (their Revolution series) and classically-crafted European styles (their Reverence series). It will open a third brewery, Urban Chestnut Hallertauer Brauerei, in the Hallertau region of Bavaria later in 2015. The founders: Florian Kuplent- a German born and trained brewmaster with extensive experience at both small breweries, worldwide, and with the world's largest, Anheuser-Busch, AND David Wolfe - a 20-year brewing industry member, who was also with Anheuser-Busch, prior to joining Kuplent in founding Urban Chestnut.


The Hand Family Company has been in business since the 1940s, and to this day, remains family owned and operated. With the recent formation of Lakeshore Beverage, the Company is excited to enter the Chicago market to share one of the country’s finest portfolios of beers. From world renowned labels such as Duvel to local favorites like Goose Island Beer Co. to the number one selling beer in the U.S., Bud Light, Lakeshore Beverage is dedicated to telling each brewer’s story and to cultivating access to their beers in unique and compelling ways. Lakeshore Beverage attributes its recent growth to a commitment to developing the finest employees who work closely with brewery partners and customers to create memorable opportunities to enjoy great beer together.
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