Microbreweries bringing new jobs to St. Louis area

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by Dan Greenwald / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 30 at 5:39 PM

(KMOV.com) –Several local breweries recently announced they will be expanding.

O’Fallon Brewery in St. Charles County is hoping to become a regional brewery. It currently has 10 employees and is in a building that covers 8,000 square feet.

“We’re looking for 40,000 to 50,000 square feet at a new facility are expecting to have 30 to employees right off the bat to do two shifts,”  brewery head Jim Gorcyzca said.

O’Fallon Brewery currently produces more than six different brands of beer, which it sells in 13 states and Gorcyzca said its revenue is was close to $3,000,000 last year, compared to $500,000 three years ago. Business for microbreweries is booming, craft beer makes up 10 percent of overall beer sales, but some are saying it could increase further over the next ten years.

“Craft beer in general is doing well, so it's nice to be part of that wave right now but we're doing well over the last couple years, we've kind of grown our footprint into a larger area," head brewer Brian Owens said.

That growth is also reflected in the St. Louis area and across the country.  There are close to 2300 such operations across the country, the most since the end of Prohibition.

“In the last ten years a ton of growth here in St. Louis, there are almost 20 breweries in St. Louis area,” Gorcyzca said.

The brewery is still searching for a location for a new facility. The brewery told News 4 that it hopes to stay in O’Fallon, Mo, but if that is not possible, it wants to move to a new facility in the St. Louis area.

The O’Fallon Brewery is not the only St. Louis based operation looking to expand.  Both the St. Louis Brewery and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company are seeking newer, larger homes.

The St. Louis Brewery, which makes Schlafly Beer, is planning to build on land between 20 and 50 acres. The Urban Chestnut Brewing Company is building a new $10 million “green” brewery and is looking to add 10 full time workers and 30 part time workers within the next two years. The project also includes renovating the former Renard Paper Company building in the Grove neighborhood.

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