As the countdown to their 5th anniversary nears, one of St. Louis’ most influential craft breweries is taking a page out the playbook of the hometown St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and creating, what appears to be a minor league franchise for their craft brewery.
Former Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey is credited with creating the ‘Farm System’ which allows big league clubs to think smaller, get more creative and get closer to their fans. Urban Chestnut read the playbook and is now applying it to their beer making.
On Monday, the brewery announced its creation of a new Urban Research Brewery or (U.R.B) which will be a consumer research & pilot brewery in The Grove. The new development will be housed in a property directly across the street from UCBC’s 70,000 sq. ft. Grove Brewery & Bierhall, located at 4465 Manchester.
The U.R.B., 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’
“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 drinkersin 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, homebrewer discussions, focus groups, etc.”, stated David Wolfe, UCBC Co-Founder.
The U.R.B. launch date is yet to be determined, but boy we think Branch Rickey would be proud.