The next microbrewery coming to the metro-east will allow home brewers to put their recipes on tap.
Millpond Brewing and Incubator, opening this fall in Millstadt, will share its brewing system with home brewers who want to brew their beer on professional equipment.
Master brewer and owner Bryan L. Schubert will oversee the experience, which is expected to draw more visitors to the area.
“I started home brewing about seven years ago,” Schubert said, standing in the raw space that will eventually become Millpond. “I’ve loved it from the first batch of beer that I made and became very, very passionate about it.”
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Home brewers with the same passion can apply to use Millpond’s system. The opportunity to brew there won’t be connected to competition. Schubert just wants to share his space with other enthusiasts.
“If you’re a home brewer and you want to come in and brew your beer on our professional system, you can come in here and do that ” Schubert said. “Then we’ll put your beer on tap in the taproom.”
There’s no place like home
Sharing his love for beer and the space with the village of Millstadt will also bring Schubert back to his roots. He grew up in Millstadt and attended St. James Catholic School. He later graduated from Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville.
The father of two hopes the brewery becomes a gathering place for the community. The 3,400 square-foot-space will be renovated by local contractors and the brewery will eventually bring more jobs and revenue to the area.
When the time came to find a location Schubert said “Millstadt was always in his heart.” His father owned a packing company in town, and the village was always supportive of him, Schubert said.
He’s confident the community will support his brewery in the same way.
A blast from the past
His vision for the space will come to life inside of an iconic landmark at 308 East Washington Street. Built in the 1940s, the building formerly operated a service station in town. Schubert wanted to find a way to add that history into the building’s decor. The original blueprints from the building will be on display.
“We do have some pictures of the original construction of the building that we want to make sure to have on display,” Schubert said. “We want it be a celebration of the building. It’s such a staple in the community.”
The brewery’s name also honors town’s history.
“The millpond in mill communities were the first de facto city parks,” Schubert said. “It was a natural gathering place, and that’s what I’m hoping to bring to the community.”
Microbreweries boom in the metro-east
Schubert isn’t the only local bringing craft beer to the metro-east.
Old Herald Brewing Co. and Ardent Spirits, Inc. in Collinsville opened its doors to the public earlier this year.
Owners Derik and Whitney Reiser gave the building at 115 E. Clay St. a $2.8 million makeover from top to bottom.
Old Herald is just the second beer brewery and distillery combination in Illinois.
“It feels like the right time and the right place,” Derik Reiser said before construction began earlier this year. “We’re in the heart of the metro-east. There’s no craft brewing and distillery experience like this.”
After four generations of farming and growing grain in Randolph County, the Liefer family’s legacy lives on inside their new Red Bud brewery.
Located at 118 Market St., Lieferbräu Brewery opened in 2018 after two years of planning, preparation and a major building renovation in the heart of town.
“In the last 25 years, there’s been a lot of time and resources committed to the revival of Red Bud,” Kirk Liefer said ahead of the opening. “We have some great restaurants, cool nightlife on the weekends, and we feel really fortunate to be a part of that.”
Kirk Liefer joined forces with his siblings and their spouses to bring their vision to life. Kirk’s wife, Stephanie Liefer; Kent and Karen Liefer; Ray and Kara (Liefer) Wagner, and Kris and Danielle Liefer will operate the business that is expected to attract more tourists and beer lovers to the metro-east.
Their last name, Liefer, means “to deliver,” and “bräu” means “beer” in German, Kirk explained. The family loosely translates the brewery’s name as “we deliver beer.”