Food & Drink

New Granite City brewery wants local residents to ‘fall in love with good beer’

Granite City now has its own craft brewery.

Clancy’s Brewery serves beer, as well as wine and cocktails, but no food. Customers can bring their own or order from local restaurants.

“We have six taps, so we’ll always have from four to six (house) beers,” said brewer Tracy Hutton, who divides his time between Clancy’s and Recess Brewing in Edwardsville. “But we’ll also have some beers from other local breweries.”

Clancy’s had a “soft” opening on June 8 at 1312 Neidringhaus Ave., across from Civic Park and Granite City Cinema.

Dwain Page and his girlfriend, Pam Wolf, already have become Friday-night regulars at the brewery. During a recent visit, they ordered the 4 Square Nut Brown Ale.

“We’ve been waiting for this,” said Page, 59, of Mitchell. “They have to brew this for a while, and they told us when it would be ready, so we came in to try it.”

They liked it.

Customer Ted Witherspoon was also sitting at the bar, enjoying a drink called “Just Peachy” with peach Schnapps, Southern Comfort whiskey, grenadine and lemon-lime soda.

Customers at Clancy’s Brewery in Granite City include, from left, Ted Witherspoon, Dwain Page and Pam Wolf, who are visiting with Director of Operations Walt Chaboude and Manager Ryan Cassens. Teri Maddox

Clancy’s Brewery and its building are owned by attorney Lance Callis and his wife, Missy. They also operate Lascelles Granite City, a restaurant a few doors down.

“Lance has been instrumental in developing property for the revitalization of Granite City,” said Walt Chaboude, an old friend and consultant who’s serving as director of operations for Clancy’s and Lascelles. “He’s helped a lot of people. He’s a very generous man, a good guy.”

A new barbecue place is opening soon in the building where Clancy’s is located. It will replace Kool Beanz Cafe, a coffee house and restaurant that operated five years before closing in April.

Clancy’s Brewery had a “soft” opening on June 8 at 1312 Neidringhaus Ave. in Granite City. It’s official grand opening on Aug. 31 will include free appetizers, beer tastings and live music. Teri Maddox

Clancy’s has a three-barrel brewing system, allowing Hutton to make about 90 gallons of beer at a time. Customers can see the back-room operation through large windows behind the bar.

“They are completely different recipes that are specific to Clancy’s,” Hutton said. “There’s a focus on European lagers with an American twist.”

Hutton also will experiment with classic American styles and Belgian ales. The brewery’s most popular beer so far is the Lemondrop Pils, a pilsner made with lemon-drop hops and fresh lemon zest.

Clancy’s Brewery in Granite City offers tasting flights with four 5-ounce glasses of beer, going from light to dark, served on wooden paddles for $6. Teri Maddox

Brews at Clancy’s cost $5 for a 16-ounce glass or $6 for a tasting flight of four 5-ounce glasses.

Manager Ryan Cassens’ favorite is The End is Rye, described as “an American pale ale brewed with classic American hops and rye for a hop-forward taste with a strong malt backbone and touch of rye spiciness.”

“You can really taste the different types of hops,” Cassens said. “It finishes very nice. It doesn’t leave an aftertaste.”

The decor at Clancy’s is simple with white walls, a painted-concrete floor, faux fireplace and a few pieces of art. The official grand opening is 3-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, with free appetizers and beer samples and music by Scott and Michelle from 7-9 p.m.

Brewer Tracy Hutton has a three-barrel system that allows him to make about 90 gallons of beer at a time at Clancy’s Brewery in Granite City. He also works at Recess Brewing in Edwardsville. Teri Maddox

Hutton understands that many Granite City residents now drink mass-produced beer from the liquor store, so his goal is to brew quality craft beer that’s “accessible” to them.

“We’re looking to convert people into craft-beer drinkers and make them fall in love with good beer,” he said.

Clancy’s hours are 4-11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 3-11 p.m. Saturdays. The brewery has been open on Wednesday evenings this summer because of concerts in the park. It eventually will host more live music and open-mic nights. The space also is available for private parties.

For more information, call 618-709-7337.

Teri Maddox has been a reporter for 35 years, joining the Belleville News-Democrat in 1990. She also teaches journalism at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. She holds degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and University of Wisconsin-Madison.