After four generations of farming and growing grain in Randolph County, the Liefer family’s legacy will live on inside their new Red Bud brewery.
Located at 118 Market St., Lieferbräu Brewery will open at noon Saturday. Two years of planning, preparation and a major building renovation in the heart of town will be revealed to the public during the grand opening celebration.
“In the last 25 years, there’s been a lot of time and resources committed to the revival of Red Bud,” Kirk Liefer said. “We have some great restaurants, cool nightlife on the weekends, and we feel really fortune to be a part of that.”
The opening is also part of a brewery boom in Southern Illinois. Hofbräuhaus St. Louis recently opened in Belleville with three signature beers and seasonal selections on tap. A $2.8 million craft brewery and distillery in Collinsville is expected to open later this year.
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A family affair
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.”
Family photos from the farm and other portraits help to make the environment inside the brewery warm and inviting. Outside, patrons can sit on the patio in the rear of the brewery or soak up the sun upstairs while drinking a beer on the balcony.
What's on the menu?
The Liefer family has installed a five-barrel system on the upper level of the brewery, where head brewer Kris Liefer will go to work each week. He enjoys German-style beer, and on opening day, 12 different beers will be available, including one named after his wife.
The DaniBerry Wheat is a raspberry wheat beer inspired by Danielle’s love of fruity flavor. Every beer on the menu honors the family or has a special meaning behind the name. The Seven70 IPA pays homage to their family’s farming tradition. It’s an intense citrusy hoppy beer with a subtle pine flavor.
Craft cocktails and high-end bourbon are also on the menu.
If you get hungry while you’re there, the brewery keeps menus on hand from nearby restaurants. Patrons can bring in their own food or have something delivered.
Want more about the brew?
Kris Liefer started making beer at home, and it didn't take the family long to fall in love with his German-style brew. He’s now in charge of the local brewing operation that can produce 150-gallon batches.
The grain he uses comes from Germany, but that might change down the road.
“We are a farming family," Kris Liefer said. "So we figure maybe eventually we’ll try using some of our own wheat.”
Want to go? The brewery is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The brewery is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 618- 559-7950.