The Ardagh Group’s Pevely, Missouri plant will supply the craft brewery with specially designed 12oz glass bottles for its Schlafly brand beer.
Ardagh’s Pevely facility is located just 20 miles from the Schlafly brewery in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Beyond mere convenience, the proximity will help the brewery fulfill its commitment to remain local and sustainable.
Near and dear
“The agreement with Ardagh Group helps us achieve sustainable practices, but more importantly, it just makes sense because it's so close to home,” Dan Kopman, co-founder and CEO of The Saint Louis Brewery, said. “We are keeping more dollars in our community, which is critical to us as a local brewery.”
Kopman told FoodProductionDaily that previously, the brewery sourced its bottles from an Owens-Illinois plant in Lapel, Indiana — about 280 miles from St. Louis. Although he declined to provide a specific figure, he said the freight savings resulting from the Ardagh deal will be “significant.”
The Saint Louis Brewery produces and bottles six beer styles year-round and dozens of additional beer styles each year. In the next year, the brewery plans to produce 500,000 cases of 20 different Schlafly beers in the Ardagh bottles.
Home grown, still growing
Kopman and Tom Schlafly co-founded the company in 1991 as a brewpub. “We started selling bottled beer in the St. Louis metro area in 1998,” Kopman said.
“We began selling in markets within a 300-mile radius in 2005, and we continue to expand that territory. This year we will grow by 7% in our existing markets.”
“In 2010, we started selling our product in the New York City and Washington, DC markets,” he added. “Notably, we will start selling in Chicago in early 2015.”
Regardless of how much its distribution area expands, however, the company is determined to retain its local flavor and focus. “Since 1991, we've held true to our promise to be a great local brewer and to be as green as possible,” Kopman said.