First Look: Schlafly Bankside in St. Charles

For years, Schlafly Beer has offered fresh craft beer, tasty food and unique events to the St. Louis area in the form of its Bottleworks location in Maplewood and the Tap Room downtown. Today, Friday, May 22, the brewery will open a third location in St. Charles at 920 S. Main St., the former location of Trailhead Brewing Co. “It kind of fell into our lap,” said Wil Rogers, Schlafly’s director of marketing, explaining that they were approached last year by Trailhead owner Bob Kirkwood, who was looking to sell the building. 


Bankside will have all the components that have made Schlafly’s other locations successful, including a brewery, multiple bars, dining rooms, a private event space, a retail area, public events and, potentially, live music. In the beginning, Bankside will bring in beer from the Bottleworks while waiting for licensing to be completed in order to start brewing at the new location. 


To start, 16 beers will be available on draft, though eventually they’ll work on some original new beers. “They have a great little system that we could utilize to do some experimental pilot stuff,” Rogers said, adding that a potential new lager program has been in discussion. Unlike the Bottleworks, Bankside likely won’t do brewery tours, but is planning educational programs for weekends.  


For the food side, Bankside intends to utilize the tools it inherited, which include a smoker and a beloved pizza program, according to Rogers. “[Trailhead had] a smoker, so we’ll do a lot more barbecue than you’re used to from a Schlafly restaurant,” he explained. As for the pizza, Schlafly listened to the St. Charles community. “People were very vocal about it,” Rogers said.  


Elsewhere on the menu, Bankside will offer its take on popular American pub fare like smoked chicken wings, a grilled chicken sandwich, a smoked pastrami Reuben and Hefeweizen fish and chips. They’ll also serve pasta, a veggie burger and more. 


Since it’s opening during the COVID-19 crisis, Schlafly Bankside has taken extra precautions to make sure it’s a safe environment for employees and patrons alike. In addition to opening its dining rooms at 25% capacity, the brewery will accept credit cards only, its staff members will wear masks and perform routine sanitation and cleanliness measures, and the bars themselves will open at a later date – the space will offer seated dining only at first. Guests dining in can have their beer served in glass, plastic or as packaged beer in bottles or cans when available. Additionally, curbside assistance is an option for those looking to pick up food and retail beer.  


Check out our slideshow for photos, hours, seating info and more.