First Look: Schlafly Highland Square Brewpub in Highland, Illinois
“The whole town came out,” explained Andy White, Schlafly’s director of pub operations, of the Dec. 22 opening of Schlafly's brand new location at 907 Main St. in Highland, Illinois. According to White, the Schafly family has a long history in Highland; in the 1800s, members of the family landed in Highland from Europe before traveling across the river to St. Louis. In fact, some members of the Schlafly family are even buried in Highland. So it’s especially meaningful that the celebrated brewery has chosen the small town as the location for its fourth brewpub.
The space was formerly a bank, which is clear everywhere from its architecture to the 6,000-pound safe that resides behind the bar. “Actually, the whole kitchen is technically inside the safe,” White said, laughing. Of course it doesn’t look that way, since the space has been renovated; when you open the (shockingly light) safe door, there’s a bounty of cold beer inside, which should be a minor relief for any crooks who accidentally get trapped in there.
Highland has all the hallmarks of another classic Schlafly brewpub: 14 taps, creative and satisfying pub food, indoor and outdoor seating, and, eventually, events. Growlers are in the game for patrons looking to bring fresh beer home; retail beer and merch is available as well. Though Highland is mostly serving beer brewed in St. Louis, director of marketing Wil Rogers said the location will soon start some small batch brews of its own.
The menu here is decidedly more Bavarian than Schlafly’s other locations; White explained that this is because the menu pays homage to Highland’s considerable German and Swiss heritage. Classic European-feeling dishes like charcuterie, crispy frog legs, pretzels, a Braunschweiger club, currywurst, shepherd’s pie, a jagerschnitzel (crisp pork cutlet) and a kaesespaetzle (baked spaetzle) are some highlights; naturally, more familiar options like a few burgers, fried Marcoot cheese curds and some flatbreads are available. According to White, all of Highland’s food is made from scratch and aims to use mainly local ingredients.
Check out the slideshow below for more information about Highland Square’s seating, menu and more.