blue jay brewing co. in midtown st. louis photo by michelle volansky

5 new and forthcoming breweries in the St. Louis region

Rock & Horse Brewing Co. at Dressel’s
It’s been a long time coming, but the news is good – Ben Dressel hopes Rock & Horse Brewing Co. will be fermenting beer by mid-March. His long-held plan for a brewery was stalled when the pandemic shuttered his Central West End pub, but with Dressel’s back in business, he’s taken his dream to the brink of becoming a reality. Dressel got a jump on things last year when he collaborated with Perennial Artisan Ales on Utmost Classic, the first Rock & Horse beer. Utmost Classic was brewed at Perennial’s South City facility, and Dressel poured the first glass of the hoppy pale ale in November. “Perennial really knows how to make clean, balanced beer,” he said. Rock & Horse’s beer will only be available at Dressel’s itself, but what’s wrong with that? Dressel has worked tirelessly the past three years to breathe new life into the beloved old pub his parents opened in 1980, and he’s pleased with the results. It’s still pubby, still handsome and woody, and still producing good Welsh-style fare from its kitchen. It’s a fine place to be. 
419 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.361.1060,

Blue Jay Brewing Co.
Launched in December 2023, Blue Jay is former Urban Chestnut head brewer Jason Thompson’s new gig, and it’s off to an impressive start. There’s space for around 50 guests inside the 3,600-square-foot brewery and taproom, and more seating is available on the 2,000-square-foot patio that Blue Jay shares with other JCMidtown tenants. Until recently, Blue Jay – the first solo enterprise for Thompson and wife Nicole – has been fine-tuning its predominantly German-style beers. But now it’s time to nosh, with a menu from Boatright’s BBQ served on Fridays and Saturdays. Pitmaster James Boatright (a top 10 finalist on Netflix’s The American Barbecue Showdown) smokes his meat on the premises, dishing up chicken wings, catfish fillets, vegetarian sausages and some banging ribs. “Those slabs are the biggest seller, they go fast,” Thompson said. CityPark is just a few short blocks away, and Thompson has set his sights on making Blue Jay a locus for pre- and post-game cheer. And with three other breweries and a cidery also in the neighborhood, a visit to Blue Jay can easily become a pub crawl. 
2710 Locust St., St. Louis,


from left, main & mill co-owners denny and barry foster // photo by rolf ringwald


Mississippi Culture
There’s a little romance to Mississippi Culture. For one thing, it’s located in Staunton, a sleepy, stoplight-free Illinois town 45 minutes from St. Louis. For another, it flavors its beers with dreamy things like cardamom and cherries, orange peel, black pepper and rhubarb. Yes, please to that, and also to their newly released low-alcohol cranberry-thyme saison. Father-and-son co-owners Tracy and Bruce Hutton’s focus is on mixed fermentation with “interesting bacteria” to produce funky, complex brews, and as the brewery’s name might suggest, the Illinois natives are committed to using locally sourced ingredients. The small taproom seats 35, while a 500-square-foot patio with a fire pit and fairy lights has space for around 30. Construction will begin soon on an outdoor bar. 
201 S. Union St., Staunton, Illinois,

Narrow Gauge Brewing Co.
Narrow Gauge moved to an expanded brewing facility in Florissant last year, but plans for a taproom at the new location were stalled by a water supply issue that required a costly fix. “It ate up the whole budget for a tasting room,” said owner Jeff Hardesty. Construction is yet to begin on the taproom, but Hardesty said financing is now in place to move forward. Hardesty is enthusiastic about his vision for the taproom, and so are we. An initial tear-down of the ceiling in the new space revealed big, old beams that Hardesty said will perfectly complement the exposed pipes and bricks for a “rugged, industrial vibe.” There’ll be room inside for about 75 customers to drink comfortably, as well as a small outdoor patio. Hardesty said construction should begin with gusto later this year. In the meantime, Narrow Gauge’s erstwhile home at Cugino’s will continue to serve as a placeholder taproom for the brewery, typically carrying around 20 to 30 Narrow Gauge beers on draft. Canned Narrow Gauge beers can also be purchased at the new production facility’s shop. 
1545 N. Hwy. 67, Florissant,

Main & Mill Central
After more than eight years as a Festus mainstay, Main & Mill is about to open a taproom a few blocks down Main Street. Attached to Main & Mill’s production facility, the new space, which will be known as Main & Mill Central, is slated for an April opening after three years of construction. The 900-square-foot space will seat up to 52, with a garage door allowing the front of the bar to open up to the elements. In the future, a spacious area in the back of the building will allow for concerts. Main & Mill is known for its Green Chile Ale, but co-owner Denny Foster said the brewery specializes in “a little bit of everything.” Main & Mill is doubling down on that approach by rolling out a range of interesting drinks in conjunction with the taproom’s launch: meads, cold brew coffees, nitro teas, kombuchas and housemade sodas. Foster and his father (and fellow co-owner), Barry, will also be leasing out an adjacent storefront to a restaurant to serve food via a walk-up window. 
10 Main St., Festus,