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Billy Busch plans Kraftig brewery in St. Charles County

William “Billy” Busch plans to build a brewery and distillery on land he owns in St. Charles County called Blue Heron Farm.

The 20,000-square-foot microbrewery, across the street from the Kraftig Polo Club, would have room for 265 customers and produce up to 2,500 barrels annually.

And in the future, the brewery could include a small petting zoo, gift shop, beer hall and a museum that will educate visitors on the brewing process.

“After years of talking about it, my family and I are incredibly excited to embark on this journey,” Busch, president and CEO of the St. Louis-based William K. Busch Brewing Co., said in a statement.

“To be able to build the brewery just on the other side of Busch Wildlife on the old Bridlespur Hunt Club property that my father started in the early 1900s is a very unique and exciting moment in my life.”

The brewery, at 4151 Benne Road in Defiance, would focus on small batches of lagers and other unique styles. Craft whiskeys would also be made there, along with a portion of Kräftig Lager and Kräftig Light.

Kräftig is not currently brewed locally. Instead, it’s brewed under contract at a facility in Wisconsin and trucked to Missouri.

Busch in 2016 had sought to build a demonstration brewery on the grounds of Grant’s Farm in south St. Louis County, with plans to build a larger production facility elsewhere in the St. Louis region.

However, five other members of the Busch family quashed that plan when they announced in August 2017 they would purchase the 270-acre Grant’s Farm for $51 million and keep it open and free to the public.

Busch’s Blue Heron Polo Club and Yardstick Studio, the architecture firm behind the project, will appear before the St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday to seek a conditional use permit for the brewhouse on the 56-acre site.

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