Subscribe for 99¢
senn bierwerks

A rendering of Senn Bierwerks, which was originally slated to open in 2017. Handout photo.

Yes, 2016 isn’t yet 3 months old, but St. Louis beer geeks can already start looking ahead to 2017’s new breweries. Dustin and Kristen Chalfant and James Hellmuth announced March 17 that they plan to open Senn Bierwerks early next year.

Dustin Chalfant tells Hip Hops that he and his partners aren’t quite ready to announce the exact location, but it’s “very promising.”

Senn takes its name from Chalfant’s great-great-great-great uncle, Frank Senn Sr., a brewer in late-19th-century Louisville, Ky. Chalfant himself moved to St. Louis from Wichita, Kan., in 2011 and later that year succeeded Marc Gottfried as Morgan Street Brewery’s head brewer. He left Morgan Street in 2015 and has worked since then as a brewing-industry consultant.

Chalfant says Senn’s opening roster of beers is still in the works, but it will likely include a West Coast-style IPA, a malt-forward ale or lager and a hop-forward pilsner.

“First and foremost, we’re not tied to any styles,” Chalfant says. “We’ll make whatever we feel like making.”

What’s more, Senn will encourage experimentation. “We are getting a very nice pilot system (on which) our brewers are going to be able to brew to their hearts’ content,” Chalfant says. “If any of those beers pass our internal tasting panel, then we’ll serve those in our tasting room.”

The 20-barrel production facility will brew beer both to be sold at retail and for an on-premises tasting room. Chalfant says the current plan is not to open the tasting room until the packaged beer is available in the market.

Senn’s slogan is “Brew No Harm,” which Chalfant explains as a commitment to the community.

“Every focus we have comes down to community involvement,” Chalfant says. “All around, brewing no harm (means) having fun and taking care of those who take care of us and even those who don’t take care of us.”