Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. has begun brewing beer at the facility in the German state of Bavaria that it acquired in January.
"It's always exciting to get something to the final stage of the process --especially when there's beer at the end," Urban Chestnut co-founder and brewmaster Florian Kuplent, a Bavarian native, said.
Urban Chestnut purchased the Bürgerbräu Wolnzach brewery, which is located in Wolnzach, a town north of Munich, and rechristened it Urban Chestnut Hallertauer Brauerei. The new facility is currently brewing three beers: Urban Chesnut's flagship lager, Zwickel, and two new offerings.
Zuagroast is a pale ale made with relatively new varieties of German hops that, according to Kuplent, convey a more American hop character, with notes of citrus and melon. The name Zuagroast is a play on a Bavarian term for people who have been transplanted there from somewhere else.
"(Zuagroast is) an American style transplanted to Germany," Kuplent said.
Kuplen described Hopfenperle as a cross between a Helles-style lager and a pilsner. The beer is hop-forward but not as bitter as a traditional pilsner.
The beers will be available in Germany this month -- Kuplent is headed to Wolnzach soon to oversee the rollout -- and Urban Chestnut plans to import Zuagroast and Hopfenperle to St. Louis later this year.
Kuplent acknowledged that breaking into the German market has presented a much different challenge from entering the booming domestic market for craft beer.
"There are so many local breweries still," Kuplent said. "The variety in beer (brands) is pretty big. The variety of styles isn't."
The key, Kuplent said, is to explain to customers what Urban Chestnut is doing with each beer and why each tastes the way that it does. With that information, customers are open to trying new styles.
"It does take that effort to explain it," he said.