4 Hands Brewing Co. plans major production expansion and new beer garden
4 Hands Brewing Co. is expanding its current location at 1220 S. Eighth St. in the La Salle Park neighborhood of St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. In August, 4 Hands acquired the premises occupied by The Pump Shop with plans to use the interior spaces for manufacturing, warehousing and office space. The purchased outdoor area will be converted into a beer garden. The Pump Shop will be relocating for its own expansion.
Kevin Lemp, CEO and President of 4 Hands Brewing Co., had the idea of expanding the brewery years ago and partnered with St. Louis architecture firm CannonDesign to gain momentum. “We’ve been working on it for the last five years. That’s why patience is so important. It takes so much time and capital to get things moving. It was a long way. We have a fantastic relationship with The Pump Shop and are very excited about their own opportunity to expand. We’ve worked so hard on this plan and we have a level of security knowing what our future holds,” Lemp said.
There are two main reasons for the expansion: the first is to increase manufacturing efficiency, which allows for more experimentation and creativity. Second, there will be more space for brewery guests in the beer garden.
The expansion will allow 4 Hands to produce approximately 4,000 cases of product per day, four times what is now possible. It is vital for the company to keep up with the demands of the industry as it adds new innovations and products to be tested in the local market. “The expansion will allow us to grow as the market allows,” said Lemp.
4 Hands has been operating in a 20,000 square foot facility for 11 years. The Pump Shop will give 4 Hands an additional 25,000 square feet to build a packing hall that will be used for canning, tanks, labelers and other manufacturing equipment. This space will also accommodate a new shipping and receiving area.
After its expected completion in 2024, the beer garden will probably offer 300 seats on an area of 47,000 square meters. The atmosphere of the beer garden will be traditional, with fairy lights, outside toilets and private alcoves, as well as open walkways. Lemp hopes to create a more inclusive atmosphere at the brewery and invites adults to bring their children and dogs to the beer garden. Guests can rent the beer garden for private events.
“We are very focused on building a family-friendly environment. We already have an arcade room up in the second floor common room for kids that was actually inspired by my own kids. We also have a lot of dog parents at the brewery and we want to make room for them,” Lemp said.
Part of the expansion will bring more big tanks for efficiency and small tanks for innovation, and 4 Hands will be able to offer more variety. The brewery will offer the same number of beers on tap (16 draft offerings on the first floor and 24 offerings on the second floor), but the flavors will rotate more regularly. Guests also have access to more exclusive small series releases.
In spring 2023, 4 Hands will add a gin garden to its parking lot. As with a farm-to-table concept, herbs are grown on the property to be used in the small-batch gin production for sister brand 1220 Artisan Spirits. Before that, however, a new year-round gin called Zenpo is slated to launch in December.
As always, 4 Hands will be launching 14 seasonal beers. However, eight of those 14 will be completely new by next year. Due to the popularity of seltzer at 4 Hands, there will also be new seasonal seltzer offers next year. “It was an explosive category for us and we don’t want to be like White Claw,” Lemp said. “We want to be a little whimsical and nostalgic.”
Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., owned by Kevin Nashan, will continue to act as the food service provider at 4 Hands and serve the beer garden patrons when it opens to the public. The fast-casual service style is also said to remain unchanged.
Lemp’s vision is to beautify the I-44 corridor at the intersection of South Seventh Street. Windows renovation and painting of the outside of the brewery is scheduled to begin this week.
“We are part of the La Salle Park neighborhood and very passionate about our neighbors. From the street level we will be able to present some nice graphics to the community. The neighborhood has been very supportive so far. We’re still making plans to do more for the neighborhood and it’s really about having an open conversation. We’re grateful to have this relationship with La Salle Park,” Lemp said.
During the renovation of the brewery, no neighboring operation will be interrupted, suspended or temporarily closed. This project will be carried out in waves, with an initial investment of $1.2 million in manufacturing facilities. The new storage, office and production areas are expected to be completed by June 2023.
4 Hands is actively trying to start a Community Improvement District or CID but nothing has been confirmed. The CID would add an additional 1% to the sales tax for 4 Hands guests to fund maintenance, free parking and landscaping to beautify the property.
The sales area, taproom and tasting area will remain unchanged. 4 Hands will start offering tours once the expansion is complete. The opening hours of 4 Hands will remain the same after the expansion: Monday to Thursday 12 noon to 10 p.m., Friday 12 noon to 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon to 8 p.m.