Urban Chestnut Brewing Company is Chicago-Bound via Lakeshore Beverage

In Beer News by Ryan

Urban Chestnut has inked a distribution deal with Lakeshore Beverage, becoming the 3rd South of 80 participant in as many years to enter the Chicago market.

Urban Chestnut LogoIf you’ve never had a beer from — or heard of — Urban Chestnut Brewing Company then you probably haven’t been to our annual Chicago Craft Beer Week event held at The Green Lady called “South of 80,” which showcases downstate and St. Louis-area brewers currently unavailable in Chicago. Or you haven’t sampled enough of the rapidly growing St. Louis craft beer scene.

Either way, the excuses end now as the St. Louis brewer and South of 80 favorite the last two years will now be in Chicago full-time beginning this week via Lakeshore Beverage.

Two beers that were wildly popular at South of 80 — Zwickel, a Bavarian-style lager, and Winged Nut, which is brewed with chestnuts — are among the first four Urban Chestnut beers to hit store shelves and tap handles.

Fantasyland, an American IPA, and Schnickelfritz, a Bavarian Weissbier round out the initial roll out.

Lakeshore Beverage has been steadily adding to its portfolio since the Hand Family bought and subsequently took over operations of River North Sales and City Beverage and merged the two. CEO JR Hand began by peeling Founders away from Glunz and then added SweetWater Brewing, Moody Tongue and a few others.

Urban Chestnut is the third South of 80 participant to eventually ink a distribution deal with a Chicago wholesaler. Six Row Brewing, also in St. Louis, was the first in 2012 and Destihl became the second in 2013.

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Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.