St. Louis firm plans to build 5 craft breweries

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Entertainment,Food and Drink

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis-based company is planning to build five breweries over the next five years for craft beer production.

Brew Hub LLC said Tuesday that its first brewery is planned in Lakeland, Fla. The company is also evaluating locations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Texas and the West Coast for what it calls "partner brewing."

The plan is to allow craft breweries to make beer under supervision of their own brewmasters, package and distribute it from the Brew Hub brewery. Brew Hub said the partnership allows craft beer-makers to expand their distribution without the overhead cost of building a brewery or transporting beer across the country.

"There are so many craft brewers making amazing beer today, and the demand from consumers is almost insatiable," said Brew Hub CEO Tim Schoen.

"We believe our partner brewing model will allow craft brewers a great opportunity to expand their business and reach new consumers."

Brew Hub was founded last year by former Anheuser-Busch executives and is supported by financing from The Yucaipa Cos. of Los Angeles.

The Lakeland brewery will have an initial capacity of 75,000 barrels, or one million cases, annually, distributing to wholesalers throughout the Southeast.

The Brewers Association says craft beer volume rose by 15 percent in the U.S. last year.

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