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Falstaff Brewery sitting idle at 1920 Shenandoah

Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Benton Park neighborhood of South St. Louis at 1920 Shenandoah, neglected and lonely, is the former Falstaff Brewery. It might not be as beautiful or well known as the Lemp Brewery 10 blocks to the south, but a piece of local history nonetheless. But while talk has continual gone on for years about redeveloping the old Lemp complex and other former Falstaff breweries get a second life around the country, this gem has gotten far less fan fare.

In the past few of years, the only significant mention of the Falstaff name locally was the fire that happened at the site in February of 2008 (ended up being nothing major) and the proposed redevelopment (see St. Louis Business Journal article) of the other, less attractive, former Falstaff Brewery in town at 3674 Forest Park Blvd. This brewery has less character than the one in Benton Park, but the proximity to the SLU campus made it an attractive development option. Unfortunately, it seems that the project never really got off the ground.

As for the brewery at 1920 Shenandoah, it is gradually showing signs of its age. Other than the fire, structural problems have continued to mount due to decaying mortar and water damage. As you can see from the picture gallery, there are a number of openings and crumbling bricks around the perimeter. Nothing unfix-able, but if left untended for too much longer it could become a problem. The property has been listed for sale (see brochure) for a few years now, but the $1.3 million price tag and uncertain housing market makes investing in this 129,214 sq ft behemoth a bit questionable to the big guys in town and around the country.

The good thing is that there is still plenty of time for someone to come in an fix up the building. Although it is deteriorating as is expected of any untended building, it is long from a lost cause. Since the building is located just north of the most redeveloped section of the Benton Park neighborhood (near Blues City Deli) and only a few blocks from McGurk’s and all the traditional Soulard attractions, one would think that someone will soon recognize the potential of this gem as the market slowly warms back up in the coming years. For a look around the exterior of the complex check out the picture gallery below. Note that this gallery also includes pictures of the adjoining building at 2300 Salena, which is currently for lease.

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5 Responses to Falstaff Brewery sitting idle at 1920 Shenandoah

  1. was there once June 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    about 1970 from scott afb we went on a trip to taste some Falstaff beer .

    they really treated us extra right , immediately after arriving they brought out pitchers of cold beer for us all to drink.

    there were plenty of free cigarettes to smoke too.

    • Chris Hernandez February 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      My Grandpa was a die hard Falstaff drinker. He went on a tour there back in the late 60s and said they treated him like royalty! Said the beer right out of the plant was heaven on earth! He said they smoked cigars and said he had the time of his life!. I would think I would be real neat if modern Griesediecks that are making the beer would buy the building and make there beer there? The beer is darn good and I buy a load of it eveytime I go to St Louis.

  2. mike budde February 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    This building was originally the Griesedieck Brothers brewery. When Griesedieck ceased production (1957?) Falstaff took it over.

  3. Russ Rosener March 16, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    We discovered this by accident in Feb 2014 driving to a bed & breakfast nearby. It’s an amazing structure that would make gorgeous loft or Art Studio space. Faslstaff was indeed a good brew back in the day, and most of the old time South Siders preferred it to anything brewed at AB. The Falstaff was said to be the closest living brew to original Lemp lager. Thanks for bringing this lovely piece of StL history to light.

  4. katie Brown October 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    I can’t remember not stealing Falstaff beer from my mother’s glass when she wasn’t looking. This is the only beer my mom and her brothers would drink. I would love to purchase this property and turn it into a third amendment building, with shooting range, ammo, firearms sales, firearms classroom and anything about guns. Are there any investors out there interested in going in with me?

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