When people talk about American craft beer, they usually mean the West and East Coast brews. These are the places where the craft beer movement was born and most of the classic examples of the scene come from there. But the vast middle of America also shines with the finest beer from craft breweries. One of them is O'Fallon from St. Louis.
When husband and wife Fran and Tony Caradonna started their own small beer label in 2000, their hometown of St. Louis didn't really have a beer scene. The craft beer movement had been raging along the east and west coasts of the United States since the 1980s, but in Missouri back then you could only drink beer from large industrial breweries. Fran and Tony didn't want to accept this situation any longer and set up a beer business. They exported brews from microbreweries and made it possible for the people of St. Louis to taste handcrafted craft beer. After a while, however, it became too monotonous for them: the two no longer just wanted to sell beer made by other people, they wanted to try their hand at brewing it themselves. After a few successful brewing attempts, they took the plunge and founded the O'Fallon Brewery.
For the first two years of their brewery, Tony and Fran did everything themselves. They wrote the recipes, brewed the beer, bottled it themselves, packaged it and shipped it to their excited customers. For two years, O'Fallon Brewery was a two-person business. However, they received a lot of help: Not only friends and family lent a hand, the Caradonnas also received support from completely unexpected quarters. Namely from the competition. Brewers from the city and the surrounding area supported them with advice, action and equipment and accompanied them through the first two years. After that, the O'Fallon Brewery picked up speed and became one of the most popular breweries in the St. Louis area. Demand grew so drastically that by 2008 Fran and Tony were no longer able to brew everything themselves. They had part of their range brewed by other breweries and moved to more spacious premises in 2015. The wide selection of the finest beers has been growing steadily since then and no longer only supplies St. Louis with good brews. The brewers have attracted attention with their beers in international competitions and won one or two medals. Brews like the Smoke Porter combine their desire to experiment with the basics of American craft beer and speak of the courage and expertise of their makers.