A Note From Steve Neukomm
I’ve been at this journey for a very long time and somehow as I look back there is a common theme. I grew up in the seventies, there was a lot of experimentation, and a big part of it was doing things that altered your state of mind. Everyone around me was enjoying life and (for a lack of better term) getting each other high, and we loved it. It was a social time and we enjoyed the music, our discovery of life and more importantly sharing each other’s experiences. Illicit turned conventional and the discovery of adult beverages was great and legal as well. It was the great American social lubricant, and back then the three martini lunch was alive and well.
My interest in the bar business started early, I was tending bar at the age of eighteen at a country club. I enjoyed the excitement and enjoyment of being a part of bar. Around that time I started home brewing, wine making and even dabbled in distilling on little glass lab still. I loved making all kinds of adult beverages to share with friends. In the late seventies I ran Eleven Mile House, a bar in Kirkwood, MO. It was so small that after cleaning the floors and bathrooms I ran the place from behind the bar. It was great fun and I made a lot of friends and that experience drove me to want to open my own bar. In 1981, I did. I owned Ronaynes for ten years. I was able to experiment and try new things with Ronaynes, our menu changed monthly, using local farmers, and producers (unheard of in the eighties), I even made wine for the restaurant through a grape we called the wine Chateau La Feet. After Ronaynes I tried to open a brewpub but the concept was unheard of in St. Louis, and never got financed, so the project went on hold till 1999, when I bought Heartland Brewing and Augusta Brewing Company shortly after.
Without a doubt, I’ve been around the bar and restaurant business all my life. It’s been my passion and my troubles, but it’s the only life I know. In 2005 I had the opportunity to fulfill another life’s dream and that was to come back to where I opened my first restaurant — Square One Brewery. Two years later, I added the distillery and became the first legal distillery in Missouri since prohibition. This is my dream bar and restaurant. I make the beer and spirits especially whiskey which has always fascinated me, both how it tasted and the history of the spirit. I love making whiskey although I wish it didn’t take so long. Nonetheless, it’s worth the wait. I craft great unique beers and spirits and cook up fresh and different pub food that many enjoy.
So what is Spirits of St. Louis Distillery all about?
I think it’s safe to say, it is the embodiment of a lifetime of experiences creating unique and interesting flavors for people to enjoy.
Come taste it for yourself.
Founder + Creator of Spirits of St. Louis Distillery and Square One Brewery and Distillery.