Over a decade ago, Cory and Karen King started brewing beer in their Soulard kitchen as a side project. In 2014 their side project took center stage as they opened a storefront brewery and tasting room named The Side Project Cellar. In a few short years, Side Project Cellar grew into an internationally renowned brewery that continues to attract visitors from around the world to Maplewood for their beer releases and tastings.
The Side Project Cellar has been building an empire within the City of Maplewood for the last seven years. This included a major expansion in 2016 where they acquired a second location, The Side Project Brewery, to serve as both a brewery and barrel space with additional room to accommodate the many travelers who visit each year. Their next endeavor, a pizza and beer drive-thru concept, includes a partnership with Elmwood that is scheduled to open later this year.
The global accolades that Side Project Brewing has accrued are too numerous to count but some of the highlights include being named the “Second Best Brewery in the World” and having three of their beers identified as “Best in the World” by RateBeer.com. They have also been named “Best Brewer Tap Room” in Missouri for the five-consecutive year.
Through everything, their success has been our success. With beer releases that draw major crowds that wind through sidewalks and around corners, the notoriety of Side Project Brewing has garnered visibility, business, and awareness for the City of Maplewood and our small businesses. As a result of the elite honor of hosting Cantillon Zwanze Day for consecutive years running, the City of Maplewood is on the map and radar for international travelers as a “must go”.
For all their success, you will not find more humble or grounded people than Cory and Karen King. If you follow them on social media, then you know that they are constantly giving props and showing appreciation for their staff whom you get the sense, are like family. On occasions they have needed to approach the City Council regarding expansion, it is simply impossible to miss how genuine they are in their desire to be conscientious corporate citizens and good neighbors. From the moment they opened their doors, the Side Project Cellar and then, The Side Project Brewery have been members Mid County Chamber of Commerce, and always first in line to step up to support locally! In addition to their community support, the Kings have given back with contributions and causes that are important to them including support for Operation Food Search, Friends with Kids with Cancer, the ACLU, Stray Rescue, Missouri Craft Brewers Guild, just to name a few.
On behalf of the Mid County Chamber of Commerce, we thank Cory and Karen King for choosing Maplewood for your many, many side projects and we are thrilled to present Side Project Brewing with the 2020 Business of the Year Award.