New micro brewery opens in Belleville

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)--  Phil Druen might have the cure for what's been ailing Belleville.

"I said I really want it to stand out," says Phillip Druen the VP of Sales & Marketing for 4204 Main Street Brewing Company.  "I mean you drive by, you're looking at it as you drive by."

But this building that had been empty for seven years, is about to be reborn n as a micro-brewery.

There's been a lot of sweat equity before the suds can flow.

"I`ve been literally building every table every booth, floors, walls, deck, bar, tables," says owner Todd Kennedy.  "I'm a DIY kind of guy.  I watch a lot of this old house."

This old German town, founded 200 years ago in 1814 is about to celebrate its bicentennial, and what better way than with a micro brew pub.

"We're doing brewing modernized but essentially the way they were doing it hundreds and hundreds of years ago," says Adam Patterson the assistant general manager.  "You can watch us mill all the grain. It'll drop into the grist hopper and the water ton.  You can see it go.  Tony is piping it in for the boil for the hops and everything back into the fermenters."

Brew master Tony Toenjes helped launch Excel Brewery in Breese, Illinois two years ago is tapping into Belleville's German brewing history.

It was the home of Stag beer until 1988.

"Belleville has a rich lager maker rich history," says Tony Toenjes.  "So we'll continue with that.  I'll have a couple of lagers going all the time."

Seven to start with and Toenjues expects to make around one thousand barrels the first year for 4204 Main Street Brewing Company.

"They're proud of their brewing history but we want to start a whole new history with Belleville," says Druen.  "Something that's completely different but hopefully going to be here for a very long time."

A very lager time, smack dab on Main Street.

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