DEFIANCE, Mo. – Billy Busch wants to build a 20,000-square-foot farm microbrewery on the land right across the street from his Kraftig Polo Club in Defiance, near the Busch Wildlife on the old Bridlespur Hunt.
Renderings show what the 265-customer facility would look like. The facility would produce 2,500 barrels per year.
But residents near the proposed site said they’re not excited and want answers about the project.
“There's such ambiguity around protections, road studies, environmental impact, water, this is a small country road we live on,” said resident Mike Reth.
In addition to the brewery, a museum, gift shop, and petting zoo were in the plans for the future.
Marc Gottfried, vice president and brewmaster for the William K. Busch Brewing Company, said their preliminary study indicated they’d only increase traffic on Highway DD by 3.3 percent on the weekends. He added that most residents don’t have issues with the project because their questions have been answered.
“We are a drop in the bucket; this is not a big operation,” he said. “We are sitting on 200 acres and occupy three-fourths of an acre and it’s a small microbrewery and distillery.”
Reth said everybody in the area would support the project if it were located just 10 miles down the road.
“We're asking the planning and zoning committee to help us understand and slow down the process,” he said. “Let’s have educated decisions.”
Gottfried said the closest occupied structure would be 1,000 feet away, with the next closest 1,300 feet.
“It's going to be the gem of Defiance and St. Charles County,” Gottfried said. “This is going to increase property value.”
Kraftig recently received a permissible condition permit and the St. Charles County Council will discuss the project at a meeting on Wednesday.
A brewery spokesperson said they look forward to having conversations and want to start building this winter.