Thomas Schafly, president and co-founder of the Saint Louis Brewery, maker of Schlafly beer, will speak about the brewery and his work as a lawyer next week at UMSL.

Many people would have never pegged St. Louis for a growing craft beer hub 20 years ago. And the largest American-owned brewery in St. Louis would have belonged to another famous local family.

Thomas Schlafly and Dan Kopman, however, knew they were on to something in 1991 when they created The Saint Louis Brewery, the first microbrewery in Missouri, which produces the Schlafly line of beer. Today, Schlafly operates two full brew pubs, and brews, bottles and distributes around 42,000 barrels of Schlafly beer annually.

Thomas Schlafly, a lawyer by trade, is a partner with Thompson Coburn LLP. He will discuss “Lawyer as Entrepreneur: One Man’s Experience” at 8 a.m. Sept. 6 in the Student Government Association Chamber in the Millennium Student Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The discussion will focus on Schlafly’s decision to open a microbrewery in the shadow of the world’s largest beer maker (Anheuser-Busch), learning the ins-and-outs of craft beer and what’s next for Schlafly beer.

In 2011, the brewery  reported about $15 million in revenue. In addition to sales from bottled beer, the company operates the Schlafly Tap Room  in downtown St. Louis and Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, Mo. The Schlafly brand  brews six craft beers available year-round, and more than 20 seasonal and special release brews.

The discussion is part of the monthly Breakfast & Business Series sponsored by UMSL’s College of Business Administration.

Breakfast and networking will begin at 7:30 a.m. The discussion will follow. The event is free and open to the public. The Millennium Student Center is on UMSL’s North Campus, 1 University Blvd. in St. Louis County (63121). Reservations are required. Call 314-516-5883 or e-mail to reserve a spot.

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton