Fran Caradonna | St. Louis Public Radio

Fran Caradonna

January 23, 2020 Fran Caradonna
Emily Woodbury | St. Louis Public Radio

In 1990, Fran Caradonna and her then-husband upended St. Louis’ beer scene by starting a distributorship. They wanted to give local drinkers a choice beyond Anheuser-Busch — and, when Schlafly Beer was founded a year later, the Caradonnas’ company naturally became its distributor.

They helped introduce St. Louis to many new craft beer brands, helping to shake up what once felt like a near-monopoly for A-B. And, after the Caradonnas sold their company to Major Brands, they started a craft brewery of their own: O’Fallon Brewery, which they also later sold.   

After 25 years in operation, Trailhead Brewing is selling its facility and operations to Schlafly.
Trailhead Brewing

Fran Caradonna wasn’t looking to open another Schlafly brewpub. But after a call from Trailhead Brewing owner Bob Kirkwood late last year, the CEO changed her mind.

After 25 years of operations, the St. Charles-based brewery will soon change hands.

Late next month or in early March, Trailhead Brewing will reopen as Schlafly Bankside.