Illinois General Aviation Airport Makes Brewing History

 - February 17, 2023, 12:26 PM
Starting next week, patrons of Southern Illinois Airport can order up a cold one of Wheelz Up IPA, the first beer to be brewed in a general aviation terminal. (Photo: Southern Illinois Airport/Savanna Kathleen Photography/Caffeine Until Cocktails)

Southern Illinois Airport (KMDH) is about to make aviation history as the first general aviation airport to have beer brewed in its terminal. St. Nicholas Brewing Company, a micro-brewery/restaurant, established its third location in the airport’s terminal building, which opened last summer. The structure was designed to resemble the airport’s original 1950svintage hangar.

The restaurant—just steps from the ramp—features a 30-foot-long bar, indoor seating for 75, and an outdoor patio that can seat 50. Next week, it will begin sales of its “Wheelz Up” IPA, which will be the first brew completed from its on-site brewery located at the front of the terminal.

On February 23, the St. Nicholas Brewery will hold the official "tap release" for the beer,  described as “full of citrus aroma, flavor, and juiciness.” Brewmasters James McCoy and Carl Bundy will be on hand for the event with airport manager Gary Shafer as the guest of honor.