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Meet a Local - Abby Ancell

Meet a Local - Abby Ancell

Posted on 07/06/2022 by Emily Titsworth

In ILLINOISouth there are so many people who make the region what it is. We are talking about local business owners, volunteers, and community leaders who pour their heart and soul into making southern Illinois great. In our ‘Meet a Local’ series, we are focusing on the amazing cast of characters that call ILLINOISouth home.

If you have been to Southern Illinois, there is a pretty high likelihood that you have heard of St. Nicholas Brewing. With locations in Du Quoin, Chester, and now the Southern Illinois Airport – it’s a name that has become synonymous with great taste. Even if you’re not a beer drinker, they have an array of cocktails and delicious food that folks absolutely love. If you have in fact been to any of these establishments, the odds are good that you have seen Abby Ancell running around like a crazy person. In the same day we have seen her bring lunch to our table at the St. Nicholas Landmark location in Chester, and later that night she was chatting up a group of us near the bar at the Du Quoin location. She’s everywhere…literally.

Ancell started St. Nicholas Brewing in Du Quoin back in 2014, and thanks to her ‘no quit’ attitude, she has watched the brand steadily grow. While the awesome drinks and food have been a big factor in the success of St. Nicholas, Ancell’s goodwill is something that keeps people visiting as well. The Du Quoin location started their ‘Brew it Forward’ program, which is designed to donate a portion of St. Nicholas’ sales each Wednesday night to a different charitable organization for an entire month. “There’s a strong sense of pride here, and I think that it all comes back to us,” says Ancell. “If you support your community, they’re going to give back to you.”

On top of that, Ancell has also started ‘Not Your Boyfriend’s Beer Club.’ It’s a group full of craft beer loving gals that get together once a month to hang out and partake in an array of different activities. The group has happy hours, helps come up with new shirt designs for the Brewery, and they also do brewery tours and flight tastings. How awesome is that?

Keep an eye out for Abby the next time you’re at any of the St. Nicholas locations, and make sure to chat her up. Her story of how she started St. Nicholas is a darn good one, and she loves to hear about your experience at her establishments. Simply put, Ancell helps make our region a better place – not because she has to, but because she wants to. It’s her home, it’s her passion, and there are few people better than her at spreading good vibes through fantastic atmosphere with even better food and beverages.

If you know of someone you would like to nominate for a ‘Meet a Local’ feature story, please give us a shout by emailing info@illinoisouth.org.

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