Ultimate 6er | 6 Beers You Have to Travel to St. Louis to Enjoy
Like nearly any major city in America, the local brewing scene in St. Louis continues to grow expontentially. But unlike other cities where the brewing is made up of many startup breweries creating a new scene, here it’s more like we’re reclaiming our heritage as the brewing capital.
St. Louis’ brewing history dates back to 1852, the year Anheuser Busch was founded. 1991, we saw St. Louis enter the world of locally owned craft beer with the establishment of the Schlafly Brewing Company. In 2011, we saw four breweries enter the market – Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands, Civil Life and Perennial, all now known as the Class of 2011. The beers created by AB, Schlafly, and the Class of 2011 can be enjoyed by beer lovers around the country. This comes through the beauty of marketing and success. But as any brewer knows, this business is hard, and getting your beer in front of a national audience is even harder.
As a river town, our “area” of brewing love actually includes breweries on “both sides of the Mississippi.” Crossing our many bridges to travel between Missouri and Illinois is commonplace and has opened up the market place to dozens of smaller brewers in both states.
Meanwhile, while our entire region relishes and celebrates the national and international success of our local breweries, we wanted to let you know about 6 of the finest beers being made here and you invite you all to St. Louis to try them, because, for now, being here is the only place you’ll be able to try them.
Stubbornfest | Stubborn German Brewing Company
Stubborn German Brewing Company owner/brewer Chris Rahn LOVES Oktoberfest beers and when he started the brewery, one of the things he was most excited about was having his Oktoberfest on tap all year long.
“For many breweries, that style is the “fall seasonal”, but we think it’s so great it should always be available,” said Rahn.
Theirs is very malty, crisp and clean and uses all German malts, hops, and yeast and is lagered for a few weeks to make sure it is at its peak of flavor when served. This beer goes great with the “Stubborn Brat” which is a bratwurst that can only be purchased at Schnieder’s Quality Meats in Waterloo. Top it with some mustard and sour kraut and pour a Stubbornfest out of your growler.
Riley’s Rebel Ale | Deslogetown Brewing Company
Park Hills, Missouri
5.4% ABV | 15 IBU
This beer is a variation on one of the first beers brewmaster Greg Camp ever brewed. The story behind Riley’s Rebel Ale dates back to its first brewing back on March 29, 2009.
“That was my oldest daughter Riley’s 18th birthday,” said Camp. “While we were brewing down in the basement, she comes downstairs to show me that since she was 18, she decided to go out and get a tattoo (since she didn’t need her parents permission) – I asked why she wanted a tattoo, and she says, ‘I don’t know Dad, I guess I’m just a rebel!'”, and with that the name of the beer was born.
It did go through some variations since then, mostly subtle was the increase and then decrease in the amount of hop. The beer is a Cream Ale style, which for the most part is a style that had been largely forgotten until recently. Camp was drawn to the style for that reason, and the fact that it essentially predates the Lager style of beers, since that technique wasn’t available at the time.
Timor Coffee Red Ale | Old Bakery Beer Company
4.7% ABV | 25 IBU
The Old Bakery Beer Company is a certified organic craft brewery located in downtown Alton, IL. Since opening in 2015, they have become known at the pub for sessionable coffee ales, and this is their newest release in that category!
The Timor Coffee Red Ale is a nutty dark red ale with raspberries and Timor Coffee from St. Louis based Kaldi’s Coffee. Everything in the beer balances together to create overlapping roasty, fruity, and bready flavors. It is the perfect summer coffee beer, refreshing & sessionable in nature.
“This beer represents our first partnership with Kaldi’s Coffee in St. Louis, who makes some great organic roasts,” said owner Lauren Pattan.
Old Bakery brewers are constantly adding to this beer series, adding new styles that pair well with the addition of coffee. The previous releases have included Maeva’s Coffee Brown Ale, Moka Java Milk Stout, Single Source Coffee Lager, and Sweet Potato Chai.
Kentucky Common! | Earthbound Beer
St. Louis, Missouri
Earthbound Brewing has proudly become St. Louis’ smallest, and weirdest brewer.
Kentucky Common is a beer that pays tribute to America’s rebel distillers, known as moonshiners. Moonshiners used to take a portion of their sour mash, boil it with some burnt barley and produce a refreshing, tart brown ale for consumption on long, hot still-working days. This beer is an homage to all the hobby distillers that (illegally) made America great. And drunk.
“We only make Kentucky Commons once or twice a year, and it’s one of my favorites,” said co-owner Rebecca Schranz.
Not a lot of people gravitate toward it, but it’s a spectacular beer. Kettle soured, which allows for the beer to start to naturally ferment before it’s boiled. This adds a delicious tartness and is a nod to the original practice of using the moonshine mash as the base of the recipe.
Citrapolis | Modern Brewery
St. Louis, Missouri
ABV: 7% | IBU: 70
Modern Brewery is one of the most exciting breweries in St. Louis now. Modern brews what owner president and CEO Beamer Eisele described as “two genres” of beer, Belgian and American Craft styles. But Modern isn’t stopping there. With these two
styles, they are creating what they call “Beer Fusion,” where they take what they like from both styles and blend them together.
And their Citrapolis is arguably their flagship beer at this time and the epitome of this beer fusion. This “Super” Citra hopped IPA borrows characteristics from other American Craft Beer styles including, APA (drinkability) and Double IPA (aroma). “We blend Pale, Munich, and Wheat malts to give a bright golden color, and utilize a hard working American yeast strain to fully express the exploding citrus characteristics of the Citra hop variety. Expect lots of citrus zest and pineapple on the nose, and more of the same in the flavor,” writes Eisele.
Hibiscus Wit | 2nd Shift Brewing Company
St. Louis and New Haven, Missouri
5.2% ABV | 24 IBU
Perhaps one of the most exciting breweries in the St. Louis region. 2nd Shift earned their stripes with local beer lovers with three now beloved brews, Katy, Brew Cocky and Art of Neurosis.
Since 2009, 2nd Shift called New Haven, Missouri home but recently announced it was moving operations to St. Louis and the popular “Hill” neighborhood, where it is opening an 18,000 square foot facility that will provide not only additional room for growth, but also allow for the ability to produce more barrel-aged beers as well as a tasting room.
Among the gems you can only try in St. Louis, is this seaonal Belgian Wit Bier. As brewmaster head brewer Steve Crider wrote, “This is a beer I’ve been goofin’ around with for a while. I love Belgian Wits on hot summer days, or freezing your butt off days. Anyway, I took a witbier and threw in a bunch of hisbiscus flowers to make it better.”
You’ll get some grapefruit, berries and fruit galore. It pours with a rose color, reminiscent of a grapefruit even and comes out of tap with little head. Drinks very nice.