Celebrating Two Years of ‘Weird’ Beer in St. Louis
Let’s get something straight – weird beer is awesome. Weird beer made in the shadow of the world’s largest lager brewery, Anheuser-Busch, is even awesomer.
Weird beer is what we affectionately call what’s been brewed down on Cherokee Street the past two years at Earthbound Beer. And don’t think we’re being harsh, they think their beer is weird too.
“We make small, weird beers,” says Rebecca Schranz, whose title of “Queen of getting shit done” is the best title in the entire world. “You’ll find stuff here you won’t have elsewhere. I don’t expect every person to love every beer we make, but I expect someone coming in to find something they enjoy. We also make pretty fabulous straight-forward, no-frills beer,” said Schranz.
We’ll get to those straight-forward beers another time, but for now let’s focus on the weird ones.
Some of the Weird Ones
The “weird” we are embracing comes from Earthbound’s innovative spirit in trying to use unusual ingredients as well as a unique variety of herbs and spices. It also comes from their desire to create historical beers which allows for a decent percentage of their beers have very interesting back stories.
Tax Evader DIPA | IBU: 70 ABV: 11.5%
This is a big beer folks. An English-style IPA brewed with jaggery, a semi-refined sugar from India. Its name and conception are based off of the Free Mash Tun Act when Parliament taxed British brewers on their malted barley.
“For this particular beer, we drop the grain bill and add a hefty amount of jaggery to boost the ABV. We’ve actually turned to creating variations of this beer because of it’s popularity. We’ve now done a black, rye, and red version as well,” says Shranz.
Birch Farmhouse | IBU: 0 ABV: 4.7%
If you ever went to camp, you learned early on that you should never burn the birch bark, no matter how easy it was to use it to start a campfire. Now that I’m older, I can drink the Birch bark. This is a French style farmhouse with a delightful birch finish. Don’t know what birch tastes like? Try this beer!
— Earthbound Beer (@EarthboundBeer) October 3, 2016
On average, Schranz and Keating create 75 different new recipes each year and a new beer on draft each week. Their draft menu changes weekly, so visit them online or on their social pages for updates.
More Weirdness For The Future
To say the St. Louis and regional craft beer communities have embraced the weirdness may be understating it. Earthbound worked hard to develop a true grassroots fan base by introducing themselves to thirsty beer lovers at nearly every local beer festival they could get into. The beer was good, the public was happy and social media did the rest, helping them grow a reputation of being weird, interesting and unique. And from that success, the weirdness continues to grow.
Next month Earthbound will celebrate its second anniversary as they continue to build their future home.
Their current tasting room is small, about 1000 square feet and their brew system is small too at 1.5 bbl. But that will be changing in the Spring of 2017. “We’ll be moving 200 feet west into the old stock house of Cherokee Brewery Company, a pre-prohibition brewery,” says Schranz. “It’s quite the opposite of where we are now- a large, striking tasting room with a bier garden. We’ll be on a seven barrel system there, so we’ll start making flagship beers and we’ll also be adding house made sodas.”
Time to Celebrate
The 2nd anniversary party will be held at Empire Hall, located at 3407 California Ave, from 7PM to 11PM on Friday, November 18th.
Earthbound will pour sixteen different beers at the event, including favorites like Fuzzy Pickles and Tax Evader alongside rarities like the Apricot Gose (a sour wheat beer brewed with locally grown apricots) and Dead Druid King (a hop-less black wheat beer seasoned with oak leaves, based on Bavarian tomb findings from the 8th Century BCE). Additionally, the event will serve as the seasonal launch of two beers from the brewery’s starting lineup—the Rosemary Juniper Pale Ale and Scotch Ale.
“We’ve had a momentous second year and we want to celebrate with the St. Louis beer community,” said Keating. “We’ve saved a keg or two from our favorite beers and we’ve got a special barrel-aged variant of Dead Druid King of which we are quite proud.”
In addition to the beer on tap, guests will be able to chat with the brewery staff, pose for photos with Oh So Vivant, cut a rug to some choice tunes from DJ Stephen Jehle, and purchase food from local restaurants like Byrd & Barrel and Gooseberries.
Tickets are $25 and include a tasting glass and drink tickets for beer samples. Food, merchandise and additional drink tickets will be available for purchase at the event.
Tickets are available at http://earthboundbeer.com/.