Posts ByJordan Palmer – PorchDrinking.com
Sorry Smuckers, but this beer’s name has got you beat, and because of the name, I have to say—with a name like Oachkatzlschwoaf, it’s got to be good.
This Urban Chestnut Beer Co. brew is pronounced “oh-khut-zel-schvoaf” but you can call it “O-Katz.” The translation means “tail of a squirrel”… a little Bavarian humor, if you will. This malty yet well-balanced Märzen (Oktoberfest Lager) is easy to drink but difficult to pronounce.
Despite the heat, Labor Day symbolizes the transition of summer to autumn. For me, the arrival of cooler temperatures and fall foliage makes fall one of Missouri’s more glorious seasons. It’s also my favorite time of the year to visit our region’s wineries, and now many of them are also brewing beer.
I’ve always been intrigued by pilsners. I feel this category of beer has sort of gotten the shaft. Like its first cousin, the lagers, pilsners may be suffering from a case of mistaken identity. As the population of beer lovers continues to embrace the art of craft brewing, it is this writer’s belief that lagers and pilsners are often incorrectly linked to macro breweries, especially in St. Louis, the city that Budweiser built.
As the cooler temperatures of fall ascend on our city, it will soon be time to welcome back fall beers and of course, fall beer festivals. That’s right, it’s time to drop the C in October and replace it with the K, and welcome back all of the area’s best Oktoberfests, starting with the one that actually takes place in September.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s (UCBC) annual Oktoberfest St. Louis returns for its 7th year on Friday, September 22, running through Sunday, September 24, at its Midtown Brewery & Biergarten. The festival will span three full days and about two full city blocks. Bier begins pouring and the fest grounds open on Friday at noon, but Oktoberfest St. Louis officially begins during a ceremonial keg-tapping at 7PM. The special guest keg-tapper to be announced.
As a solo beer writer with a full time job, I’ve come this realization—I won’t be able to attend every new brewery opening, and I won’t be able to drink every new beer.
This has been worrisome, but after speaking with a few owners and managers of local craft breweries, I now understand that most beer media will cover grand openings, but that the effect wears off pretty quick. It’s reminding the beer loving public months later about what’s happening and what’s new that will pay off for everyone. So with that in mind, I’m not going to worry about missing the grand openings, but rather let each new brewery work out its kinks before writing a feature on them, their beer and potentially their menu. This will also allow you and I, the reader, to benefit from multiple visits to the brewery, which is frankly more fun anyway.
Recently, I paid a second and third visit to what is now the closest craft brewery to my home, Charleville Brewing Company & Tavern located at 2101 Chouteau Avenue in St. Louis, MO..
Brewpubs are not a new trend by any means, as they have been in business in St. Louis since at least 1991, when The Schlafly Tap Room opened just west of downtown. However, the practice of pairing a limited or full menu with beer brewed under the same roof continues to grow more popular in St. Louis, and few do it better than Ferguson Brewing Company.
With so many of us enjoying more and greater craft beer, it’s only natural that we would want to share the great beer we find with others. Bringing a cooler filled with your favorite cans and bottles is fine, but what about the great brew we love on tap?
Like the changing of the seasons, I love to experience the flavorful transition from the heavier stouts and porters of winter to the lighter brews of spring and summer. And this year, I’m seeing a fantastic influx of more fruit-infused brews that will make for some great summer drinking. This is going to be a great beer summer.
In this age of social media, before a new brewery can even make beer or pour a pint, the local beer community is already abuzz about what’s coming. Few brewery openings in recent memory created as much excitement as 2nd Shift’s St. Louis opening this past winter. Their brewery and tap room was new to the area but their beer wasn’t. 2nd Shift began its journey in New Haven, Missouri back in 2010 and exploded onto the local scene with their flagship beer, Art of Neurosis. Now, it’s time to celebrate seven years of brewing, and owners Steve and Libby Crider are inviting all of us to a party, and Steve’s beard will be in attendance.
Call it experience, call it trial by fire, but I have found that the best way to maximize your beer festival participation is to have a plan. After perusing the attending breweries, all of which I love, I found a thread for this years plan – The New Kids On The Block.
Featured image courtesy of St. Louis Brewers Guild.
It was a big deal to move a festival as large as the St. Louis Brewers Guild’s Heritage Festival from Forest Park to the Arch grounds, but I think it is one both local brewers and beer lovers agree is worth it.
There is no other beer festival in the city that offers the rugged poetry of the Mississippi River and the majesty of the Gateway Arch as its landscape (which, I must say, takes on new meaning after a few beers and a clear starry sky).
Fruit or fruity beers are not for everyone. But that could be said about sours or stouts, and I let them into my life, so why not fruit beers?
So how do these popular spring and summer brews fit into my life and how can you, too, welcome them into yours? This is the question I decided to tackle for no other reason than I love exposing myself to new beers or in this case, beers that have been around but I’ve simply avoided.
I first discovered Logboat Brewing two years ago, about one year into their existence. If memory serves, it was the Centennial Beer Festival in St. Louis and I walked away after sampling Snapper thinking it was one of finest IPAs I’d had in long time. I made a mental note to remember that something very exciting was going on in Columbia, Missouri with this new brewery “LongBoat.”
Soon, I was bringing home Snapper as my go-to IPA as well as its American cousin Lookout. After a few closer looks at the cans, I finally realized they were not Longboat but Logboat and after a good chuckle at myself, I knew I had found something special.
Back in the late 1990s, my wife had a habit of signing up for every contest she ran across — and winning. One day, a home brewing kit showed up at our home. It went straight into the basement and remained there until it was tossed in the trash during a spring cleaning. What a mistake, because right about that time, I discovered craft beer and fell in love with the entrepreneurial spirit it represented. Given my young age, I could have walked away from my television career and went into brewing, but I didn’t. Now years later, I’ve converged my love of responsible drinking and my love for media into writing about beer. Nevertheless, that spirit of putting one’s faith in beer continues today, such as the story attached to Chris Greer and Greer Brewing.
Featured image courtesy of 4204 Main Street Brewing’s Facebook page
Is 4204 Main Street Brewing Co. taking over the Illinois town it calls home? Well, after visiting their brand spankin’ new tap room, then visiting their original location for dinner, and seeing the canning facility located next door—you have to wonder.
So I’ve got 30 minutes to kill. The oldest son is safely absorbing useful information at his tutor’s home which happens to be three floors above the Whole Foods Market in the Central West End. Lucky for me this particular Whole Food Market happens to have a wonderful beer bar, with some excellent beers on tap.
Few things go better together than baseball and beer. In my hometown of St. Louis, having your first beer at a Cardinals game is a right of passage enjoyed by generations of St. Louisans. There is nothing better than sipping a cold one on a hot summer day while cheering on your team, or jeering your team’s opponent. But only in recent years has craft beer started taking off at ballparks around the league, offering new and better options for baseball-loving beer fans other than those from the largest breweries in the land.
Featured image courtesy of Schlafly’s Facebook page.
There are very few beers I can honestly say are my wife’s favorites. But I can safely say Schlafly Beer‘s White Lager is one, and she will be very happy to learn that it has been added to the growing list of year-round releases. White Lager joins this exclusive list featuring Pale Ale, Kölsch, Oatmeal Stout, Grapefruit IPA and Expo IPA (exclusive to St. Louis).
Sometime in the mid-1990s, when I first returned to St. Louis as a legal drinker, my friend Mike Green took me to the Black Thorn Pub located on the corner of Wyoming and south Spring in South St. Louis. Unknown to me at the time, this visit started my secret obsession with corner bars.