Posts ByJordan Palmer – PorchDrinking.com
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.
I thought I had suppressed the memory. I thought I buried it deep within the micro-depths of my subconscious mind, only to have it shoot straight to the top of my brain after receiving an email that mentioned those three words – Pinewood Derby Race.
We’ve asked this question before – how far would you drive for really good beer? In the case of St. Louis beer lovers, we hope at least 1 hour and 48 minutes. That’s about how long it will take you to drive from STL to Public House Brewing Company where you’ll find Frisco 1501 Historic Lager, now part of Public House’s year-round beer menu.
There is one craft brewery that I pass everyday on my way home from work each night. 4 Hands Brewing sits on the edge of downtown St. Louis inside a 20,000 square foot brewing facility featuring two tasting rooms and 3,000 square feet dedicated to barrel aging. They produce five year-round beers and a growing list of seasonal and barrel aged beers.
Forget the Hollywood hoopla, this is brewing award season! In a recent Porchdrinking.com piece, it was noted that Narrow Gauge Brewing Company won the RateBeer award for Missouri’s Best New Brewery. With so many new breweries coming to life in Missouri, one couldn’t help but wonder what it was about Narrow Gauge that electrified the local beer loving public. We recently got the chance to interview brewer Jeff Hardesty who shed light on Missouri’s new hot brewery.
Ratebeer.com is where millions of beer drinkers go to see how there peers rate beers from all across the world. It is widely recognized as one of the most in-depth, accurate and most-visited source for beer information, outside of PorchDrinking of course. Each year, the site tabulates the results of a year’s worth of reviews and puts together their annual “RateBeer” best list.
If there is one thing in the world of craft beer that is consistent, it is that every brewery has a unique story worth telling. The story of one of St. Louis’ newest breweries, Narrow Gauge, begins 136 years ago. Back in 1878 when railroads ruled the land, rails known as “narrow gauge” were built to minimize construction costs. In that year, the St. Louis and Suburban Railway opened as a narrow gauge steam railroad from the city to Florissant and was called the West End Narrow Gauge Railroad. Today, Florissant based Narrow Gauge Brewing Company pays tribute to this history and the city they call home.