Posts ByJordan Palmer – PorchDrinking.com
First, a piece of advice. Do not speed as you travel the picturesque country roads of southern Illinois. The first reason is, of course, the cops. The speed limits drop quickly from 55 to 35 as you near and enter the small farming towns along Highway 158. The second reason is the simple beauty of the drive. Country roads should be cherished and with the debut of Lieferbräu Brewery as a reward for heading in this direction, you’ll be driving with a smile the whole time.
Some call it a trend, some call it a craze. But for me, it’s the style that has added a new layer of fun to beer.
The style I speak of goes by many names. New England style IPAs, Hazy or Juicy beers, and now, I’m even starting to see “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ales” and even “Juicy or Hazy Imperials and Double India Pale Ales.” The more the merrier.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s annual Oktoberfest St. Louis returns for its eighth year on Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30 at its Midtown Brewery & Biergarten. The festival will span three full days, but with a brand new theme “Biergarten to Big Top” and other new surprises.
New beer styles don’t come along every day, so when I first stumbled upon the new, increasingly popular Brut IPA, I wanted to know more. So, I reached out to Rob Abel, head brewer at Ferguson Brewing: “The Brut IPA is a new IPA, the rationale for that name is that much like Brut champagne is extremely dry, the IPA is extremely dry, having zero residual sugar left.”
Maybe it’s me, but it feels like there is so much new beer coming into St. Louis that I’m not sure where to begin. Just last week, we got word from our friends at Craft Republic that Off Color Brewing, based in Chicago, would now be released in St. Louis.
It’s August. Most of the country is still experiencing summertime heat. But, I’m writing tonight to talk about fall beer. Yep, fall beers. In this case, it’s Urban Chestnut‘s two-year-old Oktoberfest Lager with a funny name — Oachkatzlschwoaf.
This malty yet well-balanced Märzen may be tough to pronounce, but it’s easy to drink. Its full name is pronounced “oh-khut-zel-schvoaf,” which translates to “tail of a squirrel”… I hear it’s a just a little Bavarian humor. But, you can simply refer to it as “O-Katz,”
If you have never had a sip of anything from Schlafly’s Ibex Series, I highly recommend you start. Schlafly Beer first introduced this series of premium beers in 2017. Since then, the series has provided new, handcrafted beers from what is known as the Ibex Cellar.
In art, a collaboration between artists is where we, as consumers, are rewarded with a new and unique piece of original work. In the context of beer, a collaboration between brewers is where we, as beer drinkers, are rewarded with new and unique brews to drink.
Are you enjoying the cider renaissance?
It is real, but up until now, I pretty much ignored ciders as nothing more than a decent option for those who wanted beer, but couldn’t have one due to gluten or sugar issues. Boy, was I wrong! After seeing the opening of St. Louis’ first cidery, I’m ready to give this ancient beverage a chance.
Love. We all need love, right? I love a few things in life. Aside from my beautiful wife and the kids she claims are mine, my other great loves are biking and beer, or beer and biking. Now, in St. Louis it’s impossible to have one ‘favorite’ brewery, but I do have one favorite bike shop. I’ve been buying bikes from Mike Weiss and Big Shark for 20 years. They are MY bike shop. So, when I learned that my favorite bike shop was teaming up with one of my favorite breweries — Urban Chestnut, I may have teared up a bit. Really. A tear was shed.
It saddens me a bit that back in 1992 when I tried my first craft beer — a Schlafly Beer Pale Ale; I did not have the foresight to realize I was tipping back something special. I didn’t know that it would not only mean something to me 27 years later but inspire me to write about it.
As we finish up another year of beer, it’s time to look ahead to what we’ll be pouring, sipping and loving in 2018. I’ve reached out to a few of the Midwest’s best brewers to see what we can expect from them in the next Year of Beer.
As we finish up another year of beer, it’s time to look ahead to what we’ll be pouring, sipping and loving around the Midwest in 2018. I’ve reached out to a few of our town’s best brewers to see what we can expect from them in the next Year of Beer.
Up in Hannibal, MO, the team at Mark Twain Brewery is gearing up for some serious growth.
2017 was a banner year for St. Louis beer, and I say this based on how much of it I drank. Between festivals and brewery visits, my Untappd account topped 200 different beers in 2017. Is that a lot of beer? It is for me, but who is really counting?
Halloween may have passed, but my stash of “Dad tax” candy continues to thrive — my kids must pay for the right to trick-or-treat. Hence, traditionally, all Reeses, Smarties and M&M’s become my property.
As a result, I noticed an influx of new M&M flavors that I had not tried. Suddenly the classic, brown-bagged Plain M&M’s and yellow-bagged Peanut M&M’s were joined by such flavors as Birthday Cake, Pumpkin Spice, Cafe Mocha and Carrot Cake.
Of course, that got me thinking, ‘Which of these flavors would go best with what beer?’ This Ultimate 6er seeks to find the answers.
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..