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About- Niel Stender

Niel Stender

Niel Stender

Most of my time is spent fielding questions from my 4 year old daughter and 3 year old twins. For a real job, I work at WaveTrain Intermedia, a marketing company focused on the glorious craft beer industry. Netflix binges with my wife, mindsurfing the Jersey shore, SoCal and New England, drinking beer and eating burgers fills out the rest of me. Literally.

Posts By Niel Stender

Schlafly Beer | Tasmanian IPA

November 30, 2015 |

ABV: 7.2% | IBU: 65

Schlafly Bottleworks’ Tasmanian IPA (TIPA) is part of the brewery’s Special Release series, and is  available only from October to February. Per the Schlafly website “Our Special Release Series represents a seasonal lineup showcasing bigger beers… with a focus on unique process and huge flavor …” TIPA certainly fits that bill.

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4 Hands Brewing | Ill Repute Pumpkin Porter

October 28, 2015 |

ABV: 8.5%

The pumpkin beer debate this year was heated: “August is too early!”, “It’s not real pumpkin!”, “So much nutmeg!” Here at PorchDrinking, we had a group discussion … Read More

Ultimate 6er | Halloween Beer Costumes

October 21, 2015 | 2

When I was a child, growing up in suburban New Jersey, there was a Halloween costume contest every year at the park around the corner from our house. The process involved walking around in a circle, with other eager trick-or-treaters, so the judges could get a load of everyone’s gear. The winner for each category received a $2 bill, exciting stuff for a 6-year-old in *cough cough* 1986. I am proud to say I won this contest for one category or another several times. Now that I’m an “adult” I’ll go out on a limb and wager it may have been rigged since my mom was the mayor of our town. But that’s not the point.

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Modern Brewery | Green Goliath

September 9, 2015 |

ABV: 9.0%

Modern Brewery is a relatively new face on the St. Louis beer scene, having celebrated their one-year anniversary this year. But their brews are already creating a buzz. I’ve had several local beer lovers tell me about Green Goliath DIPA. A few months ago, I finally got a small taster of it and quickly understood the reason for the excitement. It rocks. So I was stoked that upon filling my first Synek bag a couple weeks later at a local bar, The Gramophone, to see Modern dominating the taps. Instead of a taster, I treated myself to an entire gallon.

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Ultimate 6er | National Picnic Month

July 22, 2015 |

It seems that the list of “holidays” has grown to epic proportions of nonsense these days. I’m not talking about legitimate fiestas that trace their roots to ancient pagan traditions like Easter, Halloween and Groundhog Day. I’m talking about those Instagram hashtag holidays like Sibling Day, No Pants Day and National Cheeseburger Day. Full disclosure, I am a card carrying celebrant of these three festivals but surely In-n-Out had a hand in creating at least one of them.


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O’Fallon Brewery | 5 Day IPA

June 19, 2015 |

ABV: 6.1%
IBU: 66

O’Fallon Brewery somehow manages to fly under my radar which is odd considering how tasty their beers are, including this 5 Day IPA. I’ve been on an IPA kick lately and have been getting rather snooty in my inspection of the labels to make sure it’s super fresh. This is extra ridiculous since I don’t recall what the bottled on date for this batch was. But I do recall that it was pretty damn good. Read More

4 Hands Brewing | Send Help

June 9, 2015 |

ABV: 4.5%

Send Help is not your typical summer seasonal. This blonde ale from 4 Hands Brewing was made in collaboration with Randy Ploesser and Todd Bratud of Send Help skateboards. And while it’s a bit unconventional, it does succeed in capturing summer in a can, which is appropriate for St. Louis since summer seems to land as early as April. I’ll be honest, I saw the purple-foam-hand-covered-skeleton waving to me from the beer shelf and couldn’t resist giving it a try.

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4 Hands Brewing | War Hammer

May 8, 2015 |

ABV: 9% IBU: 83

War Hammer, an Imperial IPA from 4 Hands Brewing, was released during their annual Lupulin Carnival this year. A legitimate carnival replete with ferris wheel … Read More

Ultimate 6er | Super Trooper Sixer

April 1, 2015 |

IBU: Not bitter at all really

In college, after a night of fun, my roommates and I came home to a choice of two movies. Caddyshack or Super Troopers? Always a difficult decision, though I can say Super Troopers took the advantage by about 120 or so watchings. Between this time spent burning the script, verbatim, into my head, and the relatively equal time spent doing the same with my brother, its not unreasonable to state that 75% of the words exchanged between myself and my brother are 1 liners from Super Troopers. So, when the rumor mill started churning about a sequel, I may have gotten excited.

Once the rumor was replaced with fact, the chaps of Broken Lizard (the guys in the movie) told the world that the studio would produce it but not pay for it. So they launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with a goal of $2 million in 30 days. And they hit that goal in ONE DAY. With perks like “one of the cop cars from the movie” and tickets to “join us at Beerfest,” it’s not exactly surprising.

The Lizards note that on a daily basis they are asked the question “Who wants a mustache ride?” Though Super Troopers was a low budget, indie film, there is clearly a rabid fan base here. So, in honor of the Troopers rocking success ($3.2 million as of this writing), today’s Ultimate 6er will be wrapped around the characters that made the first movie so damn funny. Read More

Perennial Artisan Ales | Abraxas

March 10, 2015 |

ABV: 10% IBU: 80


Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales here in St. Louis is 750 milliliters of cult following. The release day this past year included a parking … Read More

Ultimate 6er | Breaking New Year’s Resolutions

January 14, 2015 |

Ahh, January, the month of New Year resolutions made to be broken. Especially gloriously vague exclamations like “I’m going to exercise more!” This just means you don’t already exercise … Read More

4 Hands Brewing | Alter Ego

December 30, 2014 |

ABV: 5.5%

On my personal hoppy vs. malty beer scale, the malty side is always sitting lower. I’ve learned to appreciate hops and all the bitter nuance that comes with them, but generally I’ll go for a stout or porter when given the option. So, when I see a beer labeled “Black IPA” like Alter Ego from 4 Hands Brewing, I’m more inclined to give it a shot. Plus the can art reminds me of Tommy Lee Jones in the incredibly terrible Batman Forever. Thankfully, this brew is anything but that. Read More

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas | Craft Beer Edition

December 22, 2014 | 2


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

many critters were stirring, including a mouse.

The stockings were stuffed with craft beer … Read More

O’Fallon Brewery | King Louie Toffee Stout

December 3, 2014 |

ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 26

King Louie Toffee Stout from O’Fallon Brewery has legit ties to the actual King Louis XIV. The chocolatier that O’Fallon collaborated with on this royal brew, Bissinger’s, goes WAY back. All the way to 1668 when His Kingness decreed the Bissinger family “Confiseur Imperia”. I don’t know what that means but it sounds really impressive. Read More

Schlafly | Coffee Stout

November 4, 2014 | 2

ABV: 5.7%
IBU: 30

I look forward to a steaming mug of black coffee in the morning almost as much I do a cold beer on a Friday night. And let’s be honest, stout combined with coffee is the peanut butter and chocolate of the beer world. So, Schlafly Coffee Stout, which combines two of my favorite beverages into 12 ounces of liquid delight was a no brainer. I also appreciate that Schlafly collaborates with a local coffee roaster, Kaldi’s, to produce this brew. Read More

A Conversation With Modern Times Beer

October 28, 2014 |

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Modern Times Beer COO Chris Sarette. Here’s what we discussed:

Tell me the story of how Modern Times got its start. … Read More

New Belgium/Perennial Artisan Ales | Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

October 20, 2014 |

ABV: 9%
IBU: 35

It seems like every time I talk to someone outside St. Louis about the craft beer here, they ask me about Perennial Artisan Ales.  Either they’ve had it and are raving fans or they’ve heard about it and want to get their hands on some. It’s understandable considering the quality of the brew Perennial puts out and their participation in the overall scene. If you follow them around the labyrinth of the internet, you know they’re up to a LOT of good things. Brewer meet and greets, beer dinners and festivals all over the country. Not to mention collaborations with the likes of Evil Twin, Half Acre, Prairie Artisan, et cetera, et cetera. But if you aren’t familiar with them yet, you’re likely going to be thanks to this new bomber of delicious teamwork – New Belgium/Perennial Artisan Ales Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout, the latest addition to the Lips of Faith series. Read More

4 Hands Brewing | Resurrected IPA

October 7, 2014 |

My 3 year old daughter asks me this question every night at dinner – “Daddy, may I sniff your beer?” She then daintily sticks her nose into the glass and takes a very theatric, deep inhale. When I ask her what it smells like, she always tells me the same thing, “It smells like beer.” As if I didn’t already love her enough? Though she gave me the usual reply on my recent can of Resurrected IPA from 4 Hands Brewing, I’m here to tell you that it smells MUCH more interesting than just beer.

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Crown Valley Brewing | Imperial Pumpkin Smash Stout

August 29, 2014 |

ABV: 10.6%
IBU: 48

There’s an ongoing debate on pumpkin beers here at PorchDrinking that you can read all about here. Should they be released in the fall or is the practice of getting them on shelves in August acceptable? The big box retailers put their holiday merch out in October and Halloween candy out in what seems like August. Should craft beer be following their lead? If you’re on the fence, get your paws on a bottle of Crown Valley Brewing Imperial Pumpkin Smash Stout. And find yourself firmly in the Summer pumpkin camp.  Read More

Adroit Theory Brewing | Scorpion Black IPA

August 8, 2014 |

ABV: 8.1%
IBU: 89


I first heard about Adroit Theory Brewing from my sister, Caroline, who lives in the same area of Virginia as this nano-brewery. Right away, the name caught my eye as seeming somewhat unusual but after a dictionary visit, it became clear as you can see here:


Adroit – adjective
Clever or skillful in using the hands or mind.

Theory – noun
a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

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