#MissouriCraftBeer – PorchDrinking.com
We all could use a dose of fall to remind us that these dog-days of summer will end, and we won’t melt. So, thank goodness for Old Bakery Brewing Company. Sensing our need for cooler thoughts Old Bakery is “speeding” up their release of their popular Oktoberfest Märzen, releasing it on July 28, (a few days earlier than most of the nation’s breweries) in conjunction with St. Louis Craft Beer Week.
The saddest day of my entire beer-loving life arrived last spring when I opened the door of my old college dorm room beer fridge, and out came my only remaining bottle of 4 Hands Brewing Absence Of Light ’17. In slow motion, the bottle teetered out of the fridge, falling to its death just six inches below. I moved as fast as possible, but I could not catch the neck from slamming into the concrete floor, causing the glass to shatter, ejecting the brown, frothy goodness directly into laundry drain. The scent of Peanut Butter Stout wafted into the air as I stared down at the brown liquid disappearing into the abyss. It was a sad day. Needless to say, I replaced that fridge. But, I was afraid I could never replace that beer — until now.
Ah, ’tis season of winter beers. As the days and nights turn colder in the northern parts of the nation, the bite in the air invites us to turn from the lighter beers of summer to the bigger, bolder and richer beers designed to be sipped by the fire, enjoyed with hearty menus or served at warmer temperatures.
The three most popular winter styles, outside the realm of barrel-aging, involve stouts, porters and brown ales. While most can adequately describe stouts, the differences between porters and brown ales are often misunderstood. To better understand the styles, I asked some breweries in the St. Louis region to provide clarity on the topic.
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.”
One of the first things that happened on my return to St. Louis after a two year absence was a receipt of a Narrow Gauge Brewing SHB: DDH Citra. By receipt I mean it was forced upon me. And by forced upon me, I mean a friend insisted I try this new (to me) beer. Before I could ask about this acronym-soup of a beer, I had a sip and promptly forgot my crude thought on what SHB: DDH might mean.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the breweries in western Pennsylvania — Dancing Gnome, Grist House, Voodoo Brewery and Brew Gentlemen, to name a few of my favorites. The craft beer served at those places, as is the rest of the craft beer served in the region, is absolutely delicious. However, every once in awhile you want to branch out and explore other breweries. That is where Narrow Gauge Brewing Company (St. Louis) comes into play, including its King Fallen Flag.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: St. Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer
Craft with a conscious. It’s the phrase commonly found on the underside of Schlafly Beer bottle caps, and it captures the essence of a brewery that recently celebrated 25 years in the business. Schlafly is Missouri’s largest locally-owned and independent craft brewery, and it’s dedicated to upholding the craft brewing industry values consisting of community, sustainability and innovation.
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.
When hockey season starts in St. Louis, this is how I spend many a night: I slip on my Blues ski cap to protect my balded head, throw on my jersey, bring out the big screen and connect it to my DirectTV Genie, light a fire and drink beer while watching the Blues. Cold beer in the backyard by the fire is one of life’s true pleasures. But until now, drinking by the fire could be a random affair. Not anymore thanks to Schlafly Beer Bonfire Box — beers designed for campfire-style drinking.
A straight shot south down Interstate 55 from St. Louis is where you’ll find a brewing company — Main & Mill Brewing Company — that, while just three years in operation, is carrying forth a rich brewing tradition that began 120 years ago.