#stlbeer – PorchDrinking.com
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been noticing a new trend – how many of our best and up-in-coming city neighborhoods are being anchored and supported by the local beer community.
One I want to talk about today is Dogtown. Dogtown, bordered by Manchester in the South, Hampton on the East, McCausland in the West and Oakland in the North – has been a part of the fabric of the city for more than 100 years. And while the spiritual center of the neighborhood will always be St. James the Greater School, the beer epicenter is Heavy Riff Brewing Company (6413 Clayton Ave. Saint Louis, Missouri 63139).
St. Louis’ brewing legacy does not start nor end with Anheuser-Busch. Not by a long shot.
According the bible of St. Louis beer, “St. Louis Brews” the list of major breweries included many names still known around here a century later. Names like Busch, Lemp, Falstaff and Griesedieck, still ring familiar to beer drinkers, generations after their heyday. But you know the saying, “what was old is new again.”
That is exactly what is happening with the rebirth of the famed Griesedieck family brewery.
Outside of St. Louis, the city has been known as the beer capital of the world primarily because of the success of the Anheuser-Busch Company and its flagship brew Budweiser. But inside St. Louis, beer drinkers know the city has a deeper connection to the history of suds then just AB. In fact St. Louis has been in the brewing business for more than two centuries with more than 120 breweries operating at one time.
This week I got the rare pleasure to visit the Schlafly Beer Taproom and sit down with Ambassador Brewer Stephen Hale. I’ve known Hale for 15 years and I credit him with introducing me to craft beer.
Walking down the sidewalk last week with my son, we literally saw a squirrel with an acorn in his mouth. “He’s stocking up for the winter,” said the 12 year old. “How cool would it be to hibernate?” Wow. Hibernate. I could deal with that. Take off for a few months, do nothing but sleep, eat and drink beer. But the key to a successful hibernation is that you can’t go out. Actually I think that is the definition of hibernation.