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Jun 28, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Drink This Weekend Edition

DTWE: Keep your cool with Berliner Weisses and goses

Friday, June 16th, 2017

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The heat and humidity have kicked into high gear in The Lou. I’ll take hot weather over snow any day, but I know how to keep cool in these extreme conditions. Rather than sitting in a stagnant, air-conditioned room, I find pleasure imbibing crisp, refreshing, low-ABV beers to stay cool.

Two of my favorite styles to enjoy in hot weather have their roots in Germany: Berliner Weiss and gose (pronounced GOHZ’-uh). Fortunately, the American beer scene is seeing an influx of these approachable, soured wheat beers alongside the increasing demand for sour beer.

Well done Berliners and goses tend to have beautiful, balanced acidity that plays well with the billowy nature of the heavy wheat malt bill, creating an exquisite, crushable, thirst-quenching beverage. Goses are brewed with salt to increase satiability and texture and to add another dimension of sensory depth. Often, vibrant lemony citrus and herbal notes drive flavor.

If you want to try an assortment of German-style sour wheat beers this Saturday, head to Main & Mill Brewing Co. for its Summer StreetFest featuring a 5k, 12 bands and a plethora of new beer releases including eight fruited Berliners and goses.

Main & Mill has absolutely nailed its green chile ale, so I am sure the tropical chile gose with mango, papaya and green chiles is going will be almost juicy and margarita-like. I also can’t wait to try the Sangria Berliner stacked with strawberry, lime, orange and cherry. It sounds like a perfect way to beat the heat this weekend.

Katie Herrera is account manager at Craft Republic. 

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DTWE: Mosaic IPA at Six Mile Bridge Beer

Friday, May 19th, 2017

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If you’re sick of all my hop talk, well, too bad. It won’t slow down this summer for two reasons: one, hops are my favorite, and two, many local breweries are spectacularly showcasing the diverse and dynamic world of hops.

Cases in point: Schalfly’s SMaSH program is still rocking. 2nd Shift Brewing Co. brewer and hop whisperer Steve Crider is introducing more hoppy beers to his lineup. Perennial Artisan Ales continues to pop out experimental IPAs (look for IPA 16 to hit in the next few weeks). I cannot get enough of 4 Hands Brewing Co. Table IPA, its collaboration with Northeast-style pale ale producer Narrow Gauge Brewing Co., and Shared shows off its hop skills with its Proof of Concept series. Even malt-savvy Civil Life Brewing Co. is playing around with “excessive” hop usage in its American session ale.

Six Mile Bridge Beer has also joined the hop wave and will release the first in a series of single-hopped IPAs on draft this weekend at the Maryland Heights brewery. This juicy Northeast-style IPA is hopped with Mosaic, a Simcoe/Nugget hop hybrid that is used predominately for intense aromatics and easily one of my favorites to enjoy.

This hazy IPA presents itself with an intense aroma dominated by tropical fruit. As the beer opens a bit, the pineapple and papaya give way to a touch of bubble gum, ripe citrus, a little melon, and an ever so elegant waft of dankness. Super low bitterness and adequate alcohol (6.8-percent ABV) allow for ripe cantaloupe and grain to resonate on the palate. This beer is easily quaffable and a perfect warm weather offering. I look forward to more single-hopped IPAs in this series.

Photo courtesy of Six Mile Bridge Beer

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

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DTWE: 7 cans to crush at Global Brew’s Can Jam

Friday, April 28th, 2017

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Global Brew in Rock Hill is back with its annual Can Jam on Saturday, April 29. This celebration of canned beer from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. highlights the environmentally friendly nature of canning and outdoorsy breweries’ famed canned products.

I did my investigative research and got the can list, and attendees will be drinking some pretty rad and tasty, thirst-quenching beers – all perfect for outdoor drinking.

Of course, canning pioneer Oskar Blues Brewing Co. will be there with what I hear are some extremely fresh Pinner cans. 4 Hands Brewing Co. will crank out Contact High, one of my favorite seasonal St. Louis releases.

Ballast Point Brewing Co. will show up with tropical fruit bomb Mango Even Keel Session IPA, while Odell Brewing Co. will bring fruit and a little sourness to the party with its tart German-style blackberry gose, Brombeere. And if you are looking for those 16-ounce cans, Sierra Nevada will offer its flagship, hop-focused beauties, Pale Ale and Torpedo EPA.

Perhaps most intriguing to this beer can lineup is Left Hand Brewing Co.’s new seasonal, canned farmhouse release, Saison au Miel. Underlying layers of funk and soft floral notes from the Belgian yeast play nicely with the drying nature of the Colorado wildflower honey. You can’t go wrong with a fun twist on an old-school saison. Well done, Left Hand. Well done.

Photo courtesy of Left Hand Brewing Co. 

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at The Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

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DTWE: 8 beers that pair perfectly with your favorite jelly beans

Friday, April 14th, 2017

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Many area children will spend Easter loading up on all the sugary goodness that furry little bunny delivers. But don’t let the kids have all the fun. Grab a bag of my favorite Easter candy, Brach’s Classic Jelly Bird Eggs, and pair each flavor with locally available brews. Consider it the adult version of an Easter egg hunt – a Beer-ster Egg Hunt, if you will.

1. Lemon: Pair these citrusy yellow jelly beans with a Radler at The Civil Life. This half German wheat ale and half sparking fruit soda concoction is just what this lemony bean needs. On draft at The Civil Life Brewing Co. 

2. Lime: Do you like tiki drinks? Then pair this little green bean with a Schlafly Coconut Cream Ale. You’ll taste an island paradise with the mix of lime, coconut and pineapple flavors. On draft at Schlafly Bottleworks 

3. Grape: Eat a grape jelly bean and then drink some 4 Hands Absence of Light to relive those days of childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On draft at 4 Hands Brewing Co

4. Cherry: Enhance the cherry flavors in North Peak Archangel with those little red juice bombs of a jelly bean. This pale wheat beer is light and dry with just a hint of cherry. Available at Friar Tuck in Crestwood

5. Raspberry: Goose Island Lolita 2017 just hit shelves and is available in 12-ounce bottles for the first time. These sweet little pink jelly beans are a great counterpoint to all the sour raspberry funkiness going on in this beer. Available at Lukas Wine & Spirits

6. Orange: These citrusy, sweet orange jelly beans meet their match with the brightness and light tartness of Six Mile Bridge Beer’s seasonal Blood Orange Wit. On draft at Six Mile Bridge Beer 

7. Vanilla-Pineapple: Pair these opaque white jelly beans with a funky, Brett-fermented farmhouse like Green Bench’s Les Grisettes. Brett often creates intense notes of tropical fruit, and the vanilla adds a nice soft note that rounds out an often herbaceous, grassy character. Available at Saint Louis Hop Shop

8. Licorice: Does anyone actually eat these anise-flavored black jelly beans? Toss these spicy guys in the trash and end your Beer-ster Egg Hunt with a shot of Jägermeister or Fernet instead. You’ll be happier for it.

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

Photo illustration by Michelle Volansky 

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DTWE: Schlafly’s Dr. Kentucky’s Concoction from his Curious Cabinet Batch No. 40004

Friday, April 7th, 2017

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Get a sneak peek of Schlafly’s Art Outside festival when you pick up the fourth installment of the brewery’s Artist Series. “This is an area where we can step outside the norm a bit,” said brand specialist Wil Rogers.

Local artist Noah MacMillan worked with a team at Schlafly to develop the beer and illustrate branding for the special release with an absurdly long name: Dr. Kentucky’s Concoction from his Curious Cabinet Batch No. 40004. 

The beer, available in 750-milliliter bottles, is a riff on a whiskey buck cocktail: a golden ale flavored with ginger root, lime juice and bourbon-barrel chips. If you grab a bottle with a tag, hold onto it until Memorial Day weekend. Some will win a free gift from a curious cabinet at Schlafly’s Art Outside Festival May 28 to 26.

Of course, the beer itself is the real golden ticket: bright and bubbly with a subtle zip of ginger, we’re crushing some this weekend. Dr. Kentucky’s Concoction from his Curious Cabinet Batch No. 40004 is available at local bottle shops and groceries.

Photo by Heather Hughes

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DTWE: 3 tea-infused cocktails to try at Retreat Gastropub

Friday, March 31st, 2017

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 { Creole Colada at Retreat Gastropub }

 

When Retreat Gastropub bar manager Tim Wiggins comes up with a tea-themed cocktail menu, it’s going to be more than boozy glasses of your grandma’s finest.

“A lot of people hate tea,” Wiggins said. “These don’t taste like tea cocktails – they taste like cocktails with unusual elements.” The menu ranges from sweet and fruity to spicy and savory, balancing bold, unexpected flavors in strange-sounding, but highly drinkable cocktails.

1. If you like earthy flavors, the Parasol Shade combines the lush funkiness of Wray & Nephew overproof rum with a rooibos tea Wiggins said tastes like rich soil, all brightened by white rum, mango, cream and lime. The overproof rum’s raisin notes meet the mango’s sunnier sweetness, grounded by cream and a lively zip of lime on the finish. The complex combination is balanced – you’ll keep sipping as you try to figure it out.

2. If you like juicy and floral, try the tiki-inspired Creole Colada. Sweet, fresh pineapple juice and coconut cream are tempered by a full ounce of Peychaud’s bitters, Jamaican aged rum and an infusion of hibiscus and lemongrass. The drink is finished with a spray of hibiscus-infused absinthe and a sprinkle of nutmeg. A creamy pink, it looks throat-coating sweet, but it goes down easy with a hint of herbal spice and a pleasantly tart finish.

3. If you like vegetal drinks, order the Bells and Whistles. The savory, subtly sweet flavors of orange and yellow peppers are paired with Cana Brava rum infused with fragrant, tannic jasmine, along with green tea, honey-like white port and amontillado. Finished with a hint of lemon La Croix and garnished with a lemon wheel, it has a bright acidity and savory sweetness.

Photo by Meera Nagarajan

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DTWE: 6 must-drink beers at Lupulin Carnival

Friday, March 24th, 2017

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It’s almost time for 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s yearly hop-induced coma: Lupulin Carnival. It takes place April 1 at Union Station this year, and it means the return of carnival acts, the smell of dank IPAs (and sweaty festival goers) and the release of 4 Hands’ Imperial IPA, War Hammer. (Tickets are available online.)

Beer festivals can overwhelm, especially when the lineup is ridiculously amazing. Some of the best breweries in the IPA game pour at Lupulin, highlighting their prodigious hop usage. Heed some sage advice from an IPA fiend: Do not pass up that beer you’ve had before.

Why? With all the variations in hops, styles and brewing techniques, this is your chance to see just how versatile hops can be. Look for classic West Coast-style usage from Ballast Point or Stone Brewing Co., the trendy Northeast-style pale ales from local breweries like Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. and Shared, and game changers with some of the best hop experimentation in the game (i.e. Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s Leo v. Ursus and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Tropical Torpedo.)

There will be too many beers to try (because you will all be responsible drinkers), so prioritize with my six must-try beers at Lupulin 2017:

1. Yes, War Hammer is the guest of honor, but surprise! 4 Hands hopped up a Pilsner for its second City Wide offering. City Wide Pils is a Citra dry-hopped American Pilsner that’s perfect for crushing during the hot St. Louis summer.

2. If one Imperial IPA wasn’t enough, 4 Hands’ also debuts an Imperial wheat IPA, White Flannel, rumored to be aggressively hoppy with intense notes of tropical fruit.

3. Expect lots of hoppy goodies from Chicagoland breweries. One of Chicago’s finest breweries (IMHO), Half Acre Beer Co., brings Tuna Extra Pale, its 4.7-percent ABV brew ripe with citrus, tropical fruit and a slightly sweet malt bill to uphold that flavor.

4. Pipeworks Brewing Co. rolls in with Ninja vs. Unicorn, an unfiltered, balanced Imperial IPA with massive amounts of peach and citrus aromatics and extreme drinkability. Be careful, y’all – this one does not drink like it’s 8-percent ABV.

5. Mile Wide Beer Co., a new Louisville, Kentucky brewery and brainchild of former Schlafly brewer Kyle Tavares, brings Idlewild Pale Ale (5.5-percent ABV). This crisp, light-bodied pale ale sees a new hop addition every few months for a refreshing and fun take on the classic American style. It currently boasts Mosaic and Equinox hops for a dank and tropical fruit aroma.

6. Finally, try one of the first breweries that got me into the hop game: Ale Asylum. Its Velveteen Habit has juicy hop presence with a mildly sweet malt undertone is finished with a satiable bitterness. Look for light grassiness, citrus, pineapple and a little herbal character as you drink.

Photo by Ed Aller for 4 Hands Brewing Co.

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

Sauce Magazine is a sponsor of Lupulin Carnival.

 

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DTWE: 6 STL coffee beers to drink this weekend

Friday, February 24th, 2017

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It’s that time of year again: Good Beer Hunting’s annual Uppers & Downers festival, a celebration of all things coffee beers. As I head back to Chicago to partake in this festival of my two favorite things, you should take an adventure down Manchester Avenue from Maplewood to The Mississippi and try the plethora of coffee beers available from some outstanding breweries.

Start your coffee beer exploit at Side Project Brewing. Nestled amongst the cozy walls of barreled funk, you’ll find Cory King and Co.’s newest project, Shared Brewing. Try a pour of Shared Coffee Shop Vibes: a rich, silky Russian Imperial stout that was finished on Colombian coffee beans from local roaster, Sump. It boasts loads of chocolate and coffee notes with a soft, underlying raisin character.

Next, walk east a few blocks to Schlafly Bottleworks for a quick Schlafly Coffee Stout (my favorite seasonal release coming out of St. Louis, but faithful readers knew that already) or the deliciously deceptive Double Bean Blonde Ale. Despite its yellow straw hue, it boasts aromas and flavors reminiscent of chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Continue down Manchester and into the The Hill neighborhood for a pit stop at 2nd Shift Brewing. This weekend, these cool cats debut Coffee Cat Spit Stout: a chewy oatmeal milk stout with the brightness and sweetness of Blueprint’s Peruvian Cajamarca cold toddy.

Finally, end your coffee beer journey at 4 Hands Brewing Co. with a Bonafide Imperial stout brewed with Edwardsville-based Goshen Bonafide coffee and vanilla beans or a Devil’s Invention, a coffee stout that’s crushable despite the 7.2-percent ABV. Get your buzz on this weekend.

 

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at The Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

 

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DTWE: Wolpertinger at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

 

DTWE: Wolpertinger at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

Friday, January 20th, 2017

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Prepare thy livers: it’s time for Urban Chestnut’s birthday party and the return of a mythological beast, Wolpertinger, this Sunday, Jan. 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. With live music including funk-centric Saint Boogie Brass Band, delicious UCBC kitchen fare, more than 35 local breweries pouring tasty suds and guest Bell’s Brewery bringing its seasonal heavy hitter Hopslam, what more could you want from a beer fest?

Answer: The debut of UCBC’s anniversary beer, Wolpertinger. This deep, dark brown brew is more robust than years past. It’s also slightly tart thanks to the addition of raspberries before it spent two years in Scotch whisky barrels. Don’t miss this, plus three other beers I’m excited to drink this weekend:

1. Bell’s Hopslam: All the hops and honey make this highly anticipated, 10-percent Imperial IPA a party in your mouth. Honey sweetness up front and good body balance out the intense bitterness. Look for grapefruit, tropical fruit and some soft floral notes.

2. Bell’s Double Brown Ale: Also from the out-of-town guest, search out the exclusive firkin of 8.5-percent cask-conditioned brew boasting a rich, chocolaty flavor profile, smooth mouth feel and a nice bitterness on the finish to balance it all out.

3. Mark Twain/The OG Collaboration Orion’s Apprentice: This recently released, 10.5-percent Imperial IPA is smooth, medium-bodied and full of tropical fruit notes from a heavy dosage of Citra and Simcoe dry-hopping. Look for juicy pineapple and vibrant grapefruit in a beer that drinks like it’s less than 10 percent.

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

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Drink This Weekend Edition: Schlafly Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

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Old dog Schlafly is learning new tricks with its From the Ibex Cellar series. With a nod to what beer nerds are after these days, Ibex offers all barrel-aged beers, which expand the brewery’s purview to include new projects like intensely fruited sours, a gose and foeder-aged beers.

Ibex beers have been difficult to find with small releases in large-format bottles, until now. With the purchase of a new bottling line, Schlafly will be offering more extensive Ibex releases in four-packs of 11.2-ounce bottles sporting that signature rampant goat.

The first to be bottled in this new format its Schlafly’s popular barrel-aged Imperial stout. The rich, chocolaty stout is aged in bourbon barrels for even more intensity. Its bold, strong flavor is surprisingly smooth with just a hint of sweetness. I found the crowd-pleasing beer to bring to my family’s holiday dinner. You can pick up your own four-pack for $18 at the Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks.

 

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