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Mar 19, 2018
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Drink This Weekend Edition

Side Project Brewing, Angry Orchard collaboration, Burk, debuts this weekend

Friday, March 16th, 2018



Longtime friends Side Project Brewing co-owner-brewer Cory King and Angry Orchard head cider maker Ryan Burk recently put their heads together and came up with a new beer offering: Burk, a sour beer that utilizes East Coast crab apples.

“We’ve always had a lot of respect for each other’s work, and have been looking for an opportunity to work together,” said the namesake Burk. “We have similar philosophies on fermentation and respect for the materials we use.”

King said the crab apples were used twice in the brewing and aging process. “We made an Oud Bruin-inspired beer, a sour brown, that we fermented on and aged with crab apples from Walden, New York, from [Angry Orchard’s] orchards,” King said. King and Burk aged the beer just over a year in a pinot noir barrel. “It’s cool because it has this really tangy astringency on the back side.”

Burk said it’s the first time in his tenure at Angry Orchard that he’s collaborated with a brewer. “It’s pretty uncommon to cross genres,” he said. “It’s like Herbie Hancock collaborating with Led Zeppelin.”

Burk and King will be at Side Project Brewing in Maplewood on Saturday, March 17, from noon to 3 p.m. to introduce their project to the public. Bottles will be available for purchase exclusively at Side Project Brewing and Side Project Cellar. Burk will also pour one of his other recent creations, Edu, a wild-fermented still cider inspired by Spanish ciders.

Photo courtesy of Side Project Brewing Co. 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 



8 Irish-style beers to imbibe on St. Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 15th, 2018


{ Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Powell 50 Irish red ale } 


Not all beers consumed on St. Pat’s should be dyed green. If you’re bouncing around town during this leprechaun- and corned beef-infested booze fest, open your eyes to the stellar local Irish-inspired beer game St. Louis has brewed. Look for malt-forward flavor profiles dominated by a key ingredient: roasted barley – the unmalted, husk-on, heavily kilned grain.

Irish red ales like Killian’s or Smithwick’s are Ireland’s response to the British bitter – more malt with less focus on the hop bittering. Amber red in color and clear, Irish reds tend to use a touch of roasted barley in the malt bill to add color and a slight nuttiness to the overall flavor profile.

Urban Chestnut Powell 50 is a lovely rendition of this style with delicate notes of biscuit, tea and citrus, while Mark Twain Rambler’s Red Ale is more Americanized with a touch of chocolate malt to give it a light Tootsie Roll nose and more substantial chocolaty malt backbone.

Guinness isn’t the only Irish dry stout you should look for this St. Patrick’s Day. These dark, opaque beers appear heavier than they are and are easily comparable to cold brew coffee. Six Mile Bridge Beer has a medal-winning Irish dry stout that boasts the classic roasted coffee character all Irish stouts strive for with a lovely bittersweet chocolate and a hint of smoke on the finish. Looking for that nitro fix, a la tradition? Urban Chestnut O’Florian is creamy as can be with rich coffee notes all around and an impeccable dry finish.

Not as sessionable as the Irish dry stout, foreign export, or extra stouts, change the game with a significantly heavier malt bill and a much larger addition of hops, creating a beer with fantastic body, a slightly warming booze character and strong notes of roasted coffee and bitter chocolate from all that dark, heavy grain. Urban Chestnut Kinsale completes this style with notes of vanilla and a touch of tropical fruit on the nose, while Civil Life Extra Stout boasts a lovely herbaceous aroma full of licorice.

Finally, if you find yourself in St. Peters or Wentzville this weekend, stop by Third Wheel Brewing Co. for a pint of Green Beer Irish Dry Stout or Friendship Brewing Co. for Celtic Blood Irish Red Ale. Sláinte and be safe, St. Louis!

Photo courtesy of Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. 

Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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3 beers to crush at Third Wheel Day

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

{ Third Wheel brewer Abbey Spencer } 


Head to St. Charles County this Saturday, March 3, for the first Third Wheel Day, a celebration of threes at Third Wheel Brewing. Three bands play throughout the day. Select drafts are $3 a pour. A complimentary toast is made at 3 p.m. And of course, brewer Abbey Spencer debuts three new beers – beers that may not be seen again for some time.

1. Peanut Butter Porter
Peanut butter is a fun ingredient to play with, especially in beers that showcase a bold chocolaty malt bill, like this 7.4-percent robust porter. Heavily roasted malt gives way to rich notes of baker’s chocolate, while the addition of peanut butter adds a subtle, sweet character and a nuttiness reminiscent of brown butter.

2. Mango Hanging Pants
What do you get when you add mango to the super trendy New England IPA Hanging Pants? A hazy, extra juicy, balanced hoppy beer that takes you to the beach. Falconer’s Flight hops lend beautiful citrus and tropical fruit notes that enhance the mango’s sensational texture and brightness in this 6.2-percent brew. Stop at one – or three.

3. Irish Dry Stout
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this super smooth, crushable beer is true to style with a light-medium body and massive amount of roasted malt. Bitter notes of chocolate – all derived from the malt – are underlined by a hint of fresh tobacco for a 4.8-percent brew that leaves you yearning for all the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Can’t make to St. Peters on Saturday? Check out Spencer’s coffee porter at Tapped in Maplewood Thursday, March 8 from 4 to 8 p.m. at its Women in STL Beer event, which celebrates International Women’s Day.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Katie Herrera is STL Barkeep director of beer and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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4 must-try beer and chocolate pairings

Friday, February 9th, 2018



I’m not one for hallmark holidays, but I am one for beer with chocolate. Table for two? No, thanks. I’ll take my couch for two (three, if you count the dog), Netflix and a properly coursed beer and chocolate pairing.
1. With intense roasted malt notes driving lovely aromatics and flavors of baker’s chocolate, coffee and licorice, The Civil Life Export Stout is one of the dreamiest beers to come out of its brewhouse. Try Kakao Chocolate milk chocolate-covered sea salt caramels to enhance the sweetness the 7-percent ABV promotes. Though this treat is rich, it perfectly cuts through the assertive malt bill.
Growler fills only, The Civil Life Brewing Co., thecivillife.com

2. VB Chocolate’s Bean-to-Bar Special Release – with 75-percent Madagascar dark chocolate and Coma Coffee beans from Nyeri, Kenya – is decadent. Pair it with something super acidic and bright, like Bruery Terreux Goses Are Red. Brewed with salt and coriander, this effervescent, 5.3-percent wheat beer sits on grapes for an added layer of fruity undertones that complement blueberry notes in the chocolate and coffee.
750-milliliter bottle: $8. Fields Foods, fieldsfoods.com

3. Chocolate-covered pretzels from Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate play nicely with the simple, clean, 5.5-percent Sierra Nevada Experimental Hop Pilsner (part of the experimental hop 12-pack). The beautiful floral nose has just a hint of fruitiness and cereal, and grain, honey and citrus embrace the palate. The pretzel’s salty crispness provides a highly satisfying duo.
12-pack: $21.25. Craft Beer Cellar, clayton.craftbeercellar.com

4. Raspberry on the nose gives way to bready, malty goodness in 5.7-percent Santa Fe Lustgarten. Toasted malt, chocolate undertones and soft, yeast-driven fruit notes embody this dark lager base. This beer finishes on the drier side with a lovely lingering berry note. Try it with the chocolate-covered marshmallows from Russell’s on Macklind. Better yet, head to The Monocle on Valentine’s Day for a pairing of this beer and a mallow covered with almonds and a raspberry-mint chutney.
Six-pack: $9. Friar Tuck, friartuck.com

Stock photo

Katie Herrera is a longtime Sauce contributor and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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8 can’t-miss beers at Urban Chestnut’s Wolpertinger Festival

Saturday, January 20th, 2018



Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. marks its seventh birthday tomorrow, Jan., 21, with its annual Wolpertinger Festival. If you’re unfamiliar with this annual celebration, snag a ticket online tonight or at the door tomorrow (if you can!) and head to UCBC’s Grove Brewery and Bierhall from 1 to 5 p.m. for a hell of a great time highlighted by local beer, UCBC grub, Wolpi the mythological beast and several musical acts.

There are several beers I’m excited to try. As in years past, I’m looking forward to Wolpertinger 2018, UCBC’s anniversary brew; it’s always big, bold, and complex. Fun fact: I hear they will also tap Wolpertinger vintages.

In keeping with another tradition, UCBC has invited a single, non-local brewery to partake in the festivities. This year’s guest is La Cumbre Brewing from Albuquerque, New Mexico. La Cumbre rolls into The Lou with its core lineup, the newest in its Project Dank series and the not-to-miss In the Money DIPA, a 100-percent Citra double dry-hopped double IPA brewed with fresh pineapple and guava. Give me all the pineapple and guava, please.

I’m equally as excited to try La Cumbre’s Malpais, a foreign export stout that has seen its share of awards. I’ll be looking for roasted malts, notes of coffee, a touch of sweetness mid-palate and a lingering bitterness to finish.

Because it’s a beer festival, I’ll be on the lookout for all the thirst-quenching lagers, light-bodied beers and hops. Perennial Artisan Ales is bringing one of its newest releases, Pils, a light-bodied German-style Pilsner with classic notes of Pilsner malt, fruity aromatics and a clean dry finish. Charleville Brewing Co.‘s Long White Cloud hoppy Pilsner and Missouri Beer Co,’s Kölsch will also make their way into my glass more than once.

For those who don’t venture into St. Charles County, I have it on good authority that Missouri Beer Co. will also show up with its BeerSauce Shop collaboration, a barrel-aged Imperial oatmeal milk stout. It’s a lovely, medium-bodied, roasty stout that boasts booze and barrel, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla.

White Rooster Farmhouse Brewing Co. will bring Kairos Remix, a nontraditional Berlinerweisse complete with higher alcohol content, a heavier malt bill, lactose and a secondary fermentation on pineapple and mango. After a wonderful introduction to White Rooster beers at 2nd Shift’s Cask Fest last weekend, I am incredibly excited about everything coming out of this brewery.

Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and an account manager at Craft Republic.

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4 last-minute bottles for your beer nerd

Friday, December 22nd, 2017



If you spent the past three weeks pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-ing and not shopping like most, than you’re probably in need of some last-minute gifts for the host with the most or your Secret Santa. ’Tis the season for vibrant, bright flavors and bubbles (all the bubbles!), but not just in the form of sparkling wine.

Many beers come in large-format bottles, and just like wine, they are meant to be shared. To recreate the festive nature that comes with brut and bubbly, opt for lighter-bodied, tart and funky beers served in a wine glass or Champagne flute. They’re best accompanied with friends, yuletide cheer or a New Year’s Eve countdown.

1. Side Project Rose du Blè
The base, Saison du Blè, showcases lovely tartness and mild funk with an exquisitely fluffy texture from the loads of wheat in the malt bill. Brewer Cory King took this Missouri oak foedre-aged saison and racked it onto Missouri chambourcin grape skins for several months. It not only altered the straw-yellow hue, but also it also produced earthy funk, fruit and a light tannic note. $25. The Side Project Cellar, thesideprojectcellar.com

2. Crooked Stave Nightmare on Brett
More like a dream come true, if you ask me. Loads of roasted malt and tart cherry on the nose wake up your senses. This dark sour ale is complete with layers of fruit, chocolate, Brettanomyces funkiness and wood and whiskey from the Leopold Bros. whiskey barrels it slept in before bottling. $21.50, Fields Foods, fieldsfoods.com

3. Goose Island Gillian
One of my first true loves in the sour beer world, this wine barrel-aged farmhouse ale is delightful. A high level of carbonation exudes deliciously juicy notes of ripe strawberry and stone fruit up front, underlined by notes of white pepper. An adequate amount of honey allowed this beer, as fruit forward as it is, to finish dry with just a touch of oak. $24. Friar Tuck in O’Fallon, Missouri, friartuckonline.com

4. Rodenbach Caractère Rouge
This Flanders red ale is aged on raspberries, cherries and cranberries to give it an incredible fruit-forward character that eloquently pairs with the style’s rich malt bill. Funky floral notes, yogurt, light vinegar and fruit dominate the aroma, while a rich berry character evolves across the palate. Bright acidity all the way through leaves the drinker wanting sip after sip. $25. The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, wineandcheeseplace.com

Photo courtesy of Side Project Brewing

Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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4 big Black Friday beer events in St. Louis

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017



After the kitchen is clean and leftover turkey soup is simmering on the stove, seek relief from bargain shopping and imbibe at some of the beer-related events that break up the otherwise consumerist hell we call Black Friday.

In the beer world, Black Friday designates the highly anticipated release of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. This massively rich, boozy, succulent Imperial stout paved the way for barrel aging in American craft beer today. People seek BCS and its variants all over the St. Louis area, and lines form for draft pours and bottles – sometimes immediately after dessert is devoured, as the lines are hours long (of course).

When Black Friday comes, there will be more than just BCS at your favorite local establishments, and there are some awesome events planned to highlight the essence of these gnarly, “probably-shouldn’t-have-eaten-that-pie” black beers.

1. Black Out Friday at Llywelyn’s in St. Charles
This bar not only taps 2015 and 2017 BCS, but it has also decided to throw on Perennial Artisan Ales’ heavy-hitting 2017 Imperial stouts: Abraxas, Fantastic Voyage and 17. Other fun big guys are slated to pour, too, starting at 11 a.m. This is your Black Friday event for big, fun adjuncts.

2. Winter Beer Release at International Tap House in Soulard
ITap pairs its BCS release with the tapping of more than a dozen seasonal holiday beers during this annual event starting at 11 a.m. Look for this year’s BCS and a variant, as well Boulevard Nutcracker Ale, Odell Isolation Ale and Schlafly Christmas Ale at this annual winter beer showcase.

3. Whiskey Scented Santa Release at Charleville Brewing Co. and Tavern
If you’re not feeling the BCS, but you still want big, dark beer, head to Charleville’s new home at 11 a.m. for the draft and bottle release of its barrel-aged Imperial stout, Whiskey Scented Santa. This guy is always a hit with a big whiskey aroma and some booze on the palate underlined by lovely, mellow notes of vanilla and dried fruit. It’s quite limited, so get there early.

4. Beer : Barrel : Time and Derivation Blend No. 8 at Side Project
Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who purchased a bottle of Side Project Brewing’s Beer : Barrel : Time 2017 before it sold out online. This blended, barrel-aged, no-adjunct Imperial stout is beautiful, complex and could be St. Louis’ newest Thanksgiving weekend beer tradition. If you missed your chance for a bottle, don’t worry. She is available to sip on-site at The Side Project Cellar and Side Project Brewing all weekend alongside Derivation Blend No. 8.


Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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3 can’t-miss beers at the Brewers Guild Halloween Party

Friday, October 27th, 2017



It finally feels like fall, Halloween decorations adorn the streets of Lafayette Square and we’re stuffing our faces with fun-sized candy bars. That means it’s time for ghosts, goblins and beer drinkers to unite once again for the annual St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party.

Snag your tickets online and head to Lafayette Park this Saturday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 5 p.m. in your classiest Halloween costumes. You’ll enjoy some of the sudsiest the local craft beer scene has to offer. Don’t miss these brews for a spooky good time.

1. 2nd Shift El Gato Negro (7.6-percent) is the cat-worshipping brewery’s ode to Halloween. If you are a fan of El Gato Grande, then go “getchyasum” of this delicious full-bodied black IPA. The hop profile is the same, but the more heavily roasted, darker malt bill creates a beautiful bittersweet chocolate aroma and flavor that pairs perfectly with the resin, citrus and spice notes coming from the Citra, Amarillo and Columbus hops.

2. Third Wheel Imperial Oktoberfest (7.4-percent) is the perfect complement to this chilly fall weather. A touch heavier than most Oktoberfest-style offerings, this medium-bodied, malt-forward original from brewer Abbey Spencer and company will keep those toes warm. Caramel malt, earth and cereal notes drive a palate that finishes with just a touch of biscuity malt sweetness and boozy astringency.

3. 4 Hands Tiki Chocolate Milk Stout (5.5-percent ABV) is probably the greatest of the 4 Hands’ Chocolate Milk Stout family. Coffee, chocolate and coconut are at the forefront in this, dare I say it, Mounds Bar-esque adult beverage. You know, because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. It’s deliciously sweet and medium-bodied with aromatics dominated by coconut and chocolate and balanced on the back with a lingering dark chocolate and coffee bitterness.

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Brewers Guild

Katie Herrera is an account manager at Craft Republic and contributor to Sauce Magazine.

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DTWE: Love it or hate it – pumpkin beer season is back

Friday, October 13th, 2017



Leaves are turning and a slight chill has actually embraced the Midwest. Though we’re in for some fluctuating temperatures this weekend, the beer scene in St. Louis has been overwhelmingly autumnal this month – pumpkin beers are everywhere. However polarizing this style may be, there is no denying the creativity and diversity across this spiced beer spectrum.

1. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
This 8-percent beauty –arguably the most sought-after local pumpkin beer in the city – just brought home a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival last weekend. It’s truly a pumpkin pie in a glass with a rich sweetness that embraces spicy undertones of flavor dominated by clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Schlafly Tap Room and Schlafly Bottleworks, schlafly.com

2. Crown Valley Brewing Pumpkin Cider
21st Street Brewers Bar hosts its Pumpkin Beerfest all month, showcasing a pumpkin beer each Friday in October. Tonight, Oct. 13, 21st Street shines the spotlight on Crown Valley Pumpkin Cider. Sweet, spice and everything nice, this 5-percent cider is stacked full of ripe juicy apple and pumpkin bound together with balancing notes of allspice and pumpkin pie spice.
21st Street Brewers Bar, 21stbrew.com

3. Nebraska Brewing Wick for Brains
This seasonal amber ale is reminiscent of walking through a pumpkin patch in the middle of a fall afternoon. Soft fruit, melon and spice dominate the nose, while ripe, fresh pumpkin, grain and nuances of clove and nutmeg embrace the palate. On the subtler side for sweetness, this easy 6-percent drinker finishes a bit drier than most.
Randall’s Wine & Spirits, shoprandalls.com


Katie Herrera is a contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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DTWE: 3 lambics to celebrate Zwanze Day 2017

Friday, September 22nd, 2017



Cantillon Zwanze Day is this weekend, and the beer nerds are amped. Zwanze Day is Brasserie Cantillon’s salute to lambic and is marked by a worldwide toast of that year’s Zwanze beer. The Side Project Cellar hosts this sold-out celebration again this year, but you can still imbibe a glass of lambic around St. Louis and join in the international toast at 2 p.m.

Lambic beer is the spontaneously fermented, barrel-aged beauty from the Pajottenland region of Belgium, just southwest of Brussels where Cantillon is located. Breweries that specialize in this funky, wild product are highly regarded for their aging and blending techniques.

Although we don’t tend to see much in the U.S. due to the smaller batch size and delicate nature of the product, there are a few places in St. Louis that curate thoughtful bottle lists that often include lambic – some more rare than others.

If you’re looking to add a little funk and sour to your weekend, go explore the beer world for lambic and join this international recognition of tradition and beauty.

1. Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René
This lambic is Champagne-like with incredible effervescence and bright flavors. Tart apples and funk resonate on the nose while sour grapes and tangerine dance on the palate. Friar Tuck, various locations

2. Tilquin Gueuze (and any fruited variants you can find)
A blend of one-, two- and three-year-old lambic, this mouthful is vibrant with notes of grain, barnyard, stone fruit and citrus zest. Its acidity is balanced, so it won’t leave your mouth watering after each sip. You can try one or all of the past four years of this complex brew at Hair of the Dog.
Hair of the Dog, Facebook: Hair of the Dog

3. St. Louis Fond Tradition Kriek
Wood, fruit and funky yeast undertones run deep with this one and are driven across the palate with a mild carbonation and pretty significant sour character. Ripe cherry and a hint of spice and earth steal the show as you continue drinking this delightfully refreshing beer.
Craft Beer Cellar, cbcclayton.com

Katie Herrera is a contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic.

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