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May 03, 2016
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Drink This Weekend Edition: Beers from Logboat Brewing

Thursday, April 28th, 2016



While our local scene keeps blossoming, beer culture is growing rapidly across Missouri, and it’s producing some phenomenal breweries like Logboat Brewing Co., which launched in The Lou this month.

The Columbia, Missouri brewery opened its doors to the public in spring 2014, and in two short years, the Logboat team has earned national attention for its delicious suds. Its Mamoot Mild won a silver medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival in the English-style mild category. The following year at GABF, its Bear Hair took gold in the Belgian-style blonde or pale ale category, and Mamoot earned a bronze medal for the English-style mild once again.

If you happen to be in Columbia this summer, be sure to swing by Logboat’s tasting room, featuring a killer outdoor space and knowledgeable staff. In the meantime, get to know this brewery and the people behind it at three St. Louis area-events this weekend:

1. Thursday, April 28: Logboat tap takeover and a surprise cask release to celebrate the first St. Charles County Craft Beer Week at Mike’s Grill & Tap in O’Fallon, Missouri starting at 5 p.m.

2. Friday, April 29: Another tap takeover and a surprise cask release at Whiskey Ring on Cherokee Street starting at 4 p.m.

3. Saturday, April 30: A celebration of all things canned beer, the Global Brew Can Jam in Rock Hill features Logboat, as well as 4 Hands Brewing, Odell Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing and Oskar Blues Brewery. This event kicks off 11 a.m. at Global Brew in Rock Hill.

Can’t make it this weekend? Keep these flagship Logboat brews stocked in the beer fridge this summer and be on the lookout for fun, seasonal releases.

1. Snapper IPA: A slightly dank aroma and a light, caramel malt backbone give way to and highlight a palate nuanced with resin, pine, citrus and stone fruit. Medium body and balance make this 7.2-percent beer incredibly crushable in the can.

2. Lookout Pale Ale: If the can art doesn’t sell it (It is the most rad can art ever.), then the perfect balance in the hops and malt will. This 5.5-percent American pale ale is refreshingly crisp, clean and citrusy with just a touch of floral.

3. Shiphead Ginger Wheat: If you’re looking for your summer patio friend, you have found it. With a light and fluffy body, this 5.2-percent beer has a touch of lemony brightness and is spiced with Peruvian ginger.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Gertrude Pine at Taste

Friday, April 22nd, 2016



With spring cocktail menus popping up like the weeds in my garden, there’s plenty of incentive to put on your good shoes and get out there. Although Taste’s spring menu will be fully unveiled in the coming weeks, stop in this weekend for a sneak peek and order the Gertrude Pine. This shaken concoction features a base of Wild Turkey 101 and Camus VS Cognac, but this is no winter holdover. The addition of velvet falernum and Don’s Mix (simple syrup infused with grapefruit juice and cinnamon) sweeten the pot just right, while lime juice gives balance.

The depth of flavor in this spring sipper comes from the Alps. Zirbenz pine liqueur has a deceivingly nondescript nose, but packs a piney punch by itself. In the capable hands of the crew at Taste, the pine liqueur gives a subtle botanical depth that rounds out the cocktail. With a light, citrusy nose, the Gertrude Pine starts a touch tart but finishes pleasantly – but not overly – sweet and spicy.



Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 roses to transition to spring

Friday, April 15th, 2016



Gorgeous weather, the return of baseball and the annual transition from heavy winter reds to light, bright roses are all signs of spring in St. Louis. Here’s why you should think – and drink – pink this spring and summer.

Simply put, rose wines incorporate some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify as red wine. These wines are made three different ways. Some are made like red wine, where the juice remains in contact with the skins to extract some color and flavor. Others are made using the saignée, or bleeding, method requires syphoning off juice intended for red wine before it extracts too much color and fermenting it. Finally, winemakers can simply blend red and white wines to produce the desired color and taste.

Roses color and flavor vary greatly is fun realm of wine to explore. Most roses are dry, but they show bright fruit flavor, and the best have an intensity and balanced acidity as well. Look for bottles from Cotes De Provence, Corsica, Tuscany, Spain and of course, California and Oregon. Here, my top three rose picks for this weekend:


1. 2015 Chateau Thivin Beaujolais Villages rose is a great bottle made from Gamay grapes that produce bright, crisp wine with flavors of strawberry, flowers and minerals. This is a very pretty, enjoyable wine perfect for an afternoon of outdoor events.
$20. Available at Cork & Rind

2. Biodynamically farmed grapes with very little skin contact give Red Car Rose of Pinot Noir a light shade of pink. This is wine with finesse, featuring pink grapefruit and cherry notes and bright acidity. Fish dishes are perfect for this delicate sipper.
$19. Available at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton

3. There are “unicorns” in the wine world. The wines by Frank Cornelissen are such rare beauties – difficult to find, yet well worth the quest. Naturally made in Sicily on the slopes of Mount Etna, this intense wine exhibits a distinct sense of place. It is best served decanted, as it is truly unfiltered. The newest vintage will be released mid-summer; keep an eye out for one of the most interesting roses available.

Ben Wood has more than 10 years experience in the wine industry. He currently works as shop manager of Cork & Rind.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Tiki time at The Libertine

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Boozy, juicy and the ultimate exercise in escapism, tiki cocktails are appearing (and staying) on menus across town. Giving winter a defiant one-finger salute, Ben Bauer at The Libertine launched the Tiki Attack menu in February.

Rum, mezcal and house-made infusions run through the menu in drinks ranging in flavor from sweet and juicy to dry and heady. With a dozen diverse choices, here are three tropical tipples to get you started.




1. Angostura Phosphate: This slightly fizzy cocktail comes with a side that puts the pine in pineapple. A slice of the tropical fruit compressed with rosemary complements the spicy nose, sweet, juicy and lightly herbaceous drink that ends with a pleasantly dry, tropical finish.




2. A Study of Madness in Blue: For this happy libation, Bauer swaps out gin for rum then adds house made blue curacao and fresh pineapple juice, then floats a dash of merlot on top, resulting in an herbaceous, sweet and tart sip that is pleasantly acidic yet not astringent.

3. Kerouac’s Idea of Moderation: Featuring soursop (a viscous, melon-strawberry flavored fruit juice), this juicy tiki starts with sweetness but finishes clean, with a depth of flavor courtesy of wormwood bitters.



Drink This Weekend Edition: 4 beers styles for your St. Paddy’s feast

Thursday, March 17th, 2016



When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, I yearn for rich corned beef and braised cabbage. Use the leftovers for corned beef hash and whipping up a hearty Irish beef stew, and my holiday weekend is close to complete – close.

Beer makes a great pairing partner with all of these delicious eats. However, due to the salty, fatty nature of the typical St. Paddy’s Day grub, not all beer styles should be treated equally. While perusing the shelves or a beer menu, look for more medium-bodied, malt-forward styles to balance the saltiness of corned beef and to enhance the sweetness of all those braised and stewed root vegetables.

Tried and true Guinness, Murphy’s and Smithwick’s will always provide you with proper pairing beers for these feasts, but if you want to shake it up, try these fun and locally available options.

1. Irish stouts are to corned beef as peanut butter is to jelly. Roasted malt, satiating body and a drier finish help balance your meal. Give Square One Brewery’s Dry Stout or Schlafly’s Irish Extra Stout – and keep an eye out if either is pouring on nitro or cask.

2. Irish red ales generally boast light to medium body, light nuttiness, toasted toffee and sweet caramel malts. Change it up by trying those from Ferguson Brewing Co. and Boulevard Brewing Co. Both are beautiful renditions of the style.

3. Want to get away from the Irish styles? The Civil Life Brewing Co. is a great place to start for more malt-forward brews that pair nicely with any Irish fare. The British Mild is a beautiful choice, full of toasted malt and biscuit on the palate and a crisp, clean finish.

4. Maybe you want to increase the ABV a little bit. At 8 percent, Oskar Blues Brewery’s Old Chub is a Scottish strong ale is complete with massive amounts of toasted grain, some toffee sweetness, a tiny bit of smoke and great body.

Now my St. Patrick’s Day is complete – sláinte, St. Louis!

Drink This Weekend Edition: Accessorize your wine

Friday, March 11th, 2016



Accessories make lots of things better. Where would be without glitzy iPhone cases or the perfect pair of aviator shades? Even the wine scene has revolutionized its accessory game in recent years, moving beyond the classic corkscrew and a glass (though they are still necessities). Here, my short list of wine accessories that actually work well – and a few that you may want to reconsider.

1. We all know wine tastes better after it breathes, and there are plenty of products on the market that claim to aerate your wine faster or better than the one before it. Vinturi is the most common aerator; it works by pulling oxygen into the wine through suction as you pour through the device into your glass. While this is effective and will provide a taste boost, I find it to be a rather violent way to aerate your wine. I prefer a simpler, tried-and-true method: 30 minutes in a decanter. Plus, a decanter looks way better on the table than a plastic bobble. Still, if you must sip now, the Vinturi is an option.
Decanters and the Vinturi are widely available at most home goods stores and wine shops.

2. Temperature is one of the most important service elements with wine. We tend to serve our reds too warm and our whites too cold – but all this is a matter of taste, too! My new favorite tool to keep your wine cool is the Host Freeze Wine Glass. Store these stemless, double-layered plastic glasses in the freezer, then pour your preferred bottled and keep your wine cold for the entire time you are drinking. Double-walled glasses like these are also great for spirits, too.
Host Freeze glasses are available at most home goods stores.

3. Finally, there is the Coravin. We’ve made mention of this revolutionary device before, but it bears repeating. For the true oenophile, the Coravin is a must, allowing you to have a glass of rare, exclusive wine without actually opening a bottle. Instead, it inserts a surgical needle through the cork and extracts the wine, then adds inert gas into to prevent oxidation. Tap into any old bottle in your cellar for a glass, leaving the rest still remains intact in the bottle. It’s an amazing device, but be sure your wine is worth the $300 price tag.
Available at Milk & Honey in Wildwood

Drink This Weekend Edition: Coffee stouts

Friday, February 19th, 2016



I’m on my way to Chicago this weekend for Uppers and Downers, an annual festival celebrating coffee, beers, and coffee beers hosted by Good Beer Hunting and Intelligentsia Coffee. Coffee and beer are two of my favorite things. Put them together, and it’s a recipe for perfection.

Big, rich stouts and porters often have aromas and flavors of coffee that permeate olfactory senses and palate, due to the commonly used, more heavily roasted grains. (You kiln grain the same way you kiln coffee beans to bring out the desired roast of the product.) Adding coffee to already robust stouts brings another layer of taste and smell complexity that is often welcomed by coffee drinkers and beer drinkers alike.

To make a coffee stout, some breweries blend cold-brewed coffee with the beer. Other breweries add whole or ground beans directly into the fermentation tank and let the beer steep. While I’m playing in Chicago and drinking coffee beers, there are several here in the STL market that you should get your hands on.


1. Schlafly Coffee Stout (Kaldi’s Coffee) is my favorite go-to winter seasonal on the market. With a robust, “dirty” coffee palate, great body and texture, and huge coffee aroma, this beer is a must try.

2. Sump Imperial Coffee Stout (Sump Coffee) from Perennial Artisan Ales is quite possibly the most beautiful coffee beer in the St. Louis market. Perfectly roasted coffee adds to the big body, chewy texture and aggressive palate.

3. 4 Hands Devil’s Invention (Goshen Coffee) showcases a beautiful coffee aroma and taste. This beer is totally quaffable – even for 7.2-percent ABV – with some beautiful chocolate notes and a touch of vanilla to round out the finish.

4. Nitro Hard Wired Coffee Porter (Allegro Coffee) from Left Hand Brewing Co. is new and boasts an incredible coffee aroma, creamy mouth feel, roasted malt on the palate and a slightly nutty finish.


Drink This Weekend Edition: Valentine’s cocktails at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar

Friday, February 12th, 2016



Single or spoken for, Valentine’s Day is upon us with all its saccharine romance. Baileys’ Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square has dreamed up a threesome of cocktails perfectly suited for a weekend of amour. This romantic venue is a hotspot on Valentine’s weekend, so get in line early via the No Wait app and hang out at home, not in the cold, while you wait for a table. Whether you’re doing the wooing or just treating yo’self here’s what to order starting today, Feb. 12.

1. The Double Dipped is a peanut butter and chocolate cocktail that can be sipped over the chocolate ganache-coated rim or through the chocolate straw. Either way, it’s a layer of house-made dark chocolate liqueur and hazelnut liqueur topped with a layer of peanut-infused vodka and Bailey’s Irish cream.

2. The Chocolate Bar’s version of Chocolate, Flowers and Teddy Bears is less trite than cliche Valentine’s Day gifts. Dark chocolate liqueur, chocolate vodka, crème de violette and coconut milk are shaken, then poured into a martini glass and garnished with two teddy bears cookies holding hands. Whether that makes you coo in delight or chomp their heads off, you’ll enjoy this lightly floral chocolate sip with a creamy finish.

3. The Valentine’s Smash is a chocolate- and berry-flavored libation that features chocolate vodka, Dolin blanc, house-made limoncello and raspberry liqueur and lemon juice all shaken together and topped with bubbly Prosecco and garnished with raspberries and mint.




Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 wines from the northern Rhone

Thursday, February 4th, 2016


Wines from the northern Rhone Valley region are some of the best in France, yet they often fly under the radar. Stone fruit, flowers and hay are typical on the white wines (typically made from viognier grapes). The reds are almost always made from syrah grapes and range from Burgundian ethereal beauties to full-bodied crushers.

The northern Rhone region runs from the town of Vienne, France south along the Rhone River to Valance. Look for appellations like Cote Rotie, Condrieu, St. Joseph, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas and St. Peray. Here, my three picks from the northern Rhone perfect for cool winter nights.

1. 2007 Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terres Brulees
This is an organic domaine that farms a small 2.2 hectares. Bold and structured with a lot of complexity, this wine is amazing with beef dishes (think beef Wellington) or grilled lamb.
$50, available to go at  Reeds American Table

2. 2009 Jean-Louis Chave Crozes-Hermitage Silene
Here is a fruit-forward, easy-drinking wine from a great 2009 vintage. Balanced and medium-bodied, this wine typifies what Crozes Hermitage is all about: red fruit, mineral and a hint of flowers. This is a wine to pair with hamburgers or grilled fish.
$30, available at Starrs

3. 2014 Domaine George Vernay Viognier Le Pied de Samson
Viognier is a singular grape with clear alpine, floral notes. This excellent wine from the hills of Condrieu is from an altitude too high to be allowed in the appellation. Flowers, hay, a beautiful texture and balance with just a hint of white pepper make this an amazing wine for lobster in butter sauce.
$30, available at The Wine and Cheese Place

Ben Wood has more than 10 years experience in the wine industry. He currently works as shop manager of Cork & Rind.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Mark Twain Brewing Co. launch party

Thursday, January 21st, 2016



We have it good in this city, especially when it comes to the local beer scene. Well-established breweries are now expanding in size or adding new locations, and new breweries are opening their doors to the public at increasing speed. Even our out-of-town offerings are top-notch, and starting this week, another brewery makes its entrance into our great city by way of Hannibal, Missouri.

Bill Martin and Lance Smith opened Mark Twain Brewing Co. on July 4, 2014. Its taproom and 10-barrel brewhouse is on the Mississippi River in Mark Twain’s historic hometown. Husband-wife brewing team Dave Alley and Cat Golden (who formerly brewed for O’Fallon Brewery) have taken this river town by storm, and now they’re bringing their delicious beer to The Lou.

The Mark Twain team will unleash their offerings tonight, Jan. 21, at International Tap House in the Central West End during its official launch party, starting at 6 p.m. Keep an eye out for brews like:

Huck’s Habanero Apricot Wheat, pleasantly spicy and juicy with ripe apricot
Jumping Frog IPA with assertive citrus and pine on the nose and palate
Chocolate Coffee Stout, featuring a roasted malt backed by loads of chocolate and coffee notes
Brown Ale, where robust toasted pecan nuttiness meets maple syrup sweetness

Can’t make it to the party? Golden will teach Cicero’s weekly Beer School on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 5:30 and 7 p.m. Keep your eyes peeled for these approachable beers on draft at St. Louis-area beer bars, with bottles soon to follow.


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

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