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Aug 18, 2017
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5 can’t-miss STL Craft Beer Week events

Friday, July 28th, 2017

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If you haven’t cleared your schedule for next week, do so now: St. Louis Craft Beer Week is upon us.

It begins today, July 28, and features more than 130 events scattered across the metro area during its nine-day span. Sip suds at beer dinners, tap takeovers and a rare beer tapping sprinkled in here and there, and learn from industry professionals and drinkers alike. Enjoy the beer camaraderie and education, STL, and stay safe.

 
1. If you miss your college days like I do (Madison, Wisconsin is perfect in the summertime.), then enjoy Sunday Funday on July 30 at Beer Olympics at Charleville Brewing Co. and Tavern. Starting at 1 p.m., witness Herculean feats during drinking games like beer pong (an undergraduate staple of mine), corn hole and flip cup. And if Long White Cloud Pilsner is flowing, don’t miss it.

2. Odell Brewing takes over the taps at The Crafty Chameleon in Ellisville on Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. Enjoy pours of malt-forward 90 Shilling, hop bomb Myrcenary and Brazzle, the sour and funky oak-aged ale that sat on golden raspberries. Super rep Jake Snyder will raffle off an Odell river tube – summer ain’t over yet, y’all.

3. South Grand Avenue staple and vegetarian restaurant Tree House hosts organic brewery Old Bakery Brewing Co. for a fantastic eco- and veggie-friendly five-course beer dinner on Aug. 2. Spaces are available for two seatings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Pro tip: Check out the menu on the STLCBW website. A peach-coconut ice cream float with OBB’s Cerveza con Lima? yes, please!

4. When a group of female craft beer industry professionals get together, some really wonderful things happen. Join these women (some of whom are pictured above) from breweries like Side Project Brewing, Civil Life Brewing Co., Earthbound Beer, Perennial Artisan Ales and many more for the Aug. 3 release of NaSTLy Woman, an oak-aged sour brown ale full of empowerment and beauty, at 6 p.m. at 2nd Shift Brewing Co. Proceeds from this collaboration benefit Planned Parenthood.

5. International Tap House in Soulard hosts its seventh annual Firkin Fest on Aug. 5. This showcase of real ale, or beer on cask, is truly a fun concept. Nowhere else in St. Louis will you find this variety of cask beer. Starting at 2 p.m., iTap lines the bar top with 5-gallon firkins, and when the time is right, wallops each barrel with a mallet, spurring the flow of beautiful, uncarbonated beer served at proper cask temperature.

Photo courtesy of 2nd Shift Brewing Co. 

Katie Herrera is co-founder of Femme Ferment, an account manager at Craft Republic and participated in the production of NaSTLY Woman. 

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First Look: Center Ice Brewery in Midtown

Friday, July 21st, 2017

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It’s blistering hot outside, but Center Ice Brewery is keeping things cool in Midtown. The hockey-themed brewery opened today, July 21 at 3126 Olive St., just a couple doors down from Pappy’s Smokehouse and Southern.

As The Scoop reported in August 2016, Center Ice is the brainchild of owner-brewer Steve Albers. “I’ve been playing hockey since I was a kiddo. It’s in my blood,” Albers said. “Breweries represent the brewer’s personality – and that’s me.”

The 5,000-square-foot brewery features reclaimed materials from the old St. Louis Arena – the wood bar and tables in the 2,000-square-foot main bar area used to make up the arena’s roof, and the old penalty box door can be found as a photo-op box adjacent to Center Ice’s brewing equipment. The brewing floor is separated from customers by a low rink wall, which also curves around a private event space that will accommodate 30 to 40 people and offers 10 private taps.

A long time homebrewer, Albers planned to open with three of his own brews along with supplemental taps from area breweries like Main & Mill and Charleville Brewing Co. Center Ice’s opening lineup includes Golden Contract (an American golden ale contract brewed with Charleville), Hop Shelf IPA (a West Coast-inspired IPA) and Off Season Saison (a light, summery example of the style).

Albers said he chose approachable styles to open, but plans on starting a berry series made with fresh fruit and other more unusual beers soon. “With so many beers out there, you should set yourself apart and make something exciting,” he said.

Center Ice is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Louis’ first hockey-themed brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Heather Hughes is managing editor, print at Sauce Magazine.

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DTWE: 6 Kölsches to kill the heat wave

Friday, July 21st, 2017

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Whoa boy, St. Louis. You really got hot all of a sudden. I was very much enjoying the lack of the 100-plus-degree days and the abnormal heat index at 8 a.m. while walking my dog. Alas, humidity and sweltering heat have taken over. To counteract this obtrusive weather this weekend, go get yourself some approachable, light-bodied beers that taste great extra cold.

Kölsch, the German-style lagered ale originally from Köln, is one of my go-to styles for hot weather. These clean and crisp low-ABV beers are über flavorful with delicate fruity aromatics, low levels of Pilsner malt graininess and subtle hop bitterness. Their refreshing nature is enhanced with adequate carbonation that drives soft flavors of cereal, pear, citrus, grass and even grape at times. These balanced brews tend to finish with an energizing zip leaving you ready for your next.

Here are a few locally available Kölsch-style brews to pack in the cooler for these dog days of summer:

1. Schlafly Kölsch (4.8-percent ABV) Available on draft, in bottles and in cans in mass quantity around the St. Louis area, this is one of my first favorite local beers.

2. Mark Twain Brewing Co. Clemens Kölsch (4.4-percent ABV) A new canning line for Mark Twain means this summer crusher is now available in a get-out-on-the-river float trip ready package.

3. Missouri Beer Company Kölsch (4.5-percent ABV) If you find yourself near O’Fallon, Missouri this weekend, stop by this new(ish) brewery and grab a Crowler for the weekend – it’s delightful.

4. Boulevard Brewing Co. Kölsch (4.6-percent ABV) A winner from the other side of the state, it’s available on draft and in cans for pairing with your favorite summer pastime.

5. Left Hand Brewing Co. Travelin’ Light Kölsch (4.8-percent ABV) This Colorado stud of a brewery jumped on the session ale train and canned this new-to-the-market refresher. Another canned goody means more variety for your outdoor adventures.

6. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Bap (4.9-percent ABV) Of course the most German-inspired brewery in The Lou is going to knock this German-style bier out of the park. Grab a growler at The Grove brewery and Bierhall this weekend.

Photo courtesy of Schlafly 

Katie Herrera is co-founder of Femme Ferment and a brand representative for Craft Republic. 

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The Scoop: Wellspent Brewing to open in Midtown

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

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Things are rolling along for Wellspent Brewing Co. According to brewer-owner Kyle Kohlmorgen, the brewery’s space at 2917 Olive St., in Midtown is on track for a late 2017 opening.

“We’ve got equipment on order, and we’re rolling through construction right now,” Kohlmorgen said. “We’re still in the position to get (the equipment) in and brew beer and be open by the end of the year. We’re happy with the timeline.”

He said what slows some new breweries down is taking care of federal licensing requirements, which Wellspent has already completed. The space will have 77 seats inside, and the large outside patio should seat approximately the same.

Kohlmorgen said initially, the brewery will put out traditional Belgian and German styles, as well as a few hoppier styles, like pale ale. He said eventually, Wellspent will experiment with mixed fermentation sour styles as well. “We’ll start on those after we get rolling,” he said.

He said the food program should be up and running within the first year. “We’ll start with some basic packaged food while we build out our kitchen,” he said. “The kitchen most likely won’t be done by the time the brewery is done, and we’re open.”

Once the mixed fermentation sour program starts, the brewery may do some limited self-distribution. “Our plan is if we can sell all of the beer we can make at our place, then that’s what we want to do,” Kohlmorgen said.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Elixir: Booze Cruise

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

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Float trips don’t require much: a raft or canoe (or inner tube, if you must), sunscreen and a large cooler full of beer. Our days of Bud Light and Wild Turkey shoots are remembered fondly (or not at all), but our palates have grown since those first drinking days on the river. Now we sip session IPAs, crisp wheat beers and juicy pale ales as we bob down Missouri waterways. Here are the six cans – no glass on the river! – we’re floating with this year.

 

1. 2nd Shift Brewing Co. Brewligans
Originally meant to sustain St. Louis Football Club fans through a 90-minute soccer game, this 6-percent brew is an IPA for hopheads who want to kick back on the Black River.
Four-pack: $12. 2nd Shift Brewing Co., 1601 Sublette Ave., St. Louis, 314.669.9013, 2ndshiftbrewing.com

2. Civil Life Brewing Co. German Pilsner
For those who forage in the cooler for something besides hop bombs and fruity adjuncts, we present the cool, crisp 5.1-percent German Pilsner. This is a Pils as it should be.
Six-pack: $10. Civil Life Brewing Co., 3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis, thecivillife.com

3. 4 Hands Brewing Co. Passion Fruit Prussia
The lowest ABV in our cooler is also one of the most flavorful. 4 Hands loads tropical passion fruit into a Berliner Weisse for a 4-percent taste of the Caribbean on the Current River.
Four-pack: $11. Craft Beer Cellar, 8113 Maryland Ave., Clayton, 314.222.2444, clayton.craftbeercellar.com

4. Destihl Brewing Co. Wild Sour Blueberry Gose
Destihl has canned a rainbow of tasty brews in its Wild Sour series. The 5.2-percent Blueberry Gose offers a hint of salinity and puckering notes of sweet-tart blueberry.
Four-pack: $10. Saint Louis Hop Shop, 2606 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.261.4011, saintlouishopshop.com

5. Old Bakery Beer Co. Citrus Wheat
Looking for less hop and more grain? This 4.7-percent wheat beer offers a touch of citrus and coriander that pairs perfectly with southwest Missouri sunshine.
Four-pack: $9. Lukas Wine & Spirits, 15678 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.227.4543, lukasliquorstl.com

6. Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. Fallen Flag
Grab a 32-ounce Crowler of this juicy, hazy Northeast-style American IPA on regular rotation at the Florissant brewery. True, at 7 percent, it breaks our lower ABV rule, but it wouldn’t be a true float trip if you didn’t get just a little drunk.
$12. Narrow Gauge Brewing Co., 1595 N. US Highway 67, Florissant, 314.831.3222, narrowgaugestl.com

Illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan

First Look: Greer Brewing in Ellisville

Friday, June 30th, 2017

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Ellisville’s first brewery is officially open. Brewer-owner Chris Greer opened Greer Brewing Co. at 16050 Manchester Road on June 24.

After scouting several locations in the West County area, Greer settled on a former lawn and garden shop as the spot to make his homebrewing hobby a full-time job. He spent the last nine months gutting and renovating the space, which was vacant for 14 years, to house a 15-barrel brewing system and 92-seat tasting room.

Greer keeps his brews true to style, focusing on German beers like a hefeweizen and Vienna lager. In addition to eight taps, Greer also installed a cask system to pull his traditional English ordinary bitter. A small kitchen turns out pub fare like Irish nachos, pretzels served with beer cheese and bratwurst sliders.

Greer Brewing is open Wednesday through Friday from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Ellisville’s first brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Third Wheel Brewing in St. Peters

Friday, June 16th, 2017

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St. Peters has welcomed its first brewery. Third Wheel Brewing opened doors at 4008 N. Service Road on Wednesday, June 7.

As The Scoop reported last September, Third Wheel is a six-person partnership among Ron and Valerie Woerndle, Wade and Erin Alberty, Brad Wheeling and brewer Abbey Spencer, who is a co-founder of The OG, a St. Louis women’s craft beer collective.

Wheeling said the massive space sat vacant for a decade before Third Wheel moved in. The nearly 10,000-square-foot tasting room offers plenty of space for patrons to spread out and enjoy full or half pours of the five house brews and seven guest taps currently available.

Third Wheel’s current offerings lean lighter (though Spencer said a porter and chocolate stout will debut in a few weeks) with a Belgian wit, American pale ale, a double IPA, a Berliner Weiss and an American brown ale. Growlers are available to go and a Crowler machine is on the way, but Spencer said no plans are in the works to distribute Third Wheel at this time.

From the beginning, Wheeling wanted Third Wheel to be “a brewery with food, not a restaurant.” Enter brothers Scott and Steve Kline and chef Kevin Hummel, who operate The Window, a separate business that serves food inside the brewery. As the name implies, customers step up to the window to order from a menu of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads. Sides like house-made chips, fries and sweet potato fries come with a selection of 14 dips from ranch to marinara to gooey warm marshmallow.

Third Wheel Brewing is open Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Charles County’s newest brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.

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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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Thursday, June 15th, 2017

The St. Louis beer scene is inviting and ripe with awesome people and delicious suds. Every place is doing something different, so spend your weekend imbibing at your Favorite Local Breweries:

 

TastingRoom_4Hands

{ 4 Hands tasting room }

4 Hands Brewing Co.
Nestled just south of Busch Stadium, 4 Hands boasts one of the most creative beer portfolios the city has to offer. Hops, barrels and experimental collaborations are no stranger to this brewery’s lineup. The team behind the City Wide beer project, 4 Hands is synonymous with community involvement and support. Stop in before the next Cardinals game, check out the new upstairs bar and game area, order an Incarnation IPA, and grab grub from Peacemaker and Sidney Street Cafe’s new 4 Hands kitchen program.

 

TastingRoom_UCBC

{ Urban Chestnut Brewery & Bierhall in The Grove } 

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
As polka fans know, “In heaven there is no beer/that’s why we drink it here!” German-influenced Urban Chestnut has given St. Louis beer drinkers three options for imbibing. Planning a quieter date night or want some sun? Hit up the OG brewery and Biergarten in Midtown. The much larger and industrious brewery and Bierhall in The Grove plays a great host to happy hours and large groups, and the newly developed URB (Urban Research Brewery) across the street from the Bierhall is great if you want to nerd out over a Stammtisch and grab a slice of pizza.

 

TastingRoom_Schlafly

{ Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood } 

Schlafly
The original craft brewery in the land of Anheuser-Busch, Schlafly set the scene for the boom of smaller breweries in The Lou. Bar seats at the original Tap Room downtown are always filled with Billiken, Cards and Blues fans and lifelong regulars there to see their favorite tenured barkeep. Looking for a more broad and inclusive brewery experience? Head to Bottleworks, the production facility in Maplewood – that also plays host to some fantastic events – and reserve your spot for the super informative brewery tour. End your experience on the covered patio for some live music, nachos and a pour of Schlafly Kölsch.

 

TastingRoom_CivilLife

{ Civil Life tasting room }

Civil Life Brewing Co.
Consistently cited as the “brewer’s brewery,” Civil Life is the industry home away from home. True-to-style English- and German brews, friendly bar staff and a humble pub atmosphere all combine to create one of the most spectacular places to drink in the Tower Grove South neighborhood. Stop in on Sunday for chef Tony Collida taco offerings – or soup during the cooler months – and join in the camaraderie of friends, brewers and families. Although you can’t go wrong with any of Civil Life’s offerings, grab a pour of its Vienna lager or opt for anything on cask.

 

TastingRoom_SideProject

{ The Side Project Cellar }

Side Project Brewing
Just a few moments spent within the walls of Side Project’s new tasting room or at The Side Project Cellar, its beer bar down the street, and you’ll understand why the beer receives worldwide recognition and the James Beard Foundation gave a nod to The Cellar for Outstanding Bar Program in 2015. This Maplewood brewery houses barrel-aged beers that showcase funk, complexity and depth, as well as a knowledgeable staff (full disclosure: I used to manage The Cellar). Sip on a pour of Grisette and you’ll understand why this place draws the attention of beer hoarders and beer drinkers alike.

 

TastingRoom_Perennial

{ Perennial Artisan Ales tasting room } 

Perennial Artisan Ales
Home to Abraxas, Southside Blonde, an extensive barrel program and Thursday night hand pies, Perennial’s tasting room is bright, inviting, and always full of chatty locals and out-of-towners on their way through this beer city. Located in deep South City, this newly expanded brewery is kid friendly and has a wonderful patio for Saturday day-drinking after the 2 p.m. brewery tour. Looking for a weekday adventure? Stop in Thursdays around 6 p.m. for a weekly new beer release.

4 Hands and Side Project photos by  Michelle Volansky; Urban Chestnut and Perennial photos by Jonathan Gayman, Civil Life photo by David Kovaluk; Schlafly photo courtesy of Schlafly

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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