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Feb 23, 2018
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beer

4 must-try beer and chocolate pairings

Friday, February 9th, 2018

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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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Twisted Roots Brewing Co. will open this spring in Midtown

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

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Another brewery will soon make beer in Midtown. Twisted Roots Brewing Co. is set to open this spring at 3690 Forest Park Ave., once the home to Falstaff Brewing, Six Row Brewing Co. and Pappo’s Pizza, as reported by the Riverfront Times.

“We’ve been brewers by trade for a number of years working for other breweries,” said co-owner Adam Patterson. “We’ve been looking for a place to get back to brewing for fun, for us, instead of doing large-batch distribution brewing, and this really fit the bill for us.”

Patterson and co-owner Kris Wangelin are beer industry vets. Wangelin started out washing kegs at Cathedral Square Brewing. He then worked positions at 4204 Main Street Brewing Co. in Belleville and 4 Hands Brewing Co., eventually serving as head brewer at Peel Brewing Co. Patterson served as general manager for the restaurant at 4204 Main Street Brewing, eventually assuming the role of head brewer there.

Twisted Roots will offer 12 to 14 beers on tap – five core brews plus rotating seasonals. The partners said the core beers will most likely include an American lager, an English Strong Bitter, a Belgian wit and a brown ale.

Twisted Roots’ 7-barrel brew house will supply just enough beer for the pub. Wangelin and Patterson said they are adamant about not getting into the distribution grind, and instead want to focus on the neighborhood bar aspect of the business.

“We want to be what brew pubs were 15 years ago, before everyone had to get onto the grocery store shelves,” Patterson said. “We’re looking to go back more to the roots.”

Since Twisted Root is a brewpub, there will be plenty of food to be had in addition to beer. “We’re going to go back to more of a classic bar menu, but we are going to put some twists on it to make it a little bit interesting,” Wangelin said. Look for dishes like smash burgers, vegetarian burgers, Reuben eggrolls and a pork belly BLT, among other offerings.

Twisted Roots will open with approximately 60 seats on the main floor, with soft seating on the second floor and a back patio with another 40 to 50 seats to follow later, Wangelin said.

Photo courtesy of Twisted Roots

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Growler USA will open first area location in St. Charles

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

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Beer lovers out west will soon have another place to indulge their hops habit. Owners Nicholas and Jody Hester will open a new location of Colorado-based beer pub chain Growler USA next month at 3833 Elm St.

“We want to be a part of the local beer scene by having as many local beers as possible on tap,” said Nicholas Hester, citing breweries such as 4 Hands Brewing Co., Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., Perennial Artisan Ales and Civil Life Brewing Co.

Growler USA St. Charles will have 100 taps that will pour beer, wine and cider. The pub will also have a full kitchen. Hester said kitchen manager Doug Sayles will initially feature a menu with classic pub fare – think wings and burgers – and will eventually spotlight takes on St. Louis favorites, such as “a T-rav with an elevated spin to it.”

The 2,300-square-foot space, which used to be home to a fitness center, will have 73 seats inside, including the bar, and another 50 on the patio when the weather breaks.

Photo courtesy of Growler USA 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

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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

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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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Plantain Girl will open Alpha-Teria inside new Alpha Brewing space

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

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One current local brewery trend has nothing to do with beer. Breweries tap a local restaurateur to provide quality eats for taproom customers while brewers concentrate on what they do best – beer. The latest of these collaborations is between Alpha Brewing Co. and Plantain Girl owner Mandy Estrella, who built a following for her Caribbean catering services and pop-up events.

As The Scoop reported in April, Alpha is currently constructing a new facility at 4310 Fyler Ave., slated to open in mid-February. In addition to a 15-barrel brew house, co-owner and head brewer Derrick Langeneckert said the new digs will also boast a taproom, restaurant and beer garden area with seating for approximately 300.

The restaurant, called Alpha-Teria, will feature Estrella’s signature Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican cuisine. The menu will include shareable plates like empanadas, pollo con queso and a rotating selection of tacos, along with mains like the ropa vieja plate (braised flank steak, white rice, black beans, maduros, pickled red onions and cilantro), and sandwiches like the tripleta with diced steak, pork, ham, Swiss cheese, grilled onions, lettuce and tomato on toasted French bread.

 

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Langeneckert said he was looking for something different to complement Alpha’s variety of beers. “Our beers are more aggressively flavored,” he said. “We just didn’t want to do the typical hamburger or pizza, because the food would get really lost. We were looking for something spicy.”

Langeneckert happened to visit Six Mile Bridge Beer during one of Estrella’s pop-ups there, and the rest was history.

“We were getting to the point where we were already going to phase out the pop-ups,” Estrella said. “We were about two years out from opening some form of a Latin fast-casual restaurant, so when Derrick approached me with this, it wasn’t exactly what I was going to do, but was kind of the middle ground. I could open a kitchen without having to open a full restaurant. It seemed like a great opportunity with less risk.”

She said the built-in audience of Alpha fans was also an incentive, as well as the fact that many Plantain Girl followers are from the Tower Grove area, where the new Alpha location will be. Estrella said she’ll continue to cater under the Plantain Girl moniker.

Plantain Girl photo by Ashley Gieseking

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Wellbeing Brewing Co. launches St. Louis’ first nonalcoholic brewery

Monday, November 27th, 2017

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St. Louis has long been a center for innovation in beer, and now there’s another to add to the extensive list: nonalcoholic craft beer. Wellbeing Brewing Co., a new brewery that specializes in NA beers, aims to have its wares on area shelves by Jan. 2, as reported by the Post-Dispatch.

Husband-and-wife team Jeff Stevens and Genevieve Barlow started Wellbeing, one of the country’s two breweries dedicated to solely brewing nonalcoholic beers, earlier this year. Although he has an extensive background in marketing beer and spirits at companies such as Momentum Worldwide, Stevens stopped drinking alcohol when he was 24.

“I went to tastings, had to write beer copy, knew a lot about the brewing process and how all kinds of beers around the world were brewed, but never got to drink any of it,” he said.

Stevens said he always looked for booze-free options when he went out and often came up short. Then about a year ago, he was in London with some coworkers who showed him how popular nonalcoholic beers were becoming in Europe. The experience inspired him to try his hand at brewing his own version.

“The market [in the U.S.] isn’t quite there yet, but I think all the signs point that way,” Stevens said. “I think bars and restaurants are going to have to give people who don’t drink alcohol just as good of an experience as those who do and offer just as many choices, versus just a Diet Coke or a coffee.”

Currently, Wellbeing contract brews through O’Fallon Brewery to produce Wellbeing’s first release, Heavenly Body Golden Wheat, a dry, crisp wheat beer. Next up is Hellraiser Dark Amber, available Feb. 1, which Stevens described as pale ale-like with more of a hoppy characteristic. He said future offerings will include a stout and a Radler. The beers will initially be sold in bottles with cans and kegs following later next year.

Stevens said he’s content to brew at O’Fallon while he judges the response to his beers. “We should be good [at O’Fallon] for a couple of years,” he said.

He said Whole Foods in Brentwood and Fields Foods have expressed interest in stocking the beer come January, and Tapped in Maplewood has committed to putting Wellbeing on tap when kegs are available.

Photo courtesy of Wellbeing Brewing

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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4 big Black Friday beer events in St. Louis

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

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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

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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

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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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