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Mar 28, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘craft beer’

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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The Scoop: Kevin Nashan to launch new food program at 4 Hands

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

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{ brisket po’boy at Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. }

 

4 Hands Brewing Co. will debut a new food program at the brewery’s tasting room this Friday, Feb. 24, courtesy of chef Kevin Nashan.

The James Beard-nominated chef-owner of Sidney Street Cafe and Peacemaker Lobster & Crab created the menu with Peacemaker chef de cuisine, John Messbarger.

Most recently, Fifth Wheel Catering (owned by Baileys’ Restaurants) ran the 4 Hands food program. As The Scoop reported on Feb. 6, The Fifth Wheel left the brewery on Feb. 5 after five years in operation. Since then, Lemp has arranged a lineup of food trucks parked outside the brewery to feed hungry patrons.

Nashan and Messbarger’s menu features a variety of soups, snacks and sandwiches including beer cheese soup, smoked whitefish dip, a bratwurst braised in 4 Hands beer and a brisket po’boy. Nashan and Messbarger will also handle catering duties for events at 4 Hands.

4 Hands owner Kevin Lemp said he looked forward to teaming up with Nashan again after the two collaborated on a exclusive Peacemaker witbier. “I have such respect for Kevin and his team and everything they do,” Lemp said. “We thought this was a great way to work together again.” He said since Nashan’s Benton Park restaurants are near the brewery, they could be easily be used as commissaries.

Lemp said that Messbarger’s affinity for craft beer was also a plus. “He really understands what foods pair well with beers,” he said.

Nashan said the opportunity to work with Lemp was “a no-brainer.” “It’ll be beer pub food done our way,” he said. “It’ll be a lot of fun.”

Photo courtesy of Peacemaker

Ones to Watch 2017: Troy Bedik of Civil Life Brewing Co.

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

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Title: Brewer, Civil Life Brewing Co.
Age: 29
Why watch her: She does whatever she wants.

Before she became a professional brewer, Troy Bedik concocted a homebrew recipe so good, Steve Crider of 2nd Shift Brewing mass produced it. Now, after recently landing the highly competitive and coveted position of brewer at Civil Life, she’s already developed a Kölsch recipe owner Jake Haefner declared a favorite of the past year.

Considered one of the most passionate in the field by her peers, this won’t be the last time you hear about Bedik. But first, hear it in her words:

“I love getting my hands dirty – it’s my favorite part of what I do. I like being on my feet all day, moving around, getting to move heavy things. I like having a job where I’m physically crafting something. I can brew the beer, package the beer, put the beer on draft and then enjoy the beer. It’s the ultimate satisfaction.”

“The craft beer world can be a very intimidating environment for women. It’s gotten better, but you have to fight for people to take you seriously, to prove that you know what you’re talking about. It’s good to have a strong support group.”

“I always get the joke from people: ‘Oh, you’re a brewer – where’s your beard?’ Sometimes if I’m wearing a dress, I wonder if it automatically discredits me because I don’t look the part. I think people mean well by it, but you don’t have to look a certain way – like a 30-year-old bearded guy. There’s room for everybody.”

“One of my favorite moments while working at Civil Life was one day when I was wearing my big work boots, work shorts, a headlamp and safety glasses, and I walked into the bathroom and saw this little 5-year-old girl.

“She asked me, ‘Why are you dressed like that?’

“And I said, ‘I’m a brewer. I work over there.’

“Her eyes got wide and she said, ‘That’s so cool!’ Then she ran over and told her dad.

“I loved it because she saw that you can have a job that lets you get a little dirty – you can do whatever you want to do.”

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Drink This Weekend Edition: Katie’s 12 Beers of Christmas

Friday, December 16th, 2016

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As a toast to 2016, I have decided to share my 12 beers of Christmas with Sauce readers. Some are seasonal, some are year-round favorites, but all are easily accessible beers I will drink and/or have stocked in my fridge this time of year.

Disclaimer: This list isn’t ranked in any way. Also, I really like canned beer – half this list is available in cans. Happy 2016, y’all, and cheers to a bright 2017!

 

1. 4 Hands Incarnation
This is my go-to local IPA – single-hopped with Mosaic (a personal favorite), canned, always fresh AF on draft at the brewery, and an overall beautifully built beer.

2. Blaugies La Moneuse Special Winter
If I had to choose a holiday beer, this would be it – mellow tartness followed by bright citrus notes and a light, funky yeast presence.

3. Bud Light Lime
You heard me. Put her in a bucket with five of her sisters because it’s Packer season. Limey, grainy and just refreshing enough to keep going back for that next bucket or two. #GoPackGo

4. Civil Life Porter
On draft, on cask, out of a growler, this beer is perfect. Its medium body and velvety texture (especially on cask!) highlight the beautiful notes of coffee and chocolate that round out the palate.

5. Firestone Walker Pivo Pils
This is the beer the Side Project crew had in hand when we won Best in Show at the Firestone Walker Beer Invitational (obviously a highlight for 2016). With floral hops, light pepper and clean bitterness, it makes for an overall enjoyable experience.

6. Green Bench Grisette
A table beer from my favorite Florida brewery: light-bodied, dry and funky. Pair this beauty with anything on the dinner table.

7. Logboat Haller-Tang Pale
Absolutely my favorite new release of the year – clean, crisp and full of tropical fruit notes and satiable bitterness. Move over Pinner? Only 2017 will tell.

8. Left Hand Fade to Black, Vol. 1
If you made me choose, I’d put this beauty in my top five favorite beers. Only now its available in cans – so top three? Heavily roasted malt gives way to intense notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice and an aggressively bitter finish.

9. Oskar Blues Pinner
If you don’t know, now you know. This insanely crushable and fruit-forward session IPA was my most consumed beer of 2016. When in doubt, grab a Pinner – or four.

10. Schlafly Coffee Stout
Hands down, this is my most-anticipated seasonal St. Louis release: roasty and medium-bodied with intense notes of fantastically dirty diner coffee. Yes, I will take grit in my beer, please.

11. Sierra Nevada Narwhal
This is the first Imperial stout I fell in love with thanks to aggressive roast and intense chocolate. Let this bad boy warm up for full enjoyment with added notes of mellow smoke and espresso.

12. A good ‘ol bottle of rosé
The drier and bubblier the better. Not even I can drink beer all of the time.

 

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

 

Related Content
Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers
Guide to the Holidays 2016: Bottles of Good Cheer
• Buzzed Brews: Blend your own coffee stout
• Guide to the Holidays 2016

 

Sneak Peek: Side Project Brewing in Maplewood

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

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Beer nerd, prepare thyself. After nearly a year of anticipation, Side Project Brewing is opening its brewery and tasting room at 7458 Manchester Ave., in Maplewood on Sunday, Dec. 18.

As The Scoop reported in January, co-owners Cory and Karen King received the go-ahead to begin construction of the 2,500-square-foot space in Maplewood. Now the 20-barrel brewhouse is in full swing, and the Kings are ready to open.

The building, which once housed St. Louis Closet Company, now features bright white subway tile, picture windows and light wood tables and chairs made by Goebel & Co. Furniture. Patrons can grab a stool and watch brewers King and Brian Ivers at work through the large window looking into the brewhouse. Behind the bar, 11 taps will pour mostly Side Project beers, as well as a new collaborative label between King and Ivers – Shared.

While all Side Project beers spend time aging in oak barrels, Shared beers don’t have to be barrel-aged. King said this will allow them to create Pilsners, pale ales, IPAs and other styles best consumed fresh. Shared beers will also ready in a matter of weeks, not the months that Side Project beers require.

The brewery’s tasting room will only be open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., but those looking to get their weekday fix can still visit  The Side Project Cellar, which remains open just around the corner from the brewery at 7373 Marietta Ave. During the holidays, the new brewery’s tasting room will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but it will be open on New Year’s Eve.

Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when the new space opens this Sunday:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

 

More about Side Project Brewing
The Rookie’s Guide to a Side Project Release
• Long Live the King
• The Scoop: 5 STL-area chefs, The Side Project Cellar, Stone Soup Cottage all earn JBFA nods
• The Scoop: Side Project Brewing receives approval to open brewery in Maplewood

First Look: Gezellig in The Grove

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

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The Grove continues to step up its beer game with the recent addition of Gezellig Tap House & Bottleshop. As The Scoop reported in July, owner Brandon Cavanagh closed his music venue, The Demo, to open a beer bar at 4191 Manchester Ave., partially inspired by his travels to Amsterdam.

The Dutch word “gezellig,” Cavanagh explained, refers to a cozy, convivial environment or a sense of togetherness among loved ones. It’s a concept he hopes his bar embodies with its dark wood, Edison lighting and the soft pop of vinyl albums playing over the speakers.

The space can seat up to 80 and serves as both a bar and bottle shop with a wall of refrigerators organized by region. Two are dedicated to local Missouri and Illinois brews like Schlafly, 2nd Shift, Perennial, Logboat and Boulevard. Several national labels are available, as well as international offerings from Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and more. Bottled and canned brews can be purchased for onsite consumption or to-go.

Twenty-eight taps are available, and Cavanagh hopes to keep the selection rotating frequently by only featuring seasonal and special release beers. Local barman and assistant manager Joel Clark supports the beer averse with wine, bottled cocktails and spirits available neat or on the rocks. Look for a tight selection of mostly whiskey, mezcal and gin. Cavanagh said he is currently working with area restaurants Sauce on the Side and The Gramophone to coordinate food delivery, and customers can bring their own carryout to Gezellig.

Gezellig is currently open Tuesday to Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 to 11 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect at The Grove’s new beer bar:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Drink This Weekend Edition: Spruce Brown Ale at Old Bakery Beer Co.

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

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The St. Louis beer scene is ripe with collaborations and local support. The most recent example can be found just across the Mississippi in Alton. Old Bakery Beer Co. has teamed up with The Nature Institute to offer a series of special brews showcasing ingredients locally foraged at TNI’s managed property. This series showcases 12 cask beers offered on the first Friday of every month through October 2017.

Each combination highlights a native Illinois plant and its importance to the environment. Over the course of this yearlong series, imbibers can vote for their favorite combination. Old Bakery will brew the winner at full scale and release it to the public at this time next year. And if that wasn’t enough, half of the proceeds from specialty beer sold benefits TNI’s research and education program.

The first in this series, a Persimmon Pub Ale, was offered in November during Alton Craft Beer Week, but fear not, local beer drinkers – the second cask is tapped tonight, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. Head to Alton for the Spruce Brown Ale, Old Bakery’s A-Town Brown Ale hopped up with Simcoe and Chinook and finished with spruce tips. It’s festive, creative and sure to be delicious served at cask temperature.

Can’t make it tonight for the second release? Cask No. 3, Hairy Mountain Porter – a porter brewed with Hairy Mountain mint – debuts Jan. 6, 2017.

 

Related Content
Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers

Sauce Guide to Beer 2016

• Sneak Peek: The Old Bakery Beer Co.

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers

Friday, November 25th, 2016

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All the Turkey Day leftovers are stored in the fridge, a big pot of turkey stock is simmering on the stove, and you’re contemplating joining in the Black Friday insanity. Or you’re like me: anti-turkey and thus, anti-turkey stock, and more likely to avoid any mall or retail establishment without a strong drink present.

I fully endorse celebrating Black Friday with massive, full-bodied, aggressive Imperial stouts and then perusing the interwebs for fun holiday gifts. Here, three such options to toast a successful Turkey Day and a very happy Black Friday.

Disclaimer: These three options are highly sought after and may be difficult to locate – but for many, this is part of the fun. All three will be available in bottles and draft around the city. Might I suggest a Schlafly Coffee Stout to get the search going?

 

1. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2016 (13.8 percent ABV)
For most beer fans, this gnarly bourbon barrel-aged Imperial stout is the reason for the season. BCBS is chewy, sweet and showcases just enough boozy warmth to keep those toes warm in the coldest weather. Her debut on Black Friday gets those beer nerds out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to start prowling store shelves. Look for deep notes of chocolate and barrel undertones of charred oak, vanilla and smoke.

2. Perennial Abraxas (10 percent ABV)
Now that Perennial’s Abraxas Week and accompanying bottle release is over, it’s time to scour the city for bottles and draft. This Imperial stout is bitter, full-bodied and stacked with roasted malt notes and Mexican spice. The dance of the ancho chile peppers, cacao nibs and cinnamon sticks on the palate is the star of this belly warmer.

3. North Coast Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XIX (11.2 percent ABV)
In true Russian Imperial stout fashion, this lady comes forth with a boatload of roasted malt that presents itself as espresso and chocolate on the palate. Throw in some dried fruit and lingering char and vanilla from the barrel as it warms, and you have yourself a good time.

Sneak Peek: 2nd Shift Brewing on The Hill

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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{From left, the 2nd Shift crew includes Mikey Manning, Jake Senn, co-owners Libby Crider and brewer Steve Crider, Becca Senn and Mike Sweeney.}

After months of anticipation, co-owners Steve and Libby Crider are putting the final touches on 2nd Shift Brewing’s new home at 1601 Sublette Ave., on The Hill. Doors are set to open Dec. 3, pending final licensing approval.

As The Scoop reported in May, the Criders have spent the past three years looking for a new home for their 6-year-old brewery, which was originally located in New Haven. They settled on a large warehouse in an industrial part of The Hill. The 12,000-square-foot main building holds both the tasting room and the brewery, and the additional space will drastically increase 2nd Shift’s production.

The Criders embraced the stripped-down industrial feel of the space, which includes exposed ductwork suspended from soaring warehouse ceilings. Racks of barrels used to age 2nd Shift beers divide the tasting room from the brewery. The bar features 16 taps, the majority of which will pour 2nd Shift brews. (A handful will be reserved for regional guest taps.) Crider also hopes to offer a select wine program of by-the-glass and bottle offerings.

The Criders have partnered with brothers Jason and Adam Tilford of Tilford Restaurant Group, which owns Mission Taco Joint, Tortillaria and Milagro Modern Mexican. Don’t expect a fourth Mission Taco Joint, though. Libby Crider said they are working to construct a menu that will include nods to The Hill’s Italian influences, as well as sausages and paninis. Until the kitchen build-out is complete, the Tilfords will operate a mobile taco bar at 2nd Shift.

Once doors open, the tasting room will operate Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek at 2nd Shift’s new home:

 

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Read more about 2nd Shift Brewing
• The Scoop: 2nd Shift to open brewery on The Hill
• Cellarman Steve Crider: Serious Beer Doesn’t Have to Be Serious
• Drink This Weekend Edition: 2nd Shift Technical Ecstasy
• Drink This Weekend Edition: 2nd Shift Brewing’s Hibiscus Wit

 

Editor’s Note: This post oringinally stated that 2nd Shift would be open on Sundays. This is anticipated for summer, but not upon opening. It has been updated to correct the error. 

-photos by Michelle Volansky

Guide to the Holidays 2016: Bottles of Good Cheer

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

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Put aside your light, workaday brews and reach for something more festive to serve at this extravagant holiday meal. Saint Louis Hop Shop co-owner Justin Harris shared his five picks from double IPAs to rich chocolate stouts to put you in a merry mood.

 

1. Schlafly Tasmanian IPA
Redolent with Galaxy and Australian Topaz hops, this 7.2-percent IPA is heady enough to feel celebratory but won’t weigh you down for a night of decadent food and drink. 6-pack: $10.

2. Destihl Wild Sour Plum Sour Stout
Chocolate and dark fruit combine for a brew that balances sweet and tart. At 5.6 percent, it goes well with lighter hors d’oeuvres or salads. 4-pack: $10.

3. Against the Grain Citra Ass Down
A healthy dose of Citra hops gives this 8-percent American IPA a taste of the tropics that’s balanced by maltiness. 4-pack: $12.

4. Ballast Point Victory at Sea
This rich Imperial porter is infused with sweet notes of coffee and vanilla perfect for post-dinner sipping. Be on the lookout for its elusive peppermint variant to add to the holiday hoopla. 6-pack: $15.50.

5. Evil Twin Liquid Double Fudge
The name doesn’t lie: This Imperial stout packs a creamy, fudgy punch that becomes even more chocolaty as it warms. At 12 percent, this is a beer to share and sip slowly. 22-ounce bottle: $9.

All beers are available at Saint Louis Hop Shop

 

More on Saint Louis Hop Shop

• The Scoop: Beer bottle shop to open on Cherokee Street

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