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Jan 21, 2018
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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. 

Related Content

• Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers

• Drink This Weekend Edition: Schlafly Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017

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. 

Sauce Readers’ Choice: Favorite Beer List – International Tap House

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015



A bar that serves more than 500 beers can be overwhelming, but that doesn’t stop St. Louis beer lovers. You voted International Tap House’s beer list tops in town. Still deciding on your next glass of suds? Here, the 10 best brews at iTap right now.

1. New Belgium La Folie
After one to three years aging in wood foeders (large, oak barrels), this highly sought after sour brown ale at iTap’s Soulard location provides mouth-puckering notes of green apple and a thirst-quenching, satisfying experience.

2. Boulevard The Calling IPA
One of Boulevard’s newest IPAs, The Calling is heavily hopped, bursting with tropical flavors and punches heavy at 8.5 percent.

3. Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA
If you’re looking for a beer with the hoppiness of a traditional IPA and the drinkability of a light lager, this is it. Jam-packed with flavor but weighing in at only 4.9 percent, you can enjoy this beer all day long.

4. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale 
Centennial hops are the superstar of this well-balanced, easily accessible IPA.

5. Petrus Oud Bruin
Red as wine, sour-sweet and earthy on the nose, this Oud Bruin is a winning specimen of the complex, dark brown Flemish style.

6. Urban Chestnut Ku’damm
At only 4.2 percent, the flavors of citrus shine brightly in this refreshing, locally brewed Berliner Weisse.

7. 2nd Shift Katy
One of the most satisfying American Brett saisons on the market, Katy is light enough to be consumed glass after glass.

8. Leaky Roof High Dry & Dusty
A great alternative to beer, this sessionable mead is light, crisp and palate-cleansing.

9. Chimay Red Cap (Première)
Flavors of apricot abound in this delightfully refreshing, monk-made Belgian dubbel, the recipe for which dates to 1862.

10. Root Sellers’ Row Hard Root Beer
Bring on the vanilla ice cream with this perfectly brewed hard root beer. At 6.7 percent, this would make a dangerously delicious float.

Drink This Weekend Edition: The Nightmare Before Christmas at iTap

Thursday, December 18th, 2014



Head to Soulard and explore the big, scary side of beer at iTap’s Nightmare Before Christmas, one of its biggest parties of the year this Saturday, Dec. 20. The fourth annual event is a chance to try some high alcohol, highly sought-after brews brought up from iTap’s cellar beginning at 11 a.m.

This year’s lineup has something for everyone, whether you’re into local offerings or a beer nerd who lines up hours in advance for hard-to-find brews. Half-pours will be available to try some these sought-after beers. A full list of everything on draft can be found here. My two picks:

2nd Shift LSD with Blueprint Coffee is one of the best Imperial stouts brewed with coffee. Thick, rich and delicious, the big coffee notes are a perfect way to start your day at this event.

For something big but not black, try Firestone Walker Sucaba. With notes of caramel, toffee, butterscotch and brown sugar, this barleywine warms your belly and stands out among the stout offerings.



Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 World Cup beers from St. Louis breweries

Friday, June 13th, 2014


{2nd Shift Brewing’s iBallz}

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off yesterday, June 12, giving soccer-loving St. Louisans and even casual fans reason to celebrate. Our city’s passion for The Beautiful Game and our love of beer collide more than ever before this year; three local breweries have created beers specifically for the tournament. Whether you’re part of St. Louis’ “Soccer Mafia” or just along for the ride in Brazil, these beers are sure to have you raising a pint to your favorite national team.

The Civil Life Brewing Co.’s Goal!Den Ale: It’s fitting that our city’s first “soccer beer,” Goal!Den Ale, was first brewed for one of our city’s best soccer bars, Amsterdam Tavern in 2012. At 5 percent ABV, this easy-drinking golden ale is a perfect complement to the game. The light-bodied, straw-colored brew has nice bready malts, a touch of spicy hops and a fluffy head. Goal!Den Ale is available exclusively at Amsterdam Tavern and at The Civil Life.

4 Hands Brewery’s Nelson Sauvin APA: Every year, International Tap House embraces the homebrewing community by hosting a competition at its Chesterfield location. This year’s winner, Patrick Strohmayer, had the opportunity to collaborate with 4 Hands Brewery to brew a beer for iTap’s World Cup festivities. The result was Nelson Sauvin APA. The hops give the brew a tropical note – think grapefruit, passion fruit or tangerines.  But a nice malt characteristic gives this American pale ale balance and plenty of dimension. You can find this 5.2 percent ABV brew at all iTap locations, Amsterdam Tavern and at 4 Hands Brewery.

2nd Shift Brewing’s iBallz: If there’s one thing you need to know about 2nd Shift Brewing’s head brewer Steve Crider, it’s that he loves hops. But the folks over at iTap wanted something hoppy, yet sessionable, something hopheads could drink a few of while they enjoyed the game. Enter iBallz, what Crider calls a “bisected IPA.” At 4.3 percent ABV, this brew showcases hops in all of their glory. Unlike some session IPAs that lack body, iBallz, won’t leave you feeling as though you’re sipping hop water. Try this brew at any of iTap’s St. Louis locations.

10 Places to Watch the World Cup

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Gateway City’s first love may be baseball, but we have a serious passion for soccer, too. No matter where you are tomorrow in St. Louis, there’s a place for you to settle in with some tasty brews, get rowdy with fellow soccer fans, and cheer on your favorite team. The World Cup kicks off tomorrow at 3 p.m., and we’ve got 13 spots for you to get your game on.




1. Amsterdam Tavern: There’s a reason this Tower Grove staple made our list of Best Places to Watch the Big Game. Amsterdam Tavern isn’t your run-of-the-mill sports bar; in fact, it’s dedicated to soccer. Sure to be packed, patrons here know their way around the game. Get your fix inside at its new beer garden, and don’t forget to grab some grub at The Dam, located next door.

2. The Moolah: No ticket needed for this special screening at The Moolah. Select games will be shown on the big screen; all matches are shown in Mini Moolah lounge – and it’s all free. Grab a beer and claim your couch in the name of your team.

3. Meshuggah Café: The upstairs loft of this unassuming, bookish joint makes way for screenings of World Cup matches. Food and drink specials are available, and while coffee may be its forte, don’t forget the selection of brews, too.




4. Barrister’s: This Clayton spot has long been a haunt for soccer fans. The game starts at 3 p.m. and Barrister’s happy hour starts at 4 p.m. – perfect timing to start preemptively celebrating or mourning.

5. International Tap House: Everyone wins when new beer is on tap. All four iTap locations are celebrating the World Cup in style with two new brews to mark the occasion: 2nd Shift Brewing’s iBallz, a bi-selected IPA, and 4 Hands Brewing’s WC ’14 Ale, an APA whose recipe was created by iTap’s homebrew winner Patrick Strohmayer.




6. The Biergarten at Anheuser Busch: Even the big boys are feeling World Cup fever. AB hosts a viewing party at its Biergarden to celebration the opening match between Croatia and Brazil Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m., featuring a 16-foot screen and Brazilian cultural performances.

7. Llywelyn’s Pub: Host your own match party at any of Llywelyn’s six locations, or just take advantage of the match-themed drink specials. Select brews from the countries playing that that match are $2 off. Talk about fan rewards.




8. The Scottish Arms: This rustic pub should be your choice if you want to enjoy some bloody good Scottish eats while watching the games. A lovely outdoor seating area is the perfect place for an evening viewing party with good scotch and barbecue specials.

9. Tigín Irish Pub: In a gambling mood? Play the $1 million bracket challenge and see if you can predict the outcome of all matches for cash prizes downtown at Tigín, an officially designated U.S. Soccer Bar.

10. The Dubliner: What better place to watch Europe’s favorite sport (and the rest of the world’s for that matter) than a proper European gastropub? It’s even running a fantasy football (and by that we mean soccer) league as the Cup plays on. That’s dedication.


Drink This Weekend Edition: Hoppy Spring at iTap

Friday, April 18th, 2014


Spring finally looks as though like it’s here to stay. Celebrate its arrival Saturday at International Tap House‘s Hoppy Spring. Beginning at noon, iTap’s locations in Chesterfield, Central West End and Soulard offer up a variety of hoppy libations, including some on cask.

Cask beer has a gentler carbonation level and usually shows a more complex flavor and aromatic profile. Many beers will be available at all locations, but some are specific to each bar. Odds are you won’t safely be able to make it to all three bars in one day, so I’ve tapped a must-try pick from each.

iTap Central West End: Charleville Brewing‘s Ale Mucho Hoppo on cask

A medium-bodied Imperial IPA, Ale Mucho Hoppo weighs in at 9 percent and is a hazy orange color. Upon smelling this beer, you’ll definitely pick up citrus fruit and herbal notes. Serving this on cask nicely rounds out the mouth feel. The earthy, sweeter notes balance out the intensity of the hops. The best part about this beer is that even at 9 percent, it doesn’t come across boozy.

iTap Chesterfield: 2nd Shift Brewing‘s Brew Cocky on cask

I really can’t say enough about the IPAs 2nd Shift puts out, and Brew Cocky is one of its best. This Imperial IPA is a sneaky 9.5 percent thing of beauty. With big aromas of pineapple, grapefruit and mango, along with some caramel sweetness, this one begs you to drink it. Served on cask, the softer carbonation brings out slightly more bitter grapefruit notes and some pine resin.

iTap Soulard: 4 Hands’ Brewing Co.‘s Contact High on cask

Leading the charge as one of my favorite spring releases is Contact High. A 5 percent, hopped-up wheat beer, this one is accessible to both IPA lovers and those who don’t like over-the-top hops. This is not your typical wheat beer. Brewed with orange zest and just the right amount of hops, it’s a citrus lover’s dream.

Drink This Weekend Edition: A guide to drinking during the bowl games

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Big days lie ahead. No, we’re not talking New Year’s Eve or even New Year’s Day. We’re talking about non-stop college football. It’s the time of year to plant your butt on a chair and zone out to first and 10, fourth and long, and crazed, shirtless young males wearing body paint.

Thus, we bring you a guide to the college bowls. You won’t find picks predicting the winning team. Instead, you’ll find picks that make you a winner when it comes to what you drink during the game. It’s football, so it’s all beer, all the time. But which one? For that, we turned to Sean Conroy, co-owner of International Tap House. His watering holes in Soulard and Chesterfield each offer 40 beers on tap along with about 480 bottled beers from around the globe. Conroy offered his picks (and commentary, because what is sports without commentary?) for the beer to order when you watch the big bowl games at iTAP. He’s only taking you through to New Year’s Day. After that, it’s time to get off that couch.

Russell Athletic Bowl, Friday, Dec. 28., 4:30 p.m. CST
Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech
Four Hands Reprise Red. This beer is a nice shade of Rutgers Scarlet.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 29, 10:45 a.m. CST
Rice vs. Air Force
New Belgium Shift. Only in a can, it is a pale lager and it sports Air Force colors.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2:15 CST
West Virginia vs. Syracuse
Southern Tier Choklat. Although it is brown in color, Southern Tier from Western New York really bleeds Orange.

Valero Alamo Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 29, 5:45 p.m. CST
Texas vs. Oregon State
Rogue Dead Guy. The liveliest beer to consume if you are backing the Beavers.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 29, 9:15 p.m. CST
TCU vs. Michigan State
Bells Two Hearted Ale. Hands down. Period.

Hyundai Sun Bowl, Monday, Dec. 31, 1:00 p.m. CST
USC vs. Georgia Tech
Stone Arrogant Bastard. The brand prides itself on being cocky. This pairing works best with Trojan Football.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Monday, Dec. 31, 2:30 p.m. CST
Iowa State vs. Tulsa
If you don’t support either of the natural disasters (Cyclones vs. The Golden Hurricanes) then just back a beer based three hours in distance between the two campuses which boasts the total points of a touchdown: Boulevard’s Tank 7.

Chick-fil-A Bowl, Monday, Dec. 31, 6:30 p.m. CST
LSU vs. Clemson
Abita’s Purple Haze. No doubt many of the tailgaters in Baton Rouge drink this not only because it supports its home team color, but its brewery is also only an hour away.

Rose Bowl, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 4:00 p.m. CST
Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Don’t leave the bar without having a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as you support the Stanford Cardinal.

Discover Orange Bowl, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 7:30 p.m. CST,
Northern Illinois vs. Florida State
Drink a goose while rooting for the Huskies? You bet. Goose Island IPA.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Last-minute gift ideas for the drinker in your life

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The clock is ticking on holiday shopping. Time to put down that pint of beer, glass of wine or mug of nog and get the darn list done. Here are 10 last-minute gift ideas to please the drinker in your life.

1. Beer sampler pack. Give the dedicated Budweiser drinker in your life a 12-pack of Project Twelve, a selection of three Bud tribute beers named for the zip code in which they were originally brewed. Or, give the craft beer drinker in your life Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.’s 8-bottle sampler pack that includes UCBC’s Winged Nut, Zwickel, STLIPA and Schnickelfritz. Both sampler packs are available at numerous area grocery and liquor stores.

2. Sanctuaria: The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars. To the cocktail connoisseur in your life or the vodka-tonic drinker you’re looking to convert, give this new cocktail book written by Sanctuaria’s bartender Matt Seiter. Pick it up at Sanctuaria to get it in time for Christmas. Bonus: It’s an excuse to sidle up to the bar at Sanctuaria for a quick one.

3. To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion. Cocktail historian Philip Greene will keep the literary lush in your life quite entertained with liquor-filled stories about Papa Hemingway, his novels and even recipes for drinks referenced in his works. Get it at either Left Bank Books location.

4. Pomaçai Vodka. Don’t judge your flavored vodka drinker friend. Purus vodka’s newest product that combines the flavors of pomegranate and açai is for her, not you. Admit it, though: The bubble wrap look of this glass bottle is cool. You’ll find it at all major area liquor stores.

5. Volére wine. This boxed wine in the shape of a handbag (pictured below) is for your friend who cares more about fashion than anything else. The Volére that Saint Louis Cellars has in stock is a blend of Merlot and Pinot Noir, if she cares to know.

6. EdgeWild Wine Club membership.
For the friend – perhaps a braggart in-law – who does care about wine and likes being part of a club, check out this membership. The membership means a bottle a month, plus a bunch of privileges. Fill out the paperwork at the Chesterfield restaurant while you enjoy a glass yourself.

7. John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Your bourbon pal always appreciates another bottle to add to his collection. Give him this newer small-batch, high-proof, wheated bourbon by Heaven Hill that you can get at most well-stocked liquor stores. Make him open it in front of you. Ask him to share.

8. Brew Pub T-shirt. If your pal wears t-shirts that read “Beer is My Friend” or “Irish I had another beer,” help him, please. Upgrade his garb by going to the Brew Pub T-Shirts website and ordering him a t-shirt with the iTap logo, or be a best friend and plunk down the money so that each month for the next year, he can don a different t-shirt sporting the logo of a cool stop on the local beer drinking circuit.

9. Cheese box sets. This is not just any old cheese sampler. For each of its three cheese box sets, St. Louis-based North Light Specialty Foods includes three, 8-ounce cheese blocks chosen for pairing with red wine, white wine or beer. If you want a set in time for Christmas, call 314.932.7133. If your motto is “better late than never,” order online at www.northlightfoods.com.

10. ReTrailer organic tea blends. There’s always a teetotaler on the list. Make your wholesome friend happy by hitting up the ReTrailer Tea at the Schlafly Winter Market & Holiday Fair this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Bottleworks. Among the mobile tea parlor’s tea blends, look out for the playfully named Drop It Like It’s Hot hibiscus tea and Pour Some Sugar On Me tea.

The Scoop: iTap announces new location in the CWE

Friday, October 5th, 2012

International Tap House (iTap) owners Sean Conroy and Brad Lobdell have announced their third location at 16 S. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End, as first noted by blogger Mike Sweeney on STL Hops. Conroy and Lobdell were initially looking at 313 N. Euclid Ave., formerly home to a Pasta House, as the Scoop reported in February, but they ended up several blocks away. The new location will be opening sometime in early winter of 2013. Conroy and Lobdell noted that the spot will feature the same concept of the other two locations (with over 500 beer offerings and around 40 taps), but it will have a bit more of an upscale feel because of the location and the mezzanine level. Pictured is a rendering of the new space, which will be 3,500 square feet (1,100 square feet larger than the Chesterfield location and 100 square feet smaller than the Soulard location).

The Twitter handle for this third location is @itapCWE.

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