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Aug 18, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Katie Herrera’

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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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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Readers Choice 2017: Favorite Breweries Beer Tour

Readers’ Choice 2017: Favorite Breweries

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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DTWE: 7 cans to crush at Global Brew’s Can Jam

Friday, April 28th, 2017

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Global Brew in Rock Hill is back with its annual Can Jam on Saturday, April 29. This celebration of canned beer from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. highlights the environmentally friendly nature of canning and outdoorsy breweries’ famed canned products.

I did my investigative research and got the can list, and attendees will be drinking some pretty rad and tasty, thirst-quenching beers – all perfect for outdoor drinking.

Of course, canning pioneer Oskar Blues Brewing Co. will be there with what I hear are some extremely fresh Pinner cans. 4 Hands Brewing Co. will crank out Contact High, one of my favorite seasonal St. Louis releases.

Ballast Point Brewing Co. will show up with tropical fruit bomb Mango Even Keel Session IPA, while Odell Brewing Co. will bring fruit and a little sourness to the party with its tart German-style blackberry gose, Brombeere. And if you are looking for those 16-ounce cans, Sierra Nevada will offer its flagship, hop-focused beauties, Pale Ale and Torpedo EPA.

Perhaps most intriguing to this beer can lineup is Left Hand Brewing Co.’s new seasonal, canned farmhouse release, Saison au Miel. Underlying layers of funk and soft floral notes from the Belgian yeast play nicely with the drying nature of the Colorado wildflower honey. You can’t go wrong with a fun twist on an old-school saison. Well done, Left Hand. Well done.

Photo courtesy of Left Hand Brewing Co. 

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

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DTWE: 8 beers that pair perfectly with your favorite jelly beans

Friday, April 14th, 2017

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Many area children will spend Easter loading up on all the sugary goodness that furry little bunny delivers. But don’t let the kids have all the fun. Grab a bag of my favorite Easter candy, Brach’s Classic Jelly Bird Eggs, and pair each flavor with locally available brews. Consider it the adult version of an Easter egg hunt – a Beer-ster Egg Hunt, if you will.

1. Lemon: Pair these citrusy yellow jelly beans with a Radler at The Civil Life. This half German wheat ale and half sparking fruit soda concoction is just what this lemony bean needs. On draft at The Civil Life Brewing Co. 

2. Lime: Do you like tiki drinks? Then pair this little green bean with a Schlafly Coconut Cream Ale. You’ll taste an island paradise with the mix of lime, coconut and pineapple flavors. On draft at Schlafly Bottleworks 

3. Grape: Eat a grape jelly bean and then drink some 4 Hands Absence of Light to relive those days of childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On draft at 4 Hands Brewing Co

4. Cherry: Enhance the cherry flavors in North Peak Archangel with those little red juice bombs of a jelly bean. This pale wheat beer is light and dry with just a hint of cherry. Available at Friar Tuck in Crestwood

5. Raspberry: Goose Island Lolita 2017 just hit shelves and is available in 12-ounce bottles for the first time. These sweet little pink jelly beans are a great counterpoint to all the sour raspberry funkiness going on in this beer. Available at Lukas Wine & Spirits

6. Orange: These citrusy, sweet orange jelly beans meet their match with the brightness and light tartness of Six Mile Bridge Beer’s seasonal Blood Orange Wit. On draft at Six Mile Bridge Beer 

7. Vanilla-Pineapple: Pair these opaque white jelly beans with a funky, Brett-fermented farmhouse like Green Bench’s Les Grisettes. Brett often creates intense notes of tropical fruit, and the vanilla adds a nice soft note that rounds out an often herbaceous, grassy character. Available at Saint Louis Hop Shop

8. Licorice: Does anyone actually eat these anise-flavored black jelly beans? Toss these spicy guys in the trash and end your Beer-ster Egg Hunt with a shot of Jägermeister or Fernet instead. You’ll be happier for it.

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

Photo illustration by Michelle Volansky 

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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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Guide to Beer 2017: Spring Forecast

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

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This spring, several of my favorite breweries are hitting St. Louis with fun releases – some brand new, others making a return appearance, all highly anticipated.

 

Just Released
1. Left Hand Brewing Co. Well Played

Although known for its nitro beers, don’t deny a try of this carbed-up red IPA. Expect a sweet, malty front ridden out by a nice clean, bitter finish, all while boasting a bouquet of experimental hops from the Yakima Valley.

2. Logboat Brewing Co. Bennie Mocha Stout
And another hit from the guys out of Columbia, Missouri. Massive coffee aroma is paired with cocoa nib sweetness up front, balanced by Fretboard Coffee bitterness in this roasty, medium-bodied stout.

Early March
3. Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. Peach OJ Run Imperial IPA and Pineapple Mordecai APA

STL’s best hazy pale ales are seeing fruit for more dank and tropical juiciness in your glass. Look for these bad boys from Florissant this month.

March
4. Oskar Blues Brewery Hotbox Coffee IPA

If combining two of my favorite things isn’t heaven, I don’t know what is. This Simcoe-hopped IPA meets its match with the fruity nature of Hotbox Roasters’ Ethiopian coffee bean. Weird? Absolutely. Tasty? Most definitely.

Late March
5. Mark Twain Brewing Co. Abracapocus

If you take a well-done base saison and add 100 pounds of peaches, what do you get? A little grain; a grassy, peppery yeast expression; and a whole lot of juicy peach. Catch this small batch release at the brewery while you can.

April
6. Earthbound Beer Cardamom Pepper Tea Blonde

This annual release is brewed with cracked cardamom pods, black pepper and Lipton’s black tea. It’s refreshing enough to journey into spring, and spicy enough to carry those last cool days of winter.

 

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DTWE: 6 STL coffee beers to drink this weekend

Friday, February 24th, 2017

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It’s that time of year again: Good Beer Hunting’s annual Uppers & Downers festival, a celebration of all things coffee beers. As I head back to Chicago to partake in this festival of my two favorite things, you should take an adventure down Manchester Avenue from Maplewood to The Mississippi and try the plethora of coffee beers available from some outstanding breweries.

Start your coffee beer exploit at Side Project Brewing. Nestled amongst the cozy walls of barreled funk, you’ll find Cory King and Co.’s newest project, Shared Brewing. Try a pour of Shared Coffee Shop Vibes: a rich, silky Russian Imperial stout that was finished on Colombian coffee beans from local roaster, Sump. It boasts loads of chocolate and coffee notes with a soft, underlying raisin character.

Next, walk east a few blocks to Schlafly Bottleworks for a quick Schlafly Coffee Stout (my favorite seasonal release coming out of St. Louis, but faithful readers knew that already) or the deliciously deceptive Double Bean Blonde Ale. Despite its yellow straw hue, it boasts aromas and flavors reminiscent of chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Continue down Manchester and into the The Hill neighborhood for a pit stop at 2nd Shift Brewing. This weekend, these cool cats debut Coffee Cat Spit Stout: a chewy oatmeal milk stout with the brightness and sweetness of Blueprint’s Peruvian Cajamarca cold toddy.

Finally, end your coffee beer journey at 4 Hands Brewing Co. with a Bonafide Imperial stout brewed with Edwardsville-based Goshen Bonafide coffee and vanilla beans or a Devil’s Invention, a coffee stout that’s crushable despite the 7.2-percent ABV. Get your buzz on this weekend.

 

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

 

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DTWE: Wolpertinger at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

 

DTWE: Wolpertinger at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

Friday, January 20th, 2017

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Prepare thy livers: it’s time for Urban Chestnut’s birthday party and the return of a mythological beast, Wolpertinger, this Sunday, Jan. 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. With live music including funk-centric Saint Boogie Brass Band, delicious UCBC kitchen fare, more than 35 local breweries pouring tasty suds and guest Bell’s Brewery bringing its seasonal heavy hitter Hopslam, what more could you want from a beer fest?

Answer: The debut of UCBC’s anniversary beer, Wolpertinger. This deep, dark brown brew is more robust than years past. It’s also slightly tart thanks to the addition of raspberries before it spent two years in Scotch whisky barrels. Don’t miss this, plus three other beers I’m excited to drink this weekend:

1. Bell’s Hopslam: All the hops and honey make this highly anticipated, 10-percent Imperial IPA a party in your mouth. Honey sweetness up front and good body balance out the intense bitterness. Look for grapefruit, tropical fruit and some soft floral notes.

2. Bell’s Double Brown Ale: Also from the out-of-town guest, search out the exclusive firkin of 8.5-percent cask-conditioned brew boasting a rich, chocolaty flavor profile, smooth mouth feel and a nice bitterness on the finish to balance it all out.

3. Mark Twain/The OG Collaboration Orion’s Apprentice: This recently released, 10.5-percent Imperial IPA is smooth, medium-bodied and full of tropical fruit notes from a heavy dosage of Citra and Simcoe dry-hopping. Look for juicy pineapple and vibrant grapefruit in a beer that drinks like it’s less than 10 percent.

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

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