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Jan 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Schlafly Beer’

The Scoop: St. Louis-area breweries clean up at RateBeer Best Awards

Friday, February 3rd, 2017



Once again, St. Louis-area breweries, taprooms, bars and retailers were well represented at the annual RateBeer Best Awards. Side Project Brewing, Perennial Artisan Ales and Saint Louis Brewery were all named among the Top 100 Best Brewers in the world.

This is the third time both Side Project and Perennial have made the Top 100 list. “In the U.S. there are more than 4,000 breweries, and this is worldwide,” said Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore. “This is pretty exclusive company and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

The RateBeer awards are based on user reviews of beer and breweries around the world.

“It’s always an honor,” said brewer and co-owner Cory King. “We try really hard to make great beer, and it’s good to know that as small as we are, we can still make waves.”

This is the first year the Saint Louis Brewery, which brews Schlafly Beer, has made the list. “We’re absolutely flattered and grateful to all those who made it happen,” said Schlafly founding brewer Stephen Hale. “It’s a really special thing to get this kind of recognition.”

Side Project took home an armload of awards in the regional and style. In the statewide categories, it took home Top Beer in Missouri for Anabasis, as well as Top Brewery and Best Brewery Tap Room in the state.

Three Side Project beers were named among the Best New Beers out of more than 60,000 worldwide: Pulling Nails No. 4, Bleuet du Fermier and Saison du Fermier from Pinot Noir Puncheons.

The Pulling Nails was also named one of the 100 Best Beers in the World and earned a bronze medal for Best Belgian Style Sour Ale, while the Saison du Fermier won a silver for Best Belgian Style Ale and Side Project’s Biere du Pays earned a bronze for Best Belgian Session.

New brewery Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. also received recognition, earning Best New Brewer in Missouri. Owner-brewer Jeff Hardesty said he found out about the honor when someone tweeted him congratulations.

“Anytime something like that comes up, it’s surreal,” Hardesty said. “The amount of recognition we’ve received in the community, it kind of blows my mind every day.”

Other statewide RateBeer awards include Best Brewpub for Schlafly Tap Room, Best Restaurant for Baileys Range, Best Grocery for Wine & Cheese Place and Best Bar for Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar.


Editor’s note: This piece was updated at 4:35 p.m. Feb. 3 to include an additional from Phil Wymore.  


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The Scoop: Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman to step down

Thursday, December 15th, 2016



This New Year’s Eve, raise a pint to Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman, who will step down from his position as board co-chairman of The Saint Louis Brewery and Schlafly Beer on Dec. 31. Kopman and Tom Schlafly founded the brewery in 1991 and have since turned it into an institution.

Kopman and Schlafly sold a majority share to Sage Capital in 2012. At the time of the sale, Kopman agreed to stay on for five years. Now, as the agreement reaches its sunset, he announced that he will leave the venerable brewery to pursue other interests. He declined to give specifics on his future plans.

With sales totaling $20 million, Kopman has much to be proud of, but said his greatest joy has been working with a talented group of people and having a positive effect on downtown and Maplewood.

“I’m most proud of the people that have worked for us and continue to work with us,” Kopman said. “We’re lucky to have changed the beer culture and improve the neighborhoods around the Bottleworks and Tap Room.

While he said it was impossible to choose his favorite Schlafly brew, Kopman did single out and praise Schlafly’s current leadership. “There’s a good team in place there,” he said. “Tom is the chairman of the board, and James Pendegraft is doing a great job as CEO, and of course Stephen Hale is a great ambassador.”

Kopman also expressed gratitude to the customers and patrons who have enjoyed Schlafly’s hospitality over the years. All in all, he said, “It was a blast.”


Photo by Carmen Troesser

Related Content
• Guide to Beer 2015: Schlafly By the Numbers
• The Scoop: Schlafly announces James Pendegraft as new CEO
• Guide to Beer 2016
The Scoop: Schlafly brewmaster heads to Brew Hub


Drink This Weekend Edition: Coffee stouts

Friday, February 19th, 2016



I’m on my way to Chicago this weekend for Uppers and Downers, an annual festival celebrating coffee, beers, and coffee beers hosted by Good Beer Hunting and Intelligentsia Coffee. Coffee and beer are two of my favorite things. Put them together, and it’s a recipe for perfection.

Big, rich stouts and porters often have aromas and flavors of coffee that permeate olfactory senses and palate, due to the commonly used, more heavily roasted grains. (You kiln grain the same way you kiln coffee beans to bring out the desired roast of the product.) Adding coffee to already robust stouts brings another layer of taste and smell complexity that is often welcomed by coffee drinkers and beer drinkers alike.

To make a coffee stout, some breweries blend cold-brewed coffee with the beer. Other breweries add whole or ground beans directly into the fermentation tank and let the beer steep. While I’m playing in Chicago and drinking coffee beers, there are several here in the STL market that you should get your hands on.


1. Schlafly Coffee Stout (Kaldi’s Coffee) is my favorite go-to winter seasonal on the market. With a robust, “dirty” coffee palate, great body and texture, and huge coffee aroma, this beer is a must try.

2. Sump Imperial Coffee Stout (Sump Coffee) from Perennial Artisan Ales is quite possibly the most beautiful coffee beer in the St. Louis market. Perfectly roasted coffee adds to the big body, chewy texture and aggressive palate.

3. 4 Hands Devil’s Invention (Goshen Coffee) showcases a beautiful coffee aroma and taste. This beer is totally quaffable – even for 7.2-percent ABV – with some beautiful chocolate notes and a touch of vanilla to round out the finish.

4. Nitro Hard Wired Coffee Porter (Allegro Coffee) from Left Hand Brewing Co. is new and boasts an incredible coffee aroma, creamy mouth feel, roasted malt on the palate and a slightly nutty finish.


Drink This Weekend Edition: Schlafly AIPA

Friday, March 20th, 2015



Despite a seeming proliferation of hop haters, IPAs are consistently the top-selling craft beer style in the U.S. An India Pale Ale is generally brewed with pale malts and has a strong hop presence. A few years ago, Schlafly decided to showcase the different IPA styles in a series of special release beers, beginning with its AIPA. This year’s version has recently hit shelves in all its hoppy glory.

American IPAs are generally drier and are brewed with more intense, American-grown hops that offer more floral, piney, citrus-y or tropical characteristics than their English-style counterparts. Schlafly AIPA fits the bill with a bombardment of Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe hops from the Pacific Northwest that give pleasant citrus bitterness, while its grapefruit aroma is reminiscent of many West Coast IPAs. Though hop-forward, the malt bill stands up nicely to balance out the bitterness, making it a perfect pairing for a spicy curry or a juicy burger.

When Schlafly first introduced AIPA, it was draft only. After the masses clamored for more, it was bottled in limited supply. Thankfully today, Schlafly AIPA is pretty easy to find on draft and in bottles at better beer stores, grocery stores and beer bars until August. Get out and see what all of the hoppy buzz is about.

The Scoop: Schlafly announces James Pendegraft as new CEO

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


Editor’s note: This article was updated at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 18 to include comments from Dan Kopman.

Schlafly Beer has a new chief executive officer. The company announced in a statement yesterday, Feb. 17, that James Pendegraft is joining the brewery as CEO.

“After 23 years of continuous growth and establishing Schlafly as a leader in the craft movement, the time is right for an addition to our leadership team in order to fulfill our potential of being the leading craft brewer in the Midwest,” said the company statement.

The change in leadership will posit co-founder Dan Kopman as co-chairman of the board, while he continues to focus on innovation, relationships with partners and consumers, and the brewery’s participation in industry trade associations. Keith Moszczenski will continue as the brewery’s COO and CFO.

Kopman met Pendegraft at a Beer Institute meeting a few years ago when he was head of sales and marketing for North American Breweries, which distributes Labatt, Magic Hat and Genesee beers. When Pendegraft moved back to St. Louis, Kopman set out to recruit him to the Schlafly team. “He has a skill set and an experience that’s different than my experience,” Kopman said. “We can fight through and learn them on our own, or in this case, bring someone into the organization that already has a lot of that experience.”

Hiring Pendegraft continues Schlafly’s ownership succession plan, which the founders crafted a few years ago to ensure the brewery’s future.“While we have continued to grow in our existing trade area, our focus since 2012 has been to build on our ownership succession … and to put in place a senior management team with great talent and experience and a group of young, passionate and talented staff in all areas of the brewery. When I look at where we are today, I am really excited.”

Among the “young, passionate and talented staff” is Schlafly’s quality assurance manager, Emily Parker, 28, a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch Class of 2015.

As co-chair, Kopman said he will be able to return to what he loves. “I will focus on where I started: on the beer side of business,” he said. “I get to spend a lot more time with our younger brewing team.”

The announcement of Schlafly’s new CEO comes weeks after news that James “Otto” Ottolini, Schlafly’s brewmaster and longtime employee was leaving Schlafly to become chief of brewing operations for Chesterfield-based turnkey brewer Brew Hub.






The Scoop: Schlafly brewmaster heads to Brew Hub

Thursday, January 8th, 2015



Change is in the air at Schlafly. Brewmaster and longtime employee Jim “Otto” Ottolini has accepted a new position as chief of brewing operations for Brew Hub, as reported by Lisa Brown of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ottolini said his last day at Schlafly is Jan. 16.

Brew Hub announced plans to open its second partner brewery in Chesterfield in September 2014, after opening its first location in Florida that same month. In addition to moving its corporate headquarters to Chesterfield, founder Tim Schoen explained that Brew Hub would partner with breweries from around the country to brew, bottle, package and distribute their products in a remote facility.

In his new position, Ottolini said he would oversee construction of the large brewery and then brewing processes for all the partners when production begins in early 2016. “In a very broad sense, I’m going to try to make sure the whole kit and caboodle moves along well and efficiently and can make the beer it needs to make,” he said.

Ottolini said Brew Hub, which plans to open five such facilities across the country, appealed to him as a company focused on the future of craft brewing in the U.S. “Knowing the folks that started Brew Hub – they’re local; they were at (Anheuser-Busch) – we’ve known each other, and I really admire their business model,” he said. With thousands of new breweries popping up in the last few years, he explained, brewers are looking to expand without building new facilities in other parts of the country. Brew Hub is “building the ability to meet the market demand,” he said.

Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman said Ottolini was instrumental to the brewery’s growth during the last 22 years, often devising solutions to tricky problems at a time when few suppliers carried equipment for small operations. Before serving as brewmaster, Ottolini had been Schlafly’s director of brewing operations since 2003.

“Where Otto really excels is to see a problem in a small brewery and come up with a solution that wasn’t necessarily off the shelf,” Kopman said. “He’s been a fixture for 22-plus years … I’d say its sudden news, but for various reasons, it did make sense for both him and for Brew Hub … It’s a great opportunity for him, and we wish him very well.”

Ottolini said his decision to leave was a difficult one. “I can’t imagine a more appropriate setting to use the term ‘bittersweet,’” he said. “It’s a family. It’s been my honor and privilege to work there. My hat is off to Tom Schlafly and I’m forever grateful to him for taking a risk and sinking his money into a company that a lot of smart people said probably wouldn’t make it.”

Kopman said there were no plans to replace Ottolini at this time. Instead, he said he wants to focus on empowering Schlafly’s team of young brewers as the brewery prepares for its own eventual expansion in the next few years. “There is definitely a youth movement at Schlafly Beer,” he said.



Readers’ Choice 2013: At The Bar

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The 2013 Readers’ Choice results are in. You voted for your top places to eat, drink, shop and enjoy all things food in St. Louis. Winners ran the gamut from classics like Sidney Street Cafe and Pappy’s Smokehouse to up-and-comers like Sump Coffee and Sauce on the Side. Below, your favorite picks at the bar.

When you want a drink and not just any old drink will do, you head to the places that never let you down. Here, your favorite spots for sipping a well-crafted cocktail, uber-fresh beer and the nectar of the gods.

The cocktails here are truly top shelf: Taste

The best beer is poured at this brewery: Schlafly

Whether I’m drinking red or white, this wine bar always pours the perfect glass: Robust Wine Bar

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

Drink This Weekend Edition: Drink beer, eat pig and make someone else’s trash your treasure at Schlafly Pork Shop

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Attention shoppers! Whether your Memorial Day weekend plans include attending a wedding, going to your cousin’s graduation party or bravely diving into an ice-cold pool or lake, if you enjoy a good garage sale, you need to make Pork Shop part of your unofficial start to summer.

On Saturday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Schlafly is hosting Pork Shop – essentially a pig roast combined with a public yard sale. At this one-of-a-kind, bargain-shopper bonanza, you can rummage through stuff being sold by more than 50 vendors in the parking lot of the Schlafly Tap Room at 2100 Locust St., all while eating, drinking and listening to live music. The morning crowd of Pork Shop shoppers can fill up on coffee and beignets made by the Tap Room kitchen crew. For lunch, the brewery will roast six whole Missouri hogs and serve Schlafly brews on draft to help wash down the tasty ‘cue. 

Admission to the event is free, although you do have to pay for all those new-to-you treasures, as well as for food and drinks. For more information, visit schlafly.com/porkshop.

This week, Julie Cohen is obsessed with …

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

{Over the past 38 weeks, I’ve ordered some pretty decent mocktails, rediscovered my childhood love for lemonade and volunteered to be DD countless times. But enough is enough! In the twilight hours of my pregnancy, (besides thoughts of the actual baby), I can’t help but obsess over the food and drinks I’ve been missing.}

{A happy hour where I can’t eat the food or drink the alcohol sounds more like the definition of sadness. Therefore, I’ve been avoiding Café Mochi’s Tuesday through Saturday hour of joy for months now. With a great patio walking distance from my house, half price nigiri and sushi rolls, and beer and cocktail specials, spring weather (and this baby) couldn’t have come at a better time. I can almost taste spicy tuna being washed down by a cold Sapporo.}

{Attending a Cardinals game is one of my favorite summertime activities; sitting in the center of a row and having to self-consciously squeeze through people’s knees every time I get up, is less fun – especially when I’m nine months pregnant. Why is beer delivered to your seat but not nachos and ice cream? I can’t wait for the moment when I can summon an ice-cold Schlafly brew without even moving a muscle.} 

{Don’t get me wrong, pregnant women can eat steak, but not how I like it: medium-rare so that when I slice it, blood oozes out all carnivore-like. A center bite of a filet mignon followed by a sip (or, let’s be honest, two or three glasses) of a rich and spicy cabernet sauvignon causes me to viscerally groan in anticipation.}

Drink This Weekend Edition: Find uncommon drinks, eats and fun at The Fortune Teller Bar

Friday, December 14th, 2012

It’s not at every bar where you’ll encounter egg liqueur on the bar shelf, house-made Glühwein warming in a 1970s pea green Mirro-Matic percolator and Old Rasputin Imperial Stout on tap next to Stag. Then again, The Fortune Teller Bar, which opened a month ago at 2635 Cherokee St., isn’t any old bar.

The eclectic is what characterizes this new venture by owners Kristin Dennis (pictured, right), Matt Thenhaus (pictured, left) and Sam Coffey that’s fast becoming a gathering place on Cherokee Street. And that out-of-the-ordinary element at Fortune Teller extends from the drinks to the eats to the tarot card and palm readers perched near the storefront window on weekend evenings.

{Fortune Teller Manhattan and Mason Jar}

While the bartenders at Fortune Teller can make just about any cocktail, there is a seasonal list. The unifier for all 10 drinks is the use of high-quality, lesser known spirits and mixers, plus numerous house-made ingredients. Two drinks on this rotating list debut tonight: Mason Jar (pictured above, right) and Fortune Teller Manhattan (pictured above, left). The former is a vodka martini, but not like one you’ve had before. This briny version holds house-infused pickle vodka, dry vermouth and house-made lemon-hopped bitters (that took Dennis a year to make) with a pickled carrot slice swimming at the bottom. The Fortune Teller Manhattan does local J.J. Neukomm Whiskey justice as it is paired with Byrrh Grand Quinquina instead of sweet vermouth.

{Lekker and Wurzelkeller}

Manhattan and martini are at least names you can pronounce. Try Lekker and Wurzelkeller. The latter (pictured above, right), which means “root cellar” in German, is a Champagne cocktail tinted with beet syrup and zinged up with ginger liqueur. Lekker (pictured above, left) holds the aforementioned thick and rich egg liqueur plus bourbon and chocolate mole bitters. Although Dennis noted that “it takes a brave soul” to try Verpoorten Advocaat egg liqueur, if you’re in the mood for a sweet dessert drink that approaches the flavor of spiked eggnog, order the Lekker.

The wine list, although minimalist at six options, isn’t an afterthought, explained Dennis. “We have a riesling, but it’s a dry riesling; it isn’t sweet. We don’t have a cab or a merlot, but we do have a bonarda. I wanted to focus on flavor, not the grape.”

The beer list is Thenhaus’ project. He called his selection of eight taps and more than 30 beers bottled or canned “well-rounded as far as styles.” Draft beer, in fact, debuts this evening, with five taps dedicated to local craft breweries (currently Civil Life, Urban Chestnut, Schlafly, Perennial Artisan Ales and Four Hands). There will always be a tap handle for Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and one for heavy-seller Stag because, “We can’t keep Stag cans in stock,” said Thenhaus. About the juxtaposition of these highbrow-lowbrow beers: “We’re anti-elitist,” he responded. Among bottled brews, Thenhaus’ favorites include UCBC’s Zwickel; Founders’ Breakfast Stout; dark lagers like Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock and Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel; and Lagunitas’ hoppy A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ (pictured above from left to right).

Eating from the abbreviated snacks menu at Fortune Teller can be as adventurous as drinking there, such as when you order the pickled egg basket (pictured above), which is a trio of pickled eggs holding beet, curry and jalapeño flavors, served with spicy mustard and Sriracha.

Whether you’re in the mood to swig Stag, sip a complex whiskey cocktail, nosh on colored picked eggs or munch on pizza sourced from neighboring Master Pieza, you will find that, at Fortune Teller, whatever you choose, you’re going to have fun.

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