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Mar 21, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘St. Louis beer’

Valley Park will get its first brewery, Mackenzie Brewing, on Memorial Day

Thursday, March 8th, 2018



A strip mall in Valley Park will soon be home to a new craft brewery. According to owner Jeffrey Doss, Mackenzie Brewing Co. should pour beer around Memorial Day at 932 Meramec Station Road.

While he personally leans toward Belgian and high-gravity brews, Doss said Mackenzie will debut with a sessionable array that will most likely include a couple of IPAs, an American wheat, a French saison and possibly a red ale, a brown ale, a wee heavy and a double IPA.

Doss, who got his start as a homebrewer, said the brewery has been years in the planning. He and his brother, who is no longer with the company, put the first business plan together in 2011. Doss named the brewery after his niece.

“We’ve been on the search for the right location for a long, long time,” Doss said. “We’ve been in and out of two failed leases.”

Capacity-wise, the brewery will have a 3-barrel system, and Doss said he plans to brew two to three times per week, depending on demand. Initially, there won’t be any distribution – all of the beers will be available on tap and onsite – and there also won’t be a kitchen, but patrons are welcome to bring in their own eats or have food delivered.

Stock photo 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Firecracker Pizza & Beer in The Grove

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018



It’s been quite a wait, but Firecracker Pizza & Beer will finally open for business at 4130 Manchester Ave., in The Grove on Wednesday, March 21.

True to its name, Firecracker is all about that perfect pairing: pizza and beer. There’s a full complement of pies on the menu, and executive chef Doug Weerts offers two rotating specials, one inspired by seasonal beers (Beer Forward) and one by rock ’n’ roll (Rock It Forward), A build-your-own option is also available. There’s even a pizza flight, featuring three specialty pizzas sectioned into a single jumbo pie. The majority of toppings are made in-house, from the sauce to the pepperoni, sausage and turkey pastrami.

Not in a pizza mood? There’s also a selection of snacks and sharables on the menu, like a trio of salads; Cherry Bombs, beef and pork meatballs stuffed with blue cheese and roasted cherry pepper relish; and Boom Sticks, pizza dough stuffed with rotating fillings, cheese and sauce.

According to owner Chip Schloss, Firecracker aims to be as earth friendly as possible, so all beers will be on draft. There are 66 taps – 60 for beer and six for other beverages like wine, cider or coffee. While beer is the obvious focus, beverage director Cory Moszer has cocktails available, too, many with beer-inspired ingredients, like syrups made with beer reductions and spent grains.

Outside, the building takes a cue from sister restaurant Atomic Cowboy across the street and features a prominent firecracker-themed mural on one wall. Inside, Firecracker has 72 seats, an open kitchen and a clean red, black and gray color scheme that accentuates the industrial details of the space, like the exposed ductwork and repurposed rolling mechanics’ tool cabinets.

Firecracker will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Here’s a first look at The Grove’s new pizza place:

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Editor’s note: This article originally misspelled Corey Moszer’s name. It was updated at 10:35 a.m. March 8 to correct the error. 

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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3 beers to crush at Third Wheel Day

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

{ Third Wheel brewer Abbey Spencer } 


Head to St. Charles County this Saturday, March 3, for the first Third Wheel Day, a celebration of threes at Third Wheel Brewing. Three bands play throughout the day. Select drafts are $3 a pour. A complimentary toast is made at 3 p.m. And of course, brewer Abbey Spencer debuts three new beers – beers that may not be seen again for some time.

1. Peanut Butter Porter
Peanut butter is a fun ingredient to play with, especially in beers that showcase a bold chocolaty malt bill, like this 7.4-percent robust porter. Heavily roasted malt gives way to rich notes of baker’s chocolate, while the addition of peanut butter adds a subtle, sweet character and a nuttiness reminiscent of brown butter.

2. Mango Hanging Pants
What do you get when you add mango to the super trendy New England IPA Hanging Pants? A hazy, extra juicy, balanced hoppy beer that takes you to the beach. Falconer’s Flight hops lend beautiful citrus and tropical fruit notes that enhance the mango’s sensational texture and brightness in this 6.2-percent brew. Stop at one – or three.

3. Irish Dry Stout
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this super smooth, crushable beer is true to style with a light-medium body and massive amount of roasted malt. Bitter notes of chocolate – all derived from the malt – are underlined by a hint of fresh tobacco for a 4.8-percent brew that leaves you yearning for all the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Can’t make to St. Peters on Saturday? Check out Spencer’s coffee porter at Tapped in Maplewood Thursday, March 8 from 4 to 8 p.m. at its Women in STL Beer event, which celebrates International Women’s Day.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Katie Herrera is STL Barkeep director of beer and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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First Look: Wellspent Brewing Co. in Midtown

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018



St. Louis welcomes another brewery Friday, March 2, when Wellspent Brewing Co. opens doors at 2917 Olive St.

Kyle and Angela Kohlmorgen spent most of 2017 building out the 7-barrel brewery, which features a tasting room, kitchen, barrel room and spacious patio. Kyle, a former homebrewer turned professional, said the Midtown space housed the Bonanza Theater in the early 1900s, but has sat vacant for decades.

Wellspent will focus on “yeast-driven” beers, working with Belgian styles, sours and lagers to start. It will launch with three brews: a Belgian-style single made with buckwheat, a saison and a pale ale. Kohlmorgen has spent nearly 10 years cultivating his yeast cultures and plans to put many beers into spent wine barrels for further development.

The tasting room seats 80 and offers 15 drafts. Until more Wellspent makes its way to the lines, many taps will feature breweries like 2nd Shift, Narrow Gauge, The Bruery and Jolly Pumpkin. Kohlmorgen intends to eventually add a few wine and spirit options for non-beer drinkers . The large kitchen is currently empty. Until the brewery finds a culinary partner, rotating food trucks will park outside to sate hungry patrons.

Wellspent will be open Tuesday to Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. Here’s what’s in store at St. Louis’ newest brewery:


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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Catherine Klene managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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4 must-try beer and chocolate pairings

Friday, February 9th, 2018



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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4 last-minute bottles for your beer nerd

4 last-minute bottles for your beer nerd

Friday, December 22nd, 2017



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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Rockwell Beer Co. partners with Niche Food Group for future food service

Thursday, December 21st, 2017



It’s taken some time, but Rockwell Beer Co. has announced its final plan for its new location at 1320 S. Vandeventer Ave., on the eastern edge of The Grove.

Owner-brewer Andy Hille said the facility, which will include a 15-barrel brewery, tasting room and retail space, should open for business sometime in the second quarter of 2018. Hille first announced the project in early 2016.

Hille said Niche Food Group will handle the culinary program at the tasting room. Specifics of the concept, such as the name and type of cuisine, haven’t been revealed, but Hille said it would be a separate entity from the brewery, and the food “will be approachable, and fit into the beer culture.” Niche Food Group declined to comment on the upcoming concept.

Hille said Niche Food Group will serve bratwurst at a Rockwell open house event at Core at South Newstead at 4400 Vista Ave., later today, Dec. 21. He said the tasting room will seat 50 to 60, with double that number on the patio.

The brewery has partnered with Green Street St. Louis, the company behind Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.’s Grove Brewery and Bierhall, to redevelop the building, and architectural firm JEMA Studio is slated to design the space.

Photo by Greg Rannells

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Brew Hub will open taproom, shelves plans for Chesterfield partner brewery

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017



Partner brewing company Brew Hub is set to open The Brew Hub Taproom in early in 2018 at 5656 Oakland Ave., the former home of St. Louis Ribhouse. The company, which was founded in St. Louis, currently has a taproom and a 100,000-barrel brewhouse in Lakeland, Florida.

“There’s a lot of work still to do, but we’re hopefully we’ll be ready in February,” said CEO and co-founder Tim Schoen.

As The Scoop reported in 2014, Brew Hub initially planned to open a partner brewing facility similar to its Lakeland property in Chesterfield. Schoen, a former Anheuser-Busch executive, said the company isn’t abandoning the original plan, but is making a “strategic shift.” He said the craft beer marketplace regionally and nationally has recently experienced a downturn, and the Florida facility can handle the current demand.

“Right now the craft marketplace nationally and regionally has shifted, and we have more equipment and volume in Florida,” Schoen said. Instead of building a new brewing facility in the St. Louis area, the plan is to have the new taproom stimulate regional interest, then build a production brewery here when demand increases.

Schoen said the new taproom would have 20 taps, featuring Brew Hub’s own beers like Diver Down Red Ale and Keybilly Island Ale, as well as offerings from some of its partner brewers, including Toppling Goliath, Blackberry Farms Brewing and Palmetto Brewing.

The taproom will feature full lunch and dinner menus from chef Andy White, known for his work at Harvest and the Schlafly Tap Room, with small plates and larger options focused on ingredients from local purveyors. The space will have around 120 seats and a 30-seat patio area.

The new spot will also have a four-barrel pilot brewing system, a distillery and a barrel-aging program, all under the aegis of Schlafly vet and Brew Hub chief of brewing operations Jim Ottolini. Schoen said he expects these features will let the company experiment and work on new ideas.

Photo courtesy of Brew Hub

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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

Monday, November 27th, 2017



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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3 can’t-miss beers at the Brewers Guild Halloween Party

Friday, October 27th, 2017



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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