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Feb 19, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘The Civil Life Brewing Co.’

4 must-try beer and chocolate pairings

Friday, February 9th, 2018

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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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Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

From big brewery announcements to new pastry shops in Kirkwood, here’s what’s went down last week in the STL food scene, ICYMI.

 

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1. After five years of pouring pints in South City, The Civil Life Brewing Co. will finally can its American brown ale. Co-owner Jake Hafner said fans can pick up six-packs of 12-ounce cans at the brewery beginning Aug. 16.

2. Soon, hockey lovers will have a new place to enjoy the game in Midtown. Center Ice Brewery is slated to open at 3120 Olive St., a couple doors down from Southern and Pappy’s Smokehouse, in early 2017.

 
From left, customers can watch co-owners and pastry chefs Lee Lee and Nathaniel Reid hard at work through the large window behind the counter that observes the kitchen.

 

3. Internationally renowned pastries are now available in Kirkwood. Pastry chefs and co-owners Nathaniel and Lee Lee Reid opened Nathaniel Reid Bakery at 11243 Manchester Road on Aug. 1, serving up sweet and savory breakfast pastries, sandwiches and colorful tarts and cakes.

4. I Scream Cakes closed doors at its Maplewood location Sunday, Aug. 7, just three months after opening at 7326B Manchester Road.

 

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5. General manager Justin Cardwell has moved on from the bar at BC’s Kitchen, which he helped opened eight years ago. He has accepted a position as West Coast brand ambassador for the Spanish liqueur, Licor 43.

6. Molly’s in Soulard is growing with a new dining room and a new executive chef, Brandon Busby, who took the helm early last week.

The Scoop: The Civil Life Brewing Co. to offer first canned beers

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

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After five years of pouring pints in South City, The Civil Life Brewing Co. will finally can its American brown ale. Co-owner Jake Hafner said fans can pick up six-packs of 12-ounce cans at the brewery beginning Aug. 16. This marks the first time the brewery has offered a canned option; previously, if customers wanted Civil to-go, they had to fill growlers onsite.

“The brown is our most popular beer. It makes up 60 percent of our sales,” said Hafner. “We waited a while to start canning because we didn’t really have the space for it.”

Civil Life has made the space, temporarily, bringing in mobile services to can the beer and pack up when the job is done. Hafner said he has no plans to distribute at this time; cans are available at the brewery only. He plans to can once a month, possibly more if demand is high. The English pale ale, rye pale ale and The Angel and The Sword are all on deck to see aluminum in the fall.

For now, the ever-popular American Brown will do. “We’ve had a lot of requests from customers to can the brown,” Hafner said. “We’re excited that customers will be able to drink it fresh from the tap at the brewery, or fresh from the can at home.”

Drink This Weekend Edition: Class of 2011 Collaboration Beers

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

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St. Louis Craft Beer Week kicks off tomorrow, July 29, and there is an abundance of beer-related events around the city that boast what we brew best.

This year’s highlight is the fifth-anniversary celebration of the four breweries that opened in 2011: 4 Hands Brewing Co., The Civil Life Brewing Co., Perennial Artisan Ales and Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. The Class of 2011 has marked the milestone with a major collaboration effort that involved ingredient sharing, recipe building and brew days with representatives from each brewery. The result: a beer from each member of the Class of 2011 that’s slightly outside of its wheelhouse and showcases the diversity of our beer scene.

All four collaboration beers debut tomorrow from 5 to 9 p.m. at the St. Louis Brewers’ Picnic, a free STLCBW kickoff event hosted by Baileys’ Restaurants. You can also join the Class of 2011 Collaboration Tour on Aug. 3 from 5 to 9 p.m. with free shuttle service between the four breweries, and the beers will be on draft in the breweries’ tasting rooms throughout STLCBW.

Ever the diligent drink writer, I ran around the city sampling these beautiful beers and gathering tasting notes for you eager imbibers. Here’s a taste of what’s to come from the Class of 2011:

1. 4 Hands Brewing Co. brewed an incredibly satiating and mildly bitter Pilsner with UCBC’s house lager yeast. Notes of biscuit, grass, lemon and pepper dominate the nose, while soft floral and pepper notes complement bright citrus and soft stone fruit on the palate. You won’t stop at just one.

2. Perennial Artisan Ales brewed a dry-hopped Kölsch with Galaxy hops from 4 Hands and Mandarina Bavaria hops from UCBC. It has massive hop aroma, juicy tropical fruit and grass on the palate with a mild grain presence and medium body. Session IPA drinkers, get ready – this is right up your alley.

3. The Civil Life Brewing Co. made an American IPA complete with a fantastic caramel malt backbone, clean bitterness, strong notes of pineapple and mango on the nose, and juicy tropical flavors paired with bright citrus round out the palate. By far, the most assertively hoppy beer to come out of Civil Life’s brewhouse and so worth the try.

4. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. brewed an India Brown Ale fermented with house ale yeast from Civil Life, El Dorado and Galaxy hops from 4 Hands and flaked oats and chocolate spelt from Perennial. This medium-full bodied, dark ruby colored brew is full of flavor. Herbal and spicy notes dominate the aroma, while stone fruit, toffee and light nutty notes complement the seemingly bitter palate.

Drink This Weekend Edition: 4 beers styles for your St. Paddy’s feast

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

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When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, I yearn for rich corned beef and braised cabbage. Use the leftovers for corned beef hash and whipping up a hearty Irish beef stew, and my holiday weekend is close to complete – close.

Beer makes a great pairing partner with all of these delicious eats. However, due to the salty, fatty nature of the typical St. Paddy’s Day grub, not all beer styles should be treated equally. While perusing the shelves or a beer menu, look for more medium-bodied, malt-forward styles to balance the saltiness of corned beef and to enhance the sweetness of all those braised and stewed root vegetables.

Tried and true Guinness, Murphy’s and Smithwick’s will always provide you with proper pairing beers for these feasts, but if you want to shake it up, try these fun and locally available options.

1. Irish stouts are to corned beef as peanut butter is to jelly. Roasted malt, satiating body and a drier finish help balance your meal. Give Square One Brewery’s Dry Stout or Schlafly’s Irish Extra Stout – and keep an eye out if either is pouring on nitro or cask.

2. Irish red ales generally boast light to medium body, light nuttiness, toasted toffee and sweet caramel malts. Change it up by trying those from Ferguson Brewing Co. and Boulevard Brewing Co. Both are beautiful renditions of the style.

3. Want to get away from the Irish styles? The Civil Life Brewing Co. is a great place to start for more malt-forward brews that pair nicely with any Irish fare. The British Mild is a beautiful choice, full of toasted malt and biscuit on the palate and a crisp, clean finish.

4. Maybe you want to increase the ABV a little bit. At 8 percent, Oskar Blues Brewery’s Old Chub is a Scottish strong ale is complete with massive amounts of toasted grain, some toffee sweetness, a tiny bit of smoke and great body.

Now my St. Patrick’s Day is complete – sláinte, St. Louis!

Guide to Beer 2016: Bold New Brewers

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

St. Louis breweries don’t exactly adhere to reinheitsgebot purity laws or the strict hierarchy of traditional German brewing. Instead, laissez faire experimentation and collaboration have produced as many exciting new brewers as beers. Local favorites like 4 Hands Incarnation IPA and Perennial Suburban Beverage weren’t concocted by owners or brewmasters, but rather these rising talents.

 

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Luke Oldham
Assistant Brewer, 2nd Shift Brewing, New Haven
Areas of interest: The entire process. Though Oldham hasn’t debuted a beer of his own (yet), he has taken on 2nd Shift Brewing’s day-to-day responsibilities (brewing most of its beers) while co-owner and brewmaster Steve Crider focuses on growing the brand.
Praise from the boss: “Luke is truly a go-getter. He’s a person who does exactly what you need him to do with zero problems,” Crider said. “And he’s also a goofball.”

 

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Andy Hille
Brewer, Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis
Beers: Regalia, Stefon and Suburban Beverage
Areas of Interest: “Everything: recipe formulation, experimental styles,” Hille said. When developing recipes, he’s in pursuit of balance. “More like a culinary approach to beer – beers that don’t sway too far one way or another with flavor.”
Praise from the boss: Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore is impressed by Hille’s creativity as much as his skill. “Andy is very freeform and creative,” Wymore said. “And he helps us incorporate a lot of pop culture in our brand.”

 

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Andy Burgio
Lead Brewer, 4 Hands Brewing Co., St. Louis
Beers: Incarnation IPA, Prelude
Areas of interest: Recipe development – especially for sour and barrel-aged beers. He is focused on achieving efficient brewing without compromising on quality.
Praise from the boss: “Andy’s passion is unparalleled,” said Kevin Lemp, 4 Hands owner and founder. “He isn’t satisfied easily, and from an owner’s perspective that is really what you’re looking for – because you don’t want to just put out a product. Andy helps us make sure that we’re putting out the very best beer we can.”

 

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Brandon Stern
Brewer, The Civil Life Brewing Co., St. Louis
Beers: Burton-On-Holt pale ale, Wee Bit Heavy Scotch Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Belgian-Style Table Beer, Belgian-Style Dubbel Ale, Big Belgian-Style Blond Ale
Areas of interest: Recipe development. “Playing around and experimenting with new ingredients – continuing education and research,” Stern said. He is leading Civil Life’s Belgian series, as well as the brewery’s new cask beer program.
Praise from the boss: “He has a lot of skill,” said head brewer Dylan Mosley. “But also, I like (that) he doesn’t always agree with me. He’s not afraid to speak his mind. Brandon is definitely not for hire.”

 

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Jonathan Moxey
Brewer, Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis
Beers: Fête de Nöel Winter Ale, Anniversaria, Dubbel Block, Dealers’ Choice cocktail series beers
Areas of Interest: Barrels and wild yeasts like Brettanomyces. “(But) my main interest is introducing people to the wonderful relationships beer has with food and how well it can work together when you find the correct harmonies and contrasts,” Moxey said. “My brother Brian (Moxey) is the chef here at Perennial, and I really enjoy making beer for his food and encouraging him to make food for my beer.”
Praise from the boss: “Like being a great chef, great brewers need to have a good palate to be able to be critical of a beer and perfect certain elements,” said Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore. “That’s something that Jonathan has in spades, and it makes him a really talented brewer.”

 

-photos by Greg Rannells

 

The Scoop: The Civil Life purchases neighboring building

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

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The Civil Life Brewing Co. announced today, Oct. 13, that owner Jake Hafner has purchased the vacant auto body shop next door and has grand plans – to tear it down

After working with city officials and surrounding businesses, Hafner said he was able to acquire the building in anticipation of growth. The immediate plans, though, are to raze the building and expand the parking lot. “There are no guaranteed plans for expansion,” he said. “If draft sales increase, we have the space to add on, and our bar business is doing really well, so we could expand there. We’re in this for the long haul.”

Whether the brewery adds production or brewpub space, Hafner plans to let expansion happen naturally. “I guess I’m kind of old-fashioned when it comes to growth,” he said. The newly acquired building will come down and the parking lot expanded in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Guide to Beer: Drinking Games

Monday, March 30th, 2015

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If college taught us anything, it’s that beer is always more fun with a few drinking games. Here, 6 of our favorite places to play while we imbibe:

1. There’s a whole room devoted to darts on The Loop. Bring your cricket and around-the-world A-game. Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.727.4444, blueberryhill.com

2. Maplewood’s hippest corner offers pinball and skee-ball in a grown-up setting. Orbit Pinball Lounge, 7401 Hazel Ave., Maplewood, 314.769.9954, Facebook: Orbit Pinball Lounge

3. Bocce ball is old school, but they take it seriously here. There are courts, tourneys and open play for the non-diehards. Milo’s Bocce Garden, 5201 Wilson Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.0468, milosboccegarden.com

4. Two words: giant Jenga. Just don’t let the stack topple onto you. The Pour House, 1933 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.5999, pourhousestl.com

5. Head to the second floor, where the house stashes its board games, such as Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories and Pictionary. The Civil Life Brewing Co., 3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis, thecivillife.com

6. Play washers on the back patio to your inner Hoosier’s heart’s content. Southtown Pub, 3707 S. Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, 314.832.9009, southtownpub.net

 

 

The Scoop: The Civil Life Brewing Co. takes gold at Great American Beer Festival

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

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{From left, Civil Life brewers Brandon Stern and Dylan Mosley accept the gold award for their Rye Pale Ale at the Great American Beer Festival.}

 

The Civil Life Brewing Co. is raising a pint or two in celebration following its victory last Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Brewers Dylan Mosley and Brandon Stern accepted the gold medal for Civil Life’s Rye Pale Ale, which bested more than 80 beers entered in the rye category.

“I would like to think that maybe what made it stand out was that it was a very well-rounded, well-made beer,” Mosley said. “The category rye allows for a lot of self-expression and possibly even a lot of experimentation.” Though he has not yet received official feedback from the judges, Mosley said he thought The Civil Life’s experimentation with a traditional pale ale caught their attention.

“We shoot for something that’s a little deeper and copper in color,” he said. “Rye tends to be a little on the lean side. It can have a spicy note to it.” Mosley and Stern balance that spice with sweetness, using different malts and citrus- and pine-forward hops from the Pacific Northwest.

This was the first year The Civil Life attended the Great American Beer Festival, which attracts thousands of breweries from across the country. Mosley said taking top honors both validates the 3-year-old brewery’s beermaking style and also raises the bar for what’s to come.

“We may have a lot of pretty traditional beers in our portfolio. When you can do well with something that is not immediately as exciting … as some of other things (out there) … it says something about your philosophy and technique,” Mosley said. “We’ve got to make sure that everything we’re doing lives up to the moment that we were getting recognition for.”

 

-photo courtesy of Jason E. Kaplan

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

Friday, June 13th, 2014

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{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.

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