the bellwether photo by meera nagarajan

7 St. Louis restaurants with noteworthy beer lists

When we’re ordering drinks in a restaurant, cocktails and wine lists tend to demand attention more than other drinks, but beer shouldn’t be an afterthought. The flavors of a well-chosen brew can complement and enhance your meal as deftly as any other beverage. These restaurants take pride in showcasing a range of breweries and styles, the occasional surprise find, and an overall emphasis on quality above quantity.

Annie Gunn’s
The beer list at Annie Gunn’s may be shorter than wine director and sommelier Glenn Bardgett’s legendary wine list, but it’s a broad selection that puts most of its St. Louis peers to shame. The draft selection features multiple beers to try in each of the major categories, with a total of about 20 ales, lagers, wheat beers, IPAs and stouts offered. O’Fallon Brewery makes an Irish red ale specially for Annie Gunn’s, and Belgian beers and other imports are available in bottles and cans. 16806 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, 636.532.7684,

The Bellwether
There’s no draft beer at The Bellwether, but their list of cans and bottles offers a discerning selection of domestic and international brews. You’ve got well-made versions of simple beers, like Memphis-based Wiseacre Brewing Co.’s Tiny Bomb pilsner, and there are big Imperial stouts with chocolate and coffee notes, like Evil Twin Brewing’s Even More Jesus and Bomb! by Oklahoma’s Prairie Artisan Ales. If you like, you can keep it local with category-hopping picks like Perennial Artisan Ales’ Saison de Lis, Bluewood Brewing’s hazy IPA Arch City Haze and Earthbound Beer’s Irish Red Ale. And if you’re a beer lover out for a celebration, why not forego wine in favor of the 750-milliliter bottle of 3 Fonteinen Braambes lambic?
1419 Carroll St., St. Louis, 314.380.3086,

Brasserie by Niche
The Central West End restaurant offers a well-curated roster of beers that pushes Missouri brewers to the fore, also calling on a few choice out-of-state and international brews. Stylistically, Brasserie has all the bases covered, with local picks like Heavy Riff Brewing Co.’s brown ale, O’Fallon Brewery’s beloved peach-tinged wheat ale, Wheach, and Missouri cider from St. Louis’ own Brick River Cider Co. The prices are very fair, and kudos also for the nonalcoholic beer selection, which includes a wheat beer, golden ale and hazy IPA. 
4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.454.0600,


brasserie by niche in the central west end // photo by virginia harold


Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar
If you want to truly explore beer, there’s arguably no better place than David and Kara Bailey’s downtown tap house. The bar features 35 taps and the lineup is constantly changing, but one constant is Bridge’s celebration of the best in St. Louis brewing. Draft beers are available in four sizes, starting with a 4-ounce pour – use these to feel your way around the list’s spectrum of ales, stouts, porters, sours and more. You can also build your own beer flights, or order your beer to go in a 64-ounce growler. And did we mention they have 50 beers by the bottle? The possibilities here are endless. 
1004 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.241.8141,

Little Fox
In keeping with the restaurant’s modern American fare, Little Fox presents a predominantly American beer selection offering tight curation – currently 11 beers in total – and a good balance between brews from the St. Louis region and farther afield. A dry hopped sour ale from 2nd Shift Brewing and an Imperial IPA from Main & Mill Brewing Co. are among the local highlights. From out of town, tantalizing options like Off Color Brewing’s Apex Predator farmhouse ale and a blueberry and lemon sour from Prairie lie in wait. 
2800 Shenandoah Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9456,

Olive + Oak
Lower-ABV beers, bold Belgian brews and heavyweight stouts: It’s all here on Olive + Oak’s beer list. The Webster Groves restaurant’s partnership with Perennial Artisan Ales to create Perennial on Lockwood means Perennial’s beers feature prominently on the draft list, and they’re joined by Scratch Brewing Co. – the Southern Illinois farmhouse brewery’s beers are a rarity on draft in St. Louis, but here they are. Most notable, though, is Olive + Oak’s selection of wine bottle-sized beers, including farmhouse ales, saisons and barrel-aged beers from Side Project, Perennial and others.
216 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.736.1370,

Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery
Nobody would judge Union Loafers if they settled for a beer selection numbering a few commonplace lagers and pale ales. But they don’t do commonplace here: not with their pizza, not with their bread and, so it follows, not with their beer. It’s another place where you won’t be overwhelmed by choice, but you can expect beers from some of the finest brewers in the country – including St. Louis – thoughtfully selected to play well with a little gem salad or a margherita. 
1629 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.6111,