St. Louis Craft Beer To Do Ifs for the Day!

Day 3 of #STLCBW!

By now you are sweating out beer. Starting today, you will not, it is beautiful weather STL! Yesterday, I went to the Craft Beer Cellar and really dug the scene. You can buy individual beers no matter the brew. Smart concept. The negative (sorry for being judgy) but is the uppity scene of it, being in Clayton and all. I tried the Extra Little Sumpin’ Ale by Lagunitas that was fire all around. Plus, actually enjoyed an IPA by Crown Valley, I think there were hops in there this time.

Okay, enough about this kid, on to you my sweets. Today, here is what you could do, because it is Choose Your Own Adventure style my friends,

Option 1: Hit up Llywelyn’s Pub in Webster Groves for a Stone takeover. I know this isn’t MO brew, but damn, that Stone puts out some epic shit, so it can’t be missed. 

Option 2: Be a part of d-bag land in Westport at the Trainwreck Saloon for a Crown Valley Brewing night that starts at 5pm.

Option 3: Meet O’Fallon Brewery’s brewer and get a free pint, did someone say FREE? I’m in son. Hit up the 21st Brewers Bar for this one at 6pm.

Option 4: Take a break, a day away from the brew and drink a kombucha.

Option 5: Loser. Live Action Game Show - The #STLCBW Edition at The Heavy Anchor, yep, this caught your attention. This includes pizza rolls, so perhaps you should go.

That’s it folks. See you tomorrow.

#STLCBW: Choose Your Own Adventure Day 2

Day 1, I hung out with a few thousand naked bike riders. Pretty much amazing.

Today, here is what you can do for St. Louis Craft Beer Week. Remember it is Choose Your Own Adventure Style.

AFTERNOON:

Option 1: Urban Chestnut Blues and Que, with this option you can eat some que and drink some brew. Don’t let me persuade you, but I will personally not be hitting up this venue. Their beer is German style and a bit too lager like for me. Not enough hops and too similar to AB (yep I said it) for me. Plus, their staff are not nice.

Option 2: Epic Beer Tasting Day at Craft Beer Cellar (I know it is in Clayton it will be okay), this includes a tasting event all day in which they will be opening up some rare ones at 3pm so this is where you can find me. Plus, for all you hipsters out there, Strange Donuts will be there. I, however, am more excited about Pint Size being there for their brownies.

Option 3: Sunday Funkday at ITAP in Soulard, I heart this place and their patio. This will be a sour event, so if you are into sour beers go here.

Option 4: Drink some Sam Adams at a tap takeover and be a sell out. This event happens at Everything Wine and Cigar Bar so if you think this is craft beer go here and sell out.

Option 5: Drink water. Watch a marathon of Blossom or 90210 in preparation for tonight.

EVENING


Option 1:
Play on your phone all night and don’t converse with people, shit it is 2014 right?!

Option 2: Join in with the foodies of STL and head to the Libertine for a Sour Sunday Supper. I just like the ring to it. Perennial and Side Project will be there.

Option 3: Finish the night at a true place of craft Quincy Street Bistro, where you can talk to nice people and enjoy some craft beer.

Option 4: Jam out at Cicero’s, the tried and true first bar of craft in St. Louis that has had an amazing selection for decades. 

See you tomorrow. There will be some sick events going on, stay tuned.

It’s HERE: #STLCBW Choose Your Own Adventure Style

Dear St. Louis,

Here is why I love you…

I love you for your annual St. Louis Craft Beer Week. This is where I can celebrate your many fine crafts in a week. What crafts ask you? The fine craft of beer. But please, PLEASE if we call it STL Craft Beer week, can’t we just stick to the local STL beers? 

Each day this week I will be blogging on where you should go (choose your own adventure style), so you won’t be groped by some bros and you can actually enjoy some craft.

Today—-12pm: Hit up 4 Hands and check out Goshen Coffee which is also local and will be there from now on.

From here choose your own adventure….

Option 1—-1:30pm: Drink water take a power nap.

Option 2—-1:30pm: Head to the Moto Museum for the Midwest Belgian Beer Fest which could include lots of white privileged men and not much culture, plus it is $50.

5pm: Head to the Naked Bike Ride which is in the Grove, hit up the Handlebar and soak up some local suds. Fill a bike cooler with some 4 Hands Contact High cans or Six Row Arch Nemesis (if you are a hop head like me).

7pm: The Naked Bike Ride Starts

Choose Your Own Adventure

Option 1—-Do the bike ride with thousands of other naked people 

Option 2—-Watch from the sidelines but please do not video tape (yep I said video tape)

Option 3: End the night at the Heavy Anchor.

p.s. The Naked Bike ride is to promote bike riding in the city and positive body image.

p.p.s. Don’t video tape me.

Upcoming Beer Festivals in Missouri

'Tis the season for beer festivals, let me steer you towards the REAL Missouri beer festivals.

First and foremost, let me present you with the festival of all festivals to attend in the Saint Louis area on MAY 17…be there.

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Know anything about the Grove or Cherokee Street? Shame on you if you don’t. They are both two of my favorite neighborhoods in St. Louis and what make us such an amazing city. IndiHop tickets include a tasting glass, event booklet, shuttle transportation between the Grove and Cherokee Street and the opportunity to taste up to 50 of St. Louis’ finest independently brewed beers

Microfest Beer Festival: May 2-3 in Saint Louis
-This is a big fest as in lots of “craft brewers” like Blue Moon ;)

  • A lot of these Missouri beers we can’t get in the St. Louis area, however, check out Log Boat out of Columbia MO, Mother’s Brewery (one of the best IPAs around), Modern Brewery (new brewery in Saint Louis), and Main and Mill (also new out of Festus).

  • Please please please stop by Scratch Brewery, they use home grown and locally farmed and foraged ingredients, and are out of beautiful southern Illinois.

Mid-MO Beer Festival: June 7 in Mexico, yes Mexico Missouri

Smaller fest, but if you are going to go to a hometown fest, no better then this one located in a Knights of Columbus, bam. 

  • Head over and check out Log Boat Brewery here (I have a feeling they are going to kill it) and Tall Grass Brewery (they located just across the border in Kansas and I am digging their thick brews). 

Boulevardia: June 13-15 in Kansas City

I
 am super curious about this one, but alas, no information Belgium (oops low blow).



Last thing…what has happened to the St. Louis Heritage Festival? I am sort of depressed about it, their site is down and looks like it is a no go this year. 

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things…

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Beer. Beer. I am so in love with you, especially when the seasons change. In the winter I dream of Bourbon Barrel brews aging for years in a used Kentucky barrel. 

In the spring and summer months I definitely struggle with where to go, find the best beer, food, and patio. Here is a list to help you out. Oh and on a rainy day or too hot of a day, please check out Quincy Street Bistro…you will not be disappointed. They are super welcoming.

Then when spring hits and it is time to get my hop on, these are the patios I can be found on:

  • Soaking in the rays on the patio of the Royale (p to the s they do have the best Instagram account) checking out the latest fixed gears and beards while sipping on some local brews
  • Eating some Epic Pizza at the Soulard iTap 

  • Watching the beautiful culture on Cherokee at the Fortune Teller

  • Downing a Mi Chelada or 20 at Gringo’s in the Central West End

  • Trying to ignore all the tighty whities at Llywelyn’s in Webster

  • Wishing I had more money at Olio (but for real this place is sick)

  • Watching soccer outside under a tent eating the best DAM burgers at Amsterdam

  • Loving the scene on South Grand and local vegetarian fare at the Tree House 

  • Thinking I am cool enough to hang out at the Handlebar, but just hoping I really am

  • Swinging my German arm side to side at Urban Chestnut (both locations now)

  • Tasting the new BBQ menu at Civil Life that I have yet to try

  • Last but not least…hitting up both Schlafly brewery locations, and thanking them for not selling out like Boulevard :)

Any other ones you can think of, please let me know in the comments!

Hop on…

The Hunt for Hopslam

WARNING: This is not about a Missouri beer, sorry local fans. I normally hook us up, but the Hopslam from Bell’s brewery in Michigan has stolen my heart and threw away the key. I had to FIND the KEY to my hop.

For the past couple years I have not been able to get my hands on the mysterious Hopslam everyone raves about. This year, I somehow found out about it a week too late. So yesterday, I start by calling Friar Tuck’s, and Randalls to see if they have any left, “no gone last week, not getting anymore in.” 

Next place I call is Macklind Deli. It is up in the south side of STL and known for a stellar beer list and my favorite Boar’s Head meat. “We have two six packs left,” she said. 

Guess what through, under these conditions—yep—have to buy at least another $18.99 in beer/liquor to be able to purchase a six pack of Hopslam from there. 

The rage in me. How, oh how, can you do this? I am serious? Is this legal? Please contact Macklind Avenue Deli and tell them how CRAZY town they are for doing this. You lost a good customer Macklind Avenue Deli, a customer that frequented your place and told others to go to you. One more feminist beer blogger has been lost to your shitastic customer service, go pick on the RICH PEOPLE.

So, after calling literally 20 more places, I found four cases at U-Gas on Hampton. The dude was super rad, nice, yep he was actually nice, said he would save some in the back for me. We don’t need you Macklind Deli, oh and guess what, U-Gas manager took a picture of the picture above…you messed with the wrong beer fanatic. #UsLowerClassDontPlay

Here it is…in all it’s glory…from U-Gas. Hopslam…it was well worth finding the key to your hop…

2013: Dollar Bills (for like 10 Dollar Bills) Lost To These Beers

2013: The year of the IPA, Tripel, and anything Bourbon Barrel Aged for me…

Here is what got a good chunk of my change this year. Note, that I don’t usually drink the same ‘ole beer, usually I am trying all sorts of different beer.

1. Lagunitas IPA (perhaps this is because this is the only decent IPA at QuikTrip)

2. New Belgium Shift (My total go to summer beer, which I don’t think will ever change.)

3. Schlafly Imperial Stout (aged in Bourbon Barrels and the top imperial I have ever had besides the one right below)

4. North Coast Old Rasputin (Russian Imperial Stout worth crying over)

5. Urban Chestnut STLIPA (Damn good, IPA but I just can’t stand the bar service at the brewery, just not nice folks…nothing like Civil Life or Alpha in Saint Louis).

6. New Belgium Ranger IPA (Lately, I can’t get enough of this simple clean IPA in a can, yep a can, I am officially a hipster).

7. Mother’s Brewery Mama’s Little Helper (I would put this one against any big wig out there. Give it up for Springfield, MO folks. They knocked this little HOPPER out of the hop head park. Thanks for having a high ABV too.)

8. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (Consistent as a m****f*****, every beer junkie will have this one on their list.)

9. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde (Tripel…the best out there. If you like a fruity tasting beer this one is for you.)

10. Big Piney Brewery Missouri Mule IPA (Raise the roof for small town breweries with an amazing barn atmosphere.)

I was most disappointed in Charleville Brewery this year and most impressed with Crown Valley stepping up their game. 

In 2014, I will be taking a look much closer at Scratch Brewing in Ava, Illinois, stay tuned.

The winner of the best beer label of 2013 goes to…

Evil Twin Brewery in Denmark

The winner of the best beer label of 2013 goes to…

Evil Twin Brewery in Denmark

Take A Ride On the VIP Train: Schlafly Style

Yo. Beer nerd. Yeah you! Get your ass over to Schlafly for the new VIP Brew Tour. Here the heck is why.

Saturday, I went to a Schlafly VIP Brew Tour at the Bottleworks in Maplewood. Not only, was my mouth drooling from the smell of hops, but my mind was racing with questions. An exclusive Schalfly brewer takes you around for a little nerding out, with other beer nerds. 

1. Start off with a little beer history in the Saint Louis area. I mean did you know that there were over 100 craft breweries before the 70’s in the STL? Move over east and west coast snobs, St. Louis should be the REAL snobs, we have this beer thing on lock down.

2. Take a ride on the brewer train. From quality control, to bottling, to the special cooler in which you can see their epic stash of hops (gold mine suckas).

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3. During this entire tour, we had a lot of one on one interaction with the brewer. I was able to ask all kinds of annoying questions such as, “so where are the female brewers?” Shit, you know I asked that one.
However, the brewers were mighty fine to look at, for some bearded dudes.

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4. Next, we were able to taste beer right as it was ready to go, in the tank. I thought I was going to have a big “O” right there (sorry mom). The pale ale, which is not my favorite style, was so fresh and so clean clean, that it made me want to be an Outkast (did you get that reference?).

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5. Last, we headed in to the tasting room. We were showered with cheese and crackers and a shit ton of tasters. From Imperial Stout to Kolsch, my fingers and heart were warm with the love of Schlafly and the fact that they didn’t sell out like Boulevard

All of this wrapped up with the co-owner and his stories about England hops, holy hopilicious heaven batwoman. 

So. Interested? You should be. Check it out here in 2014.

Throw Down With These Missouri Fall Beers This Season

Oh fall is here finally Missouri. The leaves are changing and everyone is turning into pumpkins and so is their pee with all this pumpkin beer flowing around. I am of course going to review a few Missouri pumpkin beers but also other season releases that are worth your change.

P to the S…keep on reading and answer a question below for a chance to win $25 tickets to the Fresh Hop Beer Festival at Schlafly

First, here are some runner-ups that you should give a chance.

1. Peace Offering by Perennial
2. Sweet Potato Ale by Piney River Brewery 

Let’s start off with Oktoberfest. I have a love/hate relationship with Oktoberfest lagers. They are not my favorite type of beer, however, I am Deutsch so I have to get in touch. I was highly impressed with the Oktoberfest this year at Urban Chestnut. This was my first time and it was surprisingly similar to the oh so touristy mecca called Hofbraeuhaus in Munich (where they have a machine that tests your blood alcohol content). If you are going to drink any Oktoberfest Lager let it be this one…

Oachkatzlschwoaf: Oktoberfest Lager by Urban Chestnut (St. Louis)

Taste: 7.5/10—Refreshing like those Germans, but not enough chutzpah!

Hop Factor: Some hops but just not hoppy enough in my opinion. An IBU of only 20.

ABV: 5.4%

Get there and have one, oh and these steins are still available too.


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Morning Glory by Four Hands (Saint Louis)

I have it pictured here with a sweet potato because unlike those other snoots (I kid, I kid), I don’t pair my beer, so I made it literal. So, I literally ate a sweet potato with this one. This beer screams fall as soon as it hits your fresh hop pallet. I mean really, “pumpkins, goblins, and turkeys oh my….” This bad boy is brewed with sweet potatoes, all spice, nutmeg, vanilla beans, and aged on Pecan Wood. You will go to sleep dreaming of a dutch oven making fresh cobbler of fire, so yeah, I like it.

Taste: 8.7/10  Hits your tongue with a gentle spice, slight sweetness, followed by sweet gingerbread men dancing in your head.

Hop Factor: There is a subtle taste of hops but it is not that bitter so those of you that don’t like hops (said no one ever) this might be your jam. Actually it is like jam to butter, it fits right in.

ABV: 5.8%

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Tasmanian IPA: Schlafly (Saint Louis)

Thank hopping Gods for this one that just hit the shelves a couple weeks ago. When I heard about this one, I had to get my hands on it so I stopped on over and talked to my friends at Gustine Market about this one, because their local selection is off the hopchainnnnn. This bad boy is brewed with 100% Australian hops and is one of my favorite Schlafly brews. Get your hands on this citrus, spicy, little feller before January when it is stopped being brewed. 

Taste: 9/10

Hop Factor: I’m hopping like a bunny over here! IBU’s of 60, I’m feeling hoptastic.

ABV: 7.2%

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Imperial Pumpkin Smash: Crown Valley (St. Genevieve)
My second favorite beer this season in Missouri.

When I heard about this one, I had to get my hands on it. I mean Imperial + Pumpkin? Give me a beeorgasm why don’t you?! I headed over to Amsterdam in south city Saint Louis and went in for the kill. For those of you that have ever had Crown Valley beers, I have not been impressed, not sure about you. But, as soon as I smelled it, I knew I was going to hi-five the shit out of the brewers. I tasted it and yep. Out of the ball park fellas. 

Taste: Can we say walking on a balance beam without even slightly falling? This shit has balance. Initially this is a sweet beer but two seconds later the bitter espresso imperial hits you and you are in for a smooth ride. 
Tones of nutmeg, clove, pumpkin, and sweet potato make this my second favorite beer this season.

Hop Factor:
48 IBUs so it is bitter and hoppy but matched up well with some sweet and sassy pumpkins. 

ABV: 10.60% Get a ride home kids because you better hope this isn’t your first rodeo. 

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Last but not least…my favorite beer of the season…beer knocking please…



Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

Most people are calling this there favorite beer nationally, let alone here in Missouri. To put it bluntly, it is fucking amazing. It is only available until the end of October, so you better stock up. Oh, and I highly recommend the draft of this one, so fresh and so clean clean. Even on Beer Advocate, this one is rated a 94/100 which is pretty flipping rad. 

Taste: 9.8/10 If I could taste velvet this is what it would be like. What I adore about this beer is that it is not sweet. Beer is not meant to be sweet (O’Fallon Brewery Pumpkin *clears throat*), it should be an all encompassing round of flavors like this one.

Hop Factor: This is not a hoppy beer, it comes in at 16 IBUs. It does have more carbonation than other beers.

ABV: 8.0% (high like a beer should be)

Kudos to Schlafly! Oh and you should check out their Fresh Hop Beer Festival on October 26. Want a couple of tickets for free? ($50 value) Leave me a comment below and tell me what your favorite seasonal beer is right now and you could win.