Beer, Glorious Beer!

The Centennial Beer Festival happens this weekend at Moulin Events and the Malt House Cellar at 2017 Chouteau in St. Louis. Sadly, I’ll be out of town and will miss the fun.

If you’re going, my advice is to take lots of pics with your phone of the beers you taste. Later, after you’ve sampled dozens of beers, you’ll better be able to recall more than just a handful of standouts.

During the last 12 months, I have drunk less beer than in other recent times, but I have enjoyed the beer I did drink quite a bit more. Here are a few fave beers from my Instagram account. (If I hadn’t taken these pics, I might’ve forgotten a few.)

First, Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan…

Lazy Mag

Lazy Magnolia is brewed in Kiln, Mississippi. I enjoyed this tasty brew at Jim ‘n’ Nick’s BBQ in Birmingham last fall. This beer is not, to the best of my knowledge, available in St. Louis city or county, but is available throughout Jefferson County, Missouri.

Next up, Left Hand Good Juju…

GoodJuju

This beer was served at The Shack in Valley Park. It has a bit of ginger flavor. Left Hand comes from Denver.

Oktoberfest #1—Schlafly…

Schlafly OKT

Loved this beer! Drank it at the Wing Ding at Queeny Park in August, then enjoyed it at the Bottleworks in Maplewood in September.

Oktoberfest #2—Goose Island…

Goose OKt Biergarten

 

Another delicious fall brew. This one from Goose was poured at the Biergarten at the A-B brewery. I also enjoyed this brew at VB’s Chocolate Bar in Cottleville this fall.

From my hometown of Birmingham comes Good People Coffee Oatmeal Stout…

Good People Coffee Oatmeal

Had this at Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham. It brings a ton of flavor but doesn’t overdo it (like some stouts do).

From Nashville comes Yuengling lager…

Yuengling

Had this one with my pulled pork at Saw’s BBQ in Homewood, AL. Not my favorite, although I know many who love this brew.

Another favorite from Left Hand, their Milk Stout…

Left Hand MS

I still recall my first LHMS, poured at the recently closed Plush at a Pecha Kucha night in 2012. I’ve enjoyed it at home and at bars and restaurants every since. I like the foamy head! I turned my cousin Randy on to this one at last year’s Centennial Beer Festival but he did not love it.

My favorite Urban Chestnut brew…

Schnickelfritz

This is Schnickelfritz. I had it at the newer Urban Chestnut location in The Grove last summer and just last week at the 21st Street Brewer’s Bar. Hard for me to describe, except to say that it tastes really good!

Here’s one you may have never heard of…

Phin and Matt's

As you can tell from the frosty glass, Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale was enjoyed at PW Pizza (in the same building where the Beer Fest is held). Brewed by Southern Tier in Lakewood, NY.

The old standby…

Pale ale

For many of us in St. Louis, Schafly Pale Ale was our gateway craft beer. I had Sam Adams earlier, but Schlafly Pale Ale had more going on than did the early Boston brew. This cup was enjoyed on a warm spring day at Paddy O’s, just south of Busch Stadium.

And a new favorite…

Honkers

Goose Island Honker’s Ale is now, following Goose’s takeover by A-B/InBev in 2011, available in more places than before. Less bitter than Schlafly Pale Ale and great with a burger.

From Italy…

Menabrea

At Acero in Maplewood, more people order wine from the Piedmont region of Italy. (As do I much of the time.) But I really like this Menabrea brew from the city of Biella.

Like Belgian beer?

Mikkeller

This Mikkeller was among a mixed six-pack I got at the new Craft Beer Cellar store on Maryland Avenue in Clayton. I liked it but doubt that it’ll enter my regular rotation.

From back in the day…

Stag

Yep, had a Stag at a gathering at Spoke Marketing on Locust back in the summer. Hey, after a round of salty snacks, it hit the spot.

Another local brew…

Marzen Kirkwood

From Dave and the crew at Kirkwood Station, their delicious Marzen beer.

And from a year ago at the Beer Fest…

Jah-Va

Another from Southern Tier in Lakewood, NY. Their Jah-Va Coffee Stout.

If these beer pics made you thirsty and/or curious, you’ll want to hit the Centennial Beer Festival this weekend. Sessions are set for Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Click HERE for a link to all the info.

As the Dos Equis guy says, “Stay thirsty, my friends!”

—–David Craig

By the way, I invite you to follow me on Instagram at @davidcraigstl. Not just beer, but also food, animals (including humans) and outdoor scenery.

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We Make Beer

We Make Beer

The craft beer movement keeps growing and new stories emerge daily about brewers and their beers. Sean Lewis relates several of those stories in his new book We Make Beer. Lewis brings a reporter’s perspective and also shares personal viewpoints. This is Lewis’ first book but he has written for Beer Advocate magazine and is a skilled writer.

The craft brewers Lewis visits and writes about range from small operations just starting out to the two biggest craft brewers, Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. He finds that some are rather casual about their brewing while others exercise strict control of their beer making. Is it okay if particular brew varies in taste from batch to batch? Depends.

Because Lewis lived in Massachusetts when he began the book and in California when he finished it, those two states’ brewers get the bulk of his attention. But he also writes about breweries in Birmingham, Nashville, Austin, Lancaster/Ephrata (Pennsylvania) and Papillion (Nebraska). The craft beer scene in Portland, anchored by Deschutes, gets its due, too.

Sean Lewis author photo_ Credit Victoria Knowles

(Sean Lewis photo by Victoria Knowles.)

Lewis offers inside looks at the brewing process and the brewery business. There’s enough detail about what goes in and what comes out of a brewing tank to satisfy most serious beer geeks. Those of us who may not care so much for the technical stuff can enjoy meeting the individuals who make beer and learning about their motivations and passions.

He spends a few pages of the book addressing the 2011 sale of Chicago’s successful craft brewer Goose Island to AB/InBev. The sale “felt like a betrayal because Anheuser-Busch had long served as the face of the enemy,” he writes.

(I’ve spoken to Goose Island and A-B folks who defend the purchase, saying the main differences are stricter safety standards, better consistency in product and wider distribution. A-B also has the power to aid in sourcing raw materials plus capacity to handle demand in other locations that can’t be met in Chicago, they say.)

Lewis mentions in a footnote that naming a favorite beer is “an impossible question to answer.” But, he writes, “If I had to choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Firestone Walker’s Pale 31.” I’ll be checking this weekend to find out if anybody in St. Louis has it!

Click HERE to purchase We Make Beer from Amazon.

Goose Island Migrates to St. Louis

Goose Island Migration Week is underway in St. Louis. The Chicago based craft brewer is bringing its beer and its people to town to meet local beer drinkers and share some special brews.

Goose Glass

A schedule of Goose Island Migration Week events is posted below.

Reisch photo

I chatted Tuesday at ITAP in the CWE with Patrick Reisch (pictured), a Goose Island brewer who has St. Louis roots. In the first segment he discusses what’s different since Goose was purchased by AB/InBev. I began by asking if he is related to George Reisch, brewmaster at the St. Louis A-B brewery. (Segment 1 runs 3:16)

Goose BCS

Of course I asked Patrick “where’d you go to high school?” but in the second segment we also discuss various Goose Island brews, including their Bourbon County Stout. He suggests a favorite food to pair with BCS. (Segment 2 runs 8:18)

In segment 3, Patrick Reisch talks about Sophie, Matilda and Lolita. He begins by talking about the difference between being a brewer and being a brewmaster. (Segment 3 runs 5:02)

Goose tshirt

Here are some of the week’s highlights:

Goose Island Tap Invasion – Wednesday, October 16, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Llywelyn’s Webster Groves, 17 West Moody Avenue, Webster Groves

Beer Geek Tap Invasion – Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Shamrock’s, 4177 Veterans Memorial Parkway, St. Peters

Goose Island Tap Takeover – Thursday, October 17, 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Three Kings, 6307 Delmar Boulevard, University City

Cheers!

Beer—It’s What’s for Dinner!

stlcbw-300x238

St. Louis Craft Beer Week runs Saturday, July 27 through Sunday, August 4.

Special beer dinners and other events are happening all over the area.

Click HERE for a complete listing.

PW beer 6-13

PW Pizza at 2017 Chouteau is presenting monthly Beer Dinners on the last Wednesday of each month. The July 31 dinner with Crown Valley Brewing is sold out. The next PW Pizza Beer Dinner will be August 28 with Blue Moon. Call 314-621-1996 for information.

basso

Basso at the Cheshire (7036 Clayton Avenue) kicks off its “Brewers in the Basement” series TONIGHT (July 25) with Civil Life. On August 1, the featured craft brewer is Cathedral Square.

(We’ve been assured that the name is not a dig on a certain NL Central rival which currently resides in last place.)

Goose event

Goose Island is sponsoring a St. Louis magazine Table Talk beer dinner on Wednesday, August 21, at Scape in the CWE, featuring various Goose brews plus Stella Artois Cidre and Leffe Blonde. Chef Eric Kelly is providing the food pairings. Click HERE for info.

dos man

As The Most Interesting Man in the World says, “Stay thirsty, my friends!”