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It’s been a long time coming, but here we are again to review a beer label. This should go about as well as Brett Favre playing for the Jets. Today we’re reviewing Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout.

Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout

Let me start off by saying, if you’re in the group of people that believe stouts are not summer beers, then kindly fuck off and stop reading. I’ll never understand this line of thinking. Do you stop eating soup in the summer? Do you stop drinking coffee? Do penguins just kill themselves before summer hits? No. Quit perpetuating this bullshit.

We see a very minimalist approach with this label of a solid brown color and few words. The implication here is, before noon, we drink our coffee and then after noon, we drink beer. Well, that might work for some people, but in the real world, we can’t just drink whenever we want. Most of us have jobs and families and responsibilities. This is already pissing me off and wishing I was back in college.

Java stout, huh? Are you one of those people that use the word java in place of coffee? Fuck you. I bet you also call it a “cup of joe” don’t you? Are you enjoying Joe’s jizz in your coffee? Did you know that Java is an actual place? It’s another one of those exotic islands that’s beautiful to spend a week in but is hot garbage otherwise. The only mode of transportation is a damn water buffalo and their shitty currency goes in increments of like 10,000 with pictures of dudes with machetes on them. I don’t think you want your beer associated with this hell hole.

And finally, let’s talk about the predominant color on this can: brown. Maybe it’s just me (and it usually is), but when I think of coffee I think of poop. Coffee is a proven laxative and it’s impossible to think about coffee and not wonder about the resulting butt nuggets. If you work in an office, you are well aware of the state of the bathroom and the symphony of shits that occur in the late morning. Imagine having to deal with that on Java where everybody just defecates in the neighborhood turd pond.

So here we have a label that wants us to drink 10 hours out of the day while reminding us of the consequential ass sneeze. This might be popular among alcoholic Indonesians, but I’m just a boring Midwestern dad, so I’ll move on to something else.

narrowgaugeIt’s been a long time coming, but the boys at Cugino’s in Florissant are ready to officially launch Narrow Gauge Brewing Company this Thursday, June 16th. If you’ve been paying attention, there has been a lot of buzz developing about Head Brewer Jeff Hardesty’s beers. At the STL Hops Anniversary Party in March, Narrow Gauge nearly stole the show with their SHB (Single-Hopped Beer) Galaxy IPA and Zavtrak Imperial Stout. A few festivals later and more and more people having been asking when they’d be able to get more. Well the time is here!

The name Narrow Gauge is a tribute to the three owners’ hometown. In October 1878, the St. Louis and Suburban Railway, one of several independent rail car lines in the area at the time, started narrow gauge steam railway service from Midtown to Florissant and dubbed it West End Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Cugino’s tapped two beers earlier this month. Mordecai, a juicy American Pale Ale, and Old Town Porter, a smooth Porter with just the right amount of roast. Thursday they will also have full batches of Fallen Flag American IPA and SHB: Galaxy. You can also expect small, pilot batches of Copra (a Porter brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and coconut), Pineapple Mordecai and a few other SHB variants. And they’ll be filling 32oz growlers.

So get up to Narrow Gauge tomorrow night and kick these guys off right!

STLHops_ShadedHello everyone, or as I’ll be saying about 36 hours from now, guten tag. I’m headed out for my honeymoon as of tomorrow and I’ll be gone for about three weeks.

But that doesn’t mean that the STL Hops train stops. I’ve gotten the venerable Jason Spann stepping in for me for a little bit.  If you have some stories that you’ll like to submit to get posted on STL Hops send your story to stories@stlhops.com.

Jason will do his best to get everything posted. Have fun everyone and don’t burn the website down.

2016-mwbbfJuly is almost upon us and with it brings hot dogs, ‘Merica, and beer.  Specifically it brings the 8th annual St. Louis Craft Beer Week (more on that soon), but one of the largest and best parts of STLCBW is the Perennial Artisan Ales Midwest Belgian Beer Festival.

Believe it or not, this is actually the 5th MWBBF and Perennial is celebrating their “funky fifth” with 54 breweries from across the United States (and beyond.)  This year’s festival takes place on Saturday, July 30th and will run from 1-5PM.  The proceeds from this year’s festival will go toward St. Louis Public Radio.

Here’s a list of the participating breweries:

  • 18th Street Brewery
  • 2nd Shift Brewing
  • 4 Hands Brewing Co.
  • Against the Grain
  • Allagash
  • Almanac
  • Answer Brewpub
  • Barrelhouse Brewing
  • Bluejacket
  • Boulevard
  • Bruery
  • Charleville
  • Cigar City
  • Commons
  • Crane
  • Crooked Stave
  • De Garde
  • Destihl
  • Firestone Walker
  • Fremont
  • Funk Factory
  • Green Bench
  • Half Acre
  • Hardywood
  • Jester King
  • Jolly Pumpkin
  • Logboat
  • Mark Twain
  • Marz Brewing
  • Mikkeller
  • Moody Tongue
  • New Belgium
  • Oakshire
  • Off Color
  • Ommegang
  • Ozark Beer
  • Penrose
  • Rare Barrel
  • Right Proper
  • Rockwell
  • Schlafly
  • Scratch
  • Side Project
  • Solemn Oath
  • Sun King
  • Three Floyds
  • Transient Artisan Ales
  • Une Annee
  • Upland
  • Urban Chestnut
  • Whiner
  • Wicked Weed
  • Wiseacre
  • Yazoo

Tickets to this event are $65 and will go on sale beginning tomorrow, Wednesday June 15th beginning at 4PM. For those of you out of town, tickets will be available online beginning Monday, June 20th at 10am.

2016-HF-R3-web-701x1024 (1)I’m pleased to announce that the winners for the tickets to each session of the St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival are Mark Eplin (who’s favorite local beer is 4 Hands Absence of Light) and Michael Dorris for the Saturday evening session (who’s favorite local beer is the Schlafly King Kaya Special Release)! Congrats to Mark and Michael and thank you everyone for entering.

I once again  want to thank the fine folks putting on the Heritage Festival for providing the tickets to this event. If you haven’t seen this year’s list, be sure to check it out below. There are only a few tickets available so don’t delay, buy tickets now!

2ndshiftlogoIsn’t fun to be a VIP? Any time you get that inside scoop or special access, you feel like a rock star.  2nd Shift Brewing is helping you feel like an insider as we’re doing a very special sneak preview of the new location tomorrow, June 9th starting at 6PM.

This isn’t going to be just any sneak preview, it’s going to be a party. Not only will you be able to view the new space, but it’s going to be a bottle release (more on that in a bit), we’re going to have beers on draught, and the Mission Taco Truck will be there to fill your belly.

As far as the bottle release goes, this will be your first opportunity to purchase the newest fruited version of Katy, Apricot Katy. You’ll also have the chance to purchase Annabelle, which I believe (and I don’t say this lightly) Steve Crider’s finest funky beer to date.  The newest version of Unicorn Killer will also be available for purchase as well.

If that wasn’t enough, we’ll have a killer line-up of beers on draught as well:

  • Brewcocky
  • Katy
  • Chaotic Insecure Delusions
  • Unicorn Killer
  • Hibiscus Wit
  • Art of Neurosis
  • Chateau la Douchebag
  • Blackberry Katy

So, we invite you out for this very special event.  We can’t wait to share our new home with you and this is just the first opportunity to do so.

2016-HF-R3-web-701x1024 (1)The 2016 St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival is taking place this weekend and you were probably looking to buy some tickets. What if you could win them instead? Well today is your lucky day, as I’m giving away two sets of passes to the to the Saturday evening session of this juggernaut of a festival.

This $90 value will allow you to partake in one of the best beer festivals in the area. All you need to do is email contest@stlhops.com with the subject of 2016 Heritage Festival.  In the body of the email you must include your favorite beer from your favorite St. Louis brewery.

A couple of quick notes:

  • If you’ve won something from STL Hops in the past 6 months, please be cool and let someone else enter.
  • If you can follow the bolded directions above. If you don’t follow the rules, you’re automatically disqualified.
  • You must be 21 or older to enter.
  • No multiple entries.

I want to thank the fine folks putting on the Heritage Festival for providing the tickets to this event. This contest will end on June 9th at 9AM CDT when I will pick a winner at random for each set of tickets. Good luck!