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Archive for July, 2008

wfm.gifThere are few tastier things than a sour beer. But why should you limit yourself to just a single sour beer? Wouldn’t you like to enjoy a large spectrum of the sour beers that St. Louis has to offer? Well, Andy Snead, the Beer Specialist for the Brentwood Galleria Whole Foods is giving you just that chance:

From the Lambics and Flemish Sours of Belgium to the farmhouse tradition of France, join us for a night of wild yeasts and spontaneous fermentations! We’ll sample a wide variety of styles including both Domestic and Imported. These beers will range from fruity and light to bitter and sour, but all have a rolling full palate and a great complexity of flavors. Light snacks provided.

If you’re just getting into sour/farmhouse beers, this event will really open your eyes to the full range of flavors these beers have to offer. The event is happening on August 14th from 6:30-8PM and the cost is $20. You can purchase tickets to this event here.

cask01.jpgA few weeks ago I had to travel to Champaign, IL for business. I’m not a huge fan of traveling for business, but I can usually make the best of it by finding some of the interesting beer stuff in other cities. While in Champaign I made sure to stop and try The Blind Pig as it was rated as one of the top 50 beer bars in the world by RateBeer in 2007. I was not let down. One of the first things I spied was New Holland Existential Hopwine on cask, which got me to wondering, “when do we see a bar in St. Louis that has a rotating cask selection?”

Don’t get me wrong, the addition of Dressel’s Pub to the cask beer scene is extremely welcome and I’d almost kick over my own brother to get a pint of cask 5 Day, but maybe I’m getting a bit greedy. I’d love to see a bar in St. Louis that not only serves cask beer, but serves a rotating selection of it. Now, I realize that this dream may not be as easy to attain as I’d like, because I’m sure there are plenty of logistical challenges. But a man can dream, can’t he?

neruda_cutout_logo_2x2.gifIf the beer dinner trend was a train, it would almost seem out of control by now. I’m just glad I’m a passenger on this train. Neruda is hosting another beer dinner with O’Fallon as this month’s featured brewery. The dinner is Thursday, July 31st at 7PM. The cost for the dinner is $55 and reservations can be made by calling 618-659-9866. Here’s the menu for this month’s dinner:

Deep-fried Asiago and Gourmandise on grilled flatbread with microgreens, paired with O’Fallon Wheach

Chicago-style Spinach Salad (tangy ketchup dressing, bacon, hard-boiled egg and baby spinach), paired with O’Fallon Wheat

Orange Barbecue Pork Steak served with sweet coleslaw, paired with O’Fallon 5-Day IPA

Coffee-Rubbed Lamb Chop with Dijon-style potato salad, paired with O’Fallon Smoked Porter

Beer Float with O’Fallon Goat’s Breath Bock Ale

We have a new thread in the Forum titled, “What did you drink last night?” It gives everyone a chance to discuss what beers they enjoyed the night before and maybe even brag a little bit. As I was typing up a monster post for the thread, it occurred to me it would probably make a decent post on the main blog as well. So here’s a little of my weekend drinking:

Friday
Two Hearted: Had kind of a crappy day, so I started off with an old favorite. Unfortunately I had it at Growler’s and I was having a poor time there.
Green Flash Hop Head Red: Came home and popped open one of the three beers I picked up while in Champaign. I was looking for their West Coast IPA, had to settle for this instead. Nice beer, but didn’t really live up to the “Hop Head” moniker. Could have standed a bit more bitterness, but it was still a nice beer.
DFH Indian Brown Ale: Picked this one up because of a comment someone said about this beer on another message board I post on. He compared it to dishwater. I saw that it picked up good ratings on BA (I know it’s not the end-all be-all of ratings, but it’s a quick go-to) and decided to try for myself. I’m very glad I did, it has a very pleasant hop aroma that matches well with the roasted malts.
Founders Red Rye: If this was available in Missouri, it may usurp Two Hearted as may go-to beer.

Saturday
Schlafly Weiss Bier: I volunteered working the Art of Food event and as such we got free Schlafly Weiss. I had about a billion glasses before the night was over. I really enjoyed it and wish they would sell this stuff in the bottles they currently label as a hefeweizen.
De Proef Reserve Signature Ale: After AoF ended, we were beat and decided to get a drink. We hit up 33 Wine Bar as the laid back atmosphere suited our desire to relax. Dylan recommended this, but I wish I could remember more about it.
Péché Mortel: Forgetting this was not a 750, I was planning on sharing this with a friend, oops. I remember this being very pleasant, but that’s about it.
Bad Idea: I don’t remember what it was, but it was not a good decision by me to order one last beer at last call. So we’ll just go with the name “Bad Idea.” Let’s make it clear though, the beer was not at fault.

Sunday
DFH 90 Minute:We decided to hit The Rotten Apple as sort of a present to ourselves after AoF. Bill and Ellie had not yet gone and Bill was keen to try a draught 90 Minute. We agreed that it’s a completely awesome beer, but it’s honestly not that much different than drinking it out of a bottle. But we wouldn’t turn it down if it was offered to us.
Founders Rubeaus: This was my original reason for going up to the Apple. I really enjoyed this beer out of a bottle so I wanted to try it on draught. Unlike 90 Minute, this was is very different on draught. I found that the bottled version was a bit sweet and edged closer to a raspberry soda whereas the draught version reminded me more of a beer.
Three Floyds Alpha King: The American India Pale Ale that’s trying to disguise itself as an American Pale Ale. I wish I would have had this before the 90 Minute, because it almost seemed like an APA after the DFH offering.
Founders Dirty Bastard: An obvious Americanized version of a Scottish Ale, but a damn good one. It had a very thick, almost creamy mouthfeel and plenty of caramel sweetness that was never overwhelming.
Avery The Beast: Jerad then started breaking out some beers from in the back. The first was this 14.9% monster from Avery. The nose contained a big raisiny malty aroma along with some hot alcohol as well. The taste was sickenly sweet, in fact I think this beer is the reason why the word “cloying” was invented. Not my cup of tea.
Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza: I actually had this one a couple of weeks ago at Erato and at that time I remembered the previous bottles I’ve had seemed more sour. I don’t know if my palate has adjusted to these funky/sour beers, but this beer was no exception. It had plenty of funk, but not much of the sour I remember from previous bottles. Still a great beer though.

My liver is glad the weekend is over.

Sorry about the delay, had to head out to Champaign, IL again on business and wasn’t back until late. Anyway, a whole bunch of new beer came into the area, go out to your favorite retailer and buy some! Help the economy! Here’s the Friday Saturday Round-Up:

Stuff from around the web

Beer Releases and News

  • Andrew from Bon Vivant Wines informs me to some beers he has in his stock:
    • Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA,
    • Bear Republic Hop Rod Ry
    • Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale
    • Boulevard Double-wide IPA
    • Boulevard Saison
    • Liefmans Kriek
    • Liefmans Lambic
  • Paul at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton alerts me to some new beers he has in stock:
    • Mikkeller Black Stout 17.5% alcohol
    • Mikkeller Draft Beer Imperial Pilsner
    • De Molen Rasputin Imperial Stout
    • De Molen Storm and Averij Imperial Double IPA
    • Unibroue Quatre-Centième 400th Anniversary Quebec
    • Southern Tier Creme Brulee
    • Ellezelloise Hercule Stout
    • Ellezelloise Quintine Blonde
    • Ellezelloise Saison
    • Duysters Loterbol Blond
    • Baird Angry Boy Brown
    • Baird Red Rose Amber
    • Baird Rising Son Ale
    • Baird Kurofone Porter
    • Pyramid Curve Ball Kolsch
    • Pyramid Crystal Wheat
  • Mike Cherre, Beer Consultant at Lukas Liquor posts on their blog some of the new and special selections they have in stock:
    • Unibroue Quatre-Centième Brassin Commémoratif (750ml)
    • J.W. Dundee’s Hefe Weizen (6 pack)
    • Spanish Peaks Crystal Weiss (6 pack)
    • Avery’s Collaboration Not Litigation Ale (22oz)
    • Avery’s Samael’s Ale
    • Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer vintage 2007 (750ml)
    • Goose Island Imperial IPA (4 packs)
  • Ben Dressel let me know of the current draught line-up at Dressel’s Pub:
    • Guinness
    • Felinfoel ESB
    • Left Hand Milk Stout
    • Left Hand Sawtooth ESB
    • O’Fallon 5 Day IPA
    • O”Fallon Cask
    • Boulevard Pale
    • New Belgium Fat Tire
    • New Belgium Mothership Whit
    • Unibroue Maudite
    • Stella
    • Tuecher Hefe
    • Strongbow Cider
  • Robin at Provisions Gourmet Market has some new beers as well:
    • Baird Brewery Red Rose Amber
    • Baird Brewery Angry Boy Brown
    • Baird Brewery Kurofune Porter
    • Ellezelles Hercule Stout
  • Jerad Gardner, of the Rotten Apple lets me know about his most current draught selection. If you haven’t been to the Rotten Apple, take the time to visit:
    • Founder’s Brewing – Rubaeus
    • Lagunitas Brewing – IPA
    • Lagunitas Brewing – Gnarly Wine
    • Lagunitas Brewing Lucky 13
    • Allagash Brewing – Allagash White
    • Victory Brewing – Prima Pils
    • Dogfish Head Brewing – 90 min IPA
    • Two Brother’s Brewing – Domaine DuPage French Country Ale
    • Three Floyd’s – Alpha King APA
    • Lefthand Brewing – Chainsaw
    • Founder’s Brewing – Dirty Bastard
    • Stag
  • Joe Billhartz of Specialty Import Distributing Co. let me know of some beer over in Illinois. Contact your favorite beer store to see if these are available:
    • Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye
    • Bear Republic Racer 5
    • Liefmans Kriek
    • Liefmans Framboise
    • Dogfish Head Black & Blue
    • Victory Saison

Here’s a list of upcoming beer events:

Schlafly’s Belgian Beer and Mussel Mania is not so much a “festival” as it is an excuse to get together and drink some beer.  I don’t really need an excuse to visit the Tap Room, but having one is always nice.  We didn’t arrive until about 8PM on Friday evening, so not surprisingly a lot of the neat-o beers were depleted.  But, never one to complain, I just enjoyed things like the Wit and the Tripel instead.

I did get to sample the cask Biere de Garde and I have to admit, I’m not a fan.  Part of the reason I enjoy Belgian beers so much is because of their spritzy effervescent nature and the cask just kills that.  It’s missing some of things that make a “Belgian” beer in my mind.  Interesting experiment, but not something I would want to see back.  What did you think of the festival?

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There has been a lot of debate as of recent about beer and wine, two books came out last year alone about the topic: Grape vs Grain and He Said Beer, She Said Wine. So it’s not surprising to see that we’re seeing the beer versus wine experimentation here in St. Louis as well. Schlafly in conjunction with thebeervswine1.jpg Sheraton Clayton will be hosting a dinner on Wednesday July 30th from 6PM to 10PM where they’ll be comparing and contrasting beer and wine with five different courses. Here’s the full description from the Sheraton invitation:

Sheraton Clayton Executive Chef Christian Gullet, along with Majestic Wines and Schlafly Beer, will be executing a five-course gourmet dining experience that will feature specialty wines and beer strategically paired for each course, in a challenge for culinary top honors!

The “Beer vs. Wine” Dinner includes a welcome reception, commentary by experts and full descriptions of the wines and beers served with each course, and the five-course gourmet dinner experience.

Every guest will receive an attendance gift from Majestic Wines and Schlafly Beer, and the evening will feature a charitable raffle and silent auction. Prizes for the evening’s festivities include a 2-night weekend stay at the Sheraton Clayton, a Schlafly VIP Brewery Tour for Ten, an exclusive magnum of wine from Majestic Wines, plus gift baskets from the Sheraton Clayton, Majestic Wines and Schlafly Beer.

Tickets for the event are $75 per person and all proceeds will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (314) 719-4318. The full menu for this event is available after the jump.

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