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Archive for September, 2008

lukasliquor.gifLukas Liquor in Ballwin will be holding its annual tasting event The Amazing Taste this Sunday, October 5th from 1PM to 5PM. This event will be raising money for Angels’ Arms, a local organization benefiting foster children, and finding suitable homes for the children until a permanent home is found. The cost of the event is $25 in advance, and $30 on the day of the event.

This event will be featuring live entertainment, informational tasting classes and over 250 wines, over 100 spirits, and over 100 beers to taste. Tickets for this event can be purchased here. After the break is the full list of beers being served at the event.

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stable.jpgThis is just a reminder to all of you that the STL Hops Meet-Up will be occurring Tuesday, September 30th at The Stable. Here’s the original post on the Meet-Up:

Basically we’re all meeting up for food, beer and a chance to meet up with people who love beer as much as you.

You’re responsible for your own tab (food and beer) and I believe we can even do some beer tasting toward the end of the evening, we’ll need to have that cleared up by someone from The Stable (Jesse, Jerad?) The last time was a lot of fun and I think these events allow us to visit places in the area that really care about beer.

Also, a little added surprise. Laura Dale from Boulevard Brewery has donated a few bottles of the Brett-Saison and Bourbon Barrel Quad for our enjoyment. So this is your chance to try these two beers before they hit the shelves this week. As for doing some sampling, I’d ask that we do a fair share of eating and drinking before we start breaking anything out. I don’t think Jesse and Jerad will have an issue with this. But I’ll try and confirm for sure.

Hope to see you all at 6:30PM (or whenever you can show up) tomorrow.

Update: We’ve been given the go ahead to bring a few beers to taste after the dinner has finished. Two small requirements, we obviously need to keep this tasting on the down-low from normal patrons and also we need to make sure things don’t get out of hand (though I’m not concerned about this.)

Update 2: We’ll have the in the “outdoor” patio area all to ourselves.  Make sure to stop by.

rft2008.jpgAh yes, the yearly “Best of” list from the Riverfront Times. If you were reading STL hops way back last year, you may remember I had a few gripes with last year’s lists. So how does the RFT do this year? (And yes, I’m choosing to ignore the people’s choice stuff.)

Best Beer Selection in a Restaurant
The Shaved Duck

Where do you find the beer list in most St. Louis restaurants? On the last page of the wine list – if you’re lucky. More often than not, it exists only in your server’s brain. It’s not too tough, after all, to commit to memory a “selection” of Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select. A server might try to memorize the beer list at the Shaved Duck. A photographic memory would help. The new gastropub in Tower Grove East stocks a terrific selection of beers. It’s not the longest in town, but it’s curated with great care. American craft beers are featured, from local folks like Schlafly and O’Fallon to industry “giants” like Bell’s, New Belgium and Anchor Steam to lesser-known but not lesser lights like Charleville and North Coast. There are only four taps, but the restaurant rotates in new brews with some regularity – all the more reason to return again and again.

Be still my heart. This is a category I suggested last year and low and behold and to see it actually in print brings a tear to my eye. As for the selection? Brilliant. I mean, let’s be honest, if we had seen The Stable, Erato on Main, Mangia Italiano or the Rotten Apple as the winner, would we have been any less happy? We’ve become very fortunate in the past year to see so many new restaurants pop up that really put an emphasis on great beer. I’m glad to see the RFT recognize that. continue reading…

Dave Johnson dropped me an email to let me know some of the current beers on draught at Buffalo Brewing Company. He also gave me a few little nuggets of information that I’ll share with you all next week, so be on the look out for that. Hope everyone is planning on a great weekend, here’s the Round-Up:

Stuff from around the web

Beer Releases and News

  • Paul at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton alerts me to some new beers he has in stock:
    • Cantillon Vigneronne Lambic Aged in Oak
    • Cantillon Iris Vintage 2005
    • Rogue Mocha Porter
    • New Belgium Fat Tire 12pk cans
    • St. Peters Winter Ale
    • Huyghe Delirium Noel
    • Gouden Carolus Noel
  • Scott from Corral Liqours informs me to some beers he has in his stock:
    • Left Hand Twisted Sister
    • Norrebro Bryghus Old Odense Ale
    • Norrebro Northbridge Extreme
    • Norrebro Skargaads Porter
    • Allagash Black
    • Allagash Four
    • Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
    • Obolon Lager
    • August Schell Octoberfest
    • Mad River SteelHEAD xTRA STOUT
    • Skyscraper Bulldozer Honey Weiss
    • Skyscraper Lug Nut Lager
    • Skyscraper Wingman American Lager
    • Ommegang Chocolate Indulgance
    • Millstream Oktoberfest
  • Lukas Liquor posts on their blog some of the new and special selections they have in stock:
    • Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer vintage 2007
    • Boulevard Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest
    • Nørrebro Bryghus
    • La Granja Stout
    • North Bridge Extreme
    • Little Korkny Ale
    • Skargaards Porter
    • Old Odense Ale
    • New Belgium La Folie
  • Charmaine at Randall’s Wine & Spirits alerts me to some new beers she has in stock at the St. Louis Randall’s:
    • Norrebro Olde Odense Ale
    • Norrebro Northbridge Extreme Imperial IPA
    • Norrebro La Granja Espresso Stout
    • Norrebro Little Korkny Ale
    • Norrebro Skargaards Porter
    • Nogne-o Pale Ale, Porter, and India Pale Ale
    • Boulevard Bob’s 47
    • Breckinridge Oatmeal Stout
    • Sierra Nevada Anniversary
    • Rogue Double Dead Guy ale
    • Wychwood Wychcraft Blonde Beer
    • Arcadia Ale Jawjacker Pumpkin
    • New Belgium La Folie
  • Robin at Provisions Gourmet Market has some new beers as well:
    • New Belgium Fat Tire 12pk cans
    • Goose Island Harvest Ale
    • Oppigards Swedish Ale
    • Mikkeller Monk’s Brew
    • Haandbryggeriet Haandbaak Sour Ale
    • Norrebro Bryghaus Skarsgaard Porter
    • Michelob Dunkel Weiss
    • Michelob Pale Ale
  • Andy from Whole Foods let’s us know about some new beer he has in his stock (and remember if you don’t see it on the shelf, be sure to ask for it):
    • Norrebro Old Odenese
    • Norrebro Skarsgaards Porter
    • Norrebro North Bridge Extreme
    • Norrebro Korkny Ale
    • Norrebro La Granja
    • Ommegang Ommegeddon
    • New Belgium La Folie
    • Peche Mortel
  • Mike at The Wine and Cheese Place in Rock Hill alerts me to some new beers he has in stock:
    • Drie Fonteinen Beersel
    • Drie Fonteinen Old Lambic Doesjel
    • Norrebro Bryghaus Skarsgaard Porter
    • New Belgium La Folie
    • Ommegang Ommegeddon Funkhouse
  • Ryan at Whole Foods in Town and Country has added these beers:
    • New Belgium La Folie
    • Southern Tier Oat
    • Rogue Double Dead Guy
    • Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
    • Altenmunster Maibock 1.5
    • Boulevard Bob’s 47
    • Avery Kaiser
    • Unibroue 400
    • Southern Tier Crème Brulee Stout
    • Lefthand Twin Sister Double IPA

Local Restaurant Beer List Updates

  • 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
    • Founder’s Brewing – Dry Hopped Pale Ale
    • Lagunitas Brewing – Gnarly Wine
    • Avery Brewing – Maharaja Imperial IPA
    • Lagunitas Brewing – IPA
    • Jever Brewing – Pilsener
    • Three Floyds – Alpha King
    • Founders Brewing – Breakfast Stout
    • Avery Brewing – Ale to the Chief
    • Lagunitas Brewing – Censored Copper Ale
    • Dogfish Head Brewing – India Brown Ale
    • Stag
  • Jerad also let me know about the draught highlights at The Stable:
    • Rogue Imperial Pils
    • HopMouth
    • Left Hand Twin Sisters
    • Rogue Double Dead Guy
    • Also ask to try their dopplebock for free.
  • Dave Johnson of Buffalo Brewing Company dropped me a line to let me know about their current draught list:
    • Drool
    • Gold
    • Chili
    • Red
    • Bavarian Hefe-Weizen
    • Rye IPA

Here’s a list of upcoming beer events:

A few quick beer tastings to tell you about.

The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton has moved their weekend tastings to Friday which is a great way to start your weekends. Today, from 4PM to 6:30PM will be having a very special tasting,  Jim O’Connor from Bells will be on hand to sample Oberon, Amber, Pale Ale, Two Hearted, Kalamazoo Stout, Porter and Third Coast Beer. More information can be found at their blog.

Mike at the Wine and Cheese Place in Rock Hill will also be holding a tasting today from 4PM to 6:30. He’ll be sampling these beers: Bieres 23 Bier de Mars, De Molen SSS Stout, and J.W. Lees Calvados Cask. Once again, more information can be found at their blog.

Tasting is a great way to try before you buy.

Dear Dierbergs,

dierbergs.gifYou may not know me, but my name is Michael Sweeney and believe it or not, we go way back. I worked for you during high school, tending the produce department on many an early Saturday morning. I’ve shopped at your stores for my entire adult life. I’ve always appreciated your efforts to strive to not only be the friendliest store in town, but to also offer a wide selections of premium products (even if they are at premium prices sometimes).

One of the first things instilled in me during my first few days of employment was that Dierbergs Markets went out of their way to try and offer the best products and the best service one could find in St. Louis, which is why I don’t understand the disconnect when viewing your beer selection. I don’t think it always this way. In fact I can remember a time when you offer mix-a-six selections, but they are no more.

I understand that shelf space is always in huge demand, but why is it that you can offer such a large and diverse wine selection (even at case pricing) but still not have the same sort of love for beer. Sure if I want to find all of Sam Adams, Leinenkugel, Schlafly, and O’Fallon’s offerings, they’re always on the shelves waiting for me. But sometimes I want something more, sometimes I want an impulse buy.

I just can’t quite understand why a store that emphasizes itself as offering some of the best products in St. Louis fails to offer things like Bear Republic, Unibroue, Avery, or even Bell’s. It seems like you attract the perfect clientèle to offer some of these “unusual” beers from around the globe. Perhaps you could even have beer samples on the weekends sort of like you sample many of your other products.

With more and more breweries making their way into St. Louis, this is your chance to step out in front and say, “We’re your beer store in St. Louis.” Seize this opportunity and make us believe that you really do provide some of the best products in town.


Michael Sweeney

P.S. Thanks for helping instill some great customer service instincts that have helped me my entire professional career.

buffalobottomsup.gifI don’t know if I mentioned this or not (and if I didn’t it was a huge mistake on my part) but way back in July, Sean Sweeney of the St. Louis Brews Homebrewing club, got a chance to brew his award winning Dubbel at Buffalo Brewing with Dave Johnson. Well, Dave has informed me that another local homebrewer and frequent STL Hops commenter Sam Huff will have the opportunity to brew his American Brown Ale at Buffalo as well.

Recently Bottoms Up Brewhouse held a homebrew competition with the grand prize of having your beer on tap at Bottom’s Up. Sam entered his American Brown Ale and won, so now he’s working with Dave to switch his extract recipe to all-grain to have it brewed on Buffalo’s system. After the beer is done it will be available not only at Bottoms Up but a small amount will hopefully be available at Buffalo as well. As soon as the beer has been released, I’ll make sure to let everyone know. Congrats to Sam!