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Archive for June, 2010

biglogo.JPGMark from Bigelo’s Bistro was kind enough to provide two tickets to their Left Hand Beer Dinner. The dinner is on Sunday, June 27th at 4 pm and Bigelo’s is located in Edwardsville, Illinois.

If you’re interested in winning tickets that include a five courses being paired with five different beers (you will be required to pay the gratuity) email contest@stlhops.com with a subject of “Bigelo’s Left Hand Beer Dinner” and tell me what your favorite beer is only available in Illinois. 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.
  • You much be 21 or older to enter.
  • No multiple entries.
  • If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend, please don’t enter. I’d like to make sure that people available to attend have a chance to win.

The winner will be drawn on Friday, June 25th at 9AM. There are still a few seats available for the dinner, you can make reservations by calling 618-655-1471.

itap.jpgWith the World Cup in full swing and the International Tap House in Soulard now open, Sauce Magazine has partnered with iTAP to throw a celebration.  Starting today at Noon, iTAP and Sauce will be hosting different cuisines from countries around the world.

The plan is to feature cuisine based upon one of the teams playing in that day’s match.  Here’s the line-up that they have for this week:

  • Monday June 21st, Spain vs. Honduras 1:30 PM… Tapas from Modesto and discounted Estrella Damm and Estrella Galicia
  • Tuesday June 22nd, Greece vs. Argentina 1:30 PM…Greek fare from Olympia and discounted Aris and Quilmes beer.
  • Wednesday June 23rd, Germany vs. Ghana 1:30 PM…Three Monkeys will be goin all German and discounts on all German brews and since Australia is also taking to pitch at the same time Aussie Beers will be cheaper as well.
  • Thursday June 24th, Japan vs. Denmark 1:30 PM…Likely Sushi will be served while Japanese beers in stock will be discounted as well as Carlsberg brews and Dutch brews.
  • Friday June 25th, Spain vs. Chile 1:30PM…Roxane is scheduled to sell Spanish food while the usual Spanish brews will be on discount during the match.

It’s also worth noting that while the Soulard location will be opening at Noon all week, they’ll be opening at 9AM on Wednesday for the USA match versus Algeria.

schlafly_128x128.jpgThe beer universe went a bit crazy on Friday with the announcement in the St. Louis Business Journal that Schlafly brewery was up for sale.  I have to admit, I was caught a bit off-guard by the news myself (and I’m a part-time employee.)  It didn’t help that only a portion of the article was made available on the Business Journal website.  The article cut off with Tom Schlafly saying:

“My preference would be to sell most of my shares to an employee-based group at whatever the fair market price is,” said Schlafly, 61. “I don’t want to take the highest bidder from a Cayman Islands venture fund. It would be more responsible to have it in the hands of someone who has a sense of stewardship, people who have helped build the company and understand what our conscience is.”

As a fan of both Schlafly beer and The Saint Louis Brewery, I wasn’t that shocked to find Tom saying something like that.  As the day (and weekend) went on, new information about the sale came to light.  This from Ian Froeb of the Riverfront Times:

[Dan] Kopman, who is the brewery’s director of operations, tells Gut Check that while discussions have begun, “There’s no great sense of urgency. The thought was, Tom [Schlafly] doesn’t have family that will come into the business, and I don’t have family likely to come into the business. We started to think, ‘What’s going to happen?'”

Kopman adds, “We’ve got employees who’ve really helped us get from [point] A to B. It made sense to start the conversation [with them] now. It could take a number of years to figure this out. Tom and I felt it was really important — we wanted to have a very open process with our employees. There are no secrets to hide.”

Not that I was really concerned about the sale before Dan’s comments, but what he was saying really made sense. If there isn’t someone to step into Dan or Tom’s footsteps if something were to happen, then there was a possibility of problems for the employees working at Schlafly.

So, let’s make something very clear: This isn’t about the end of Schlafly, it’s about the future.

This isn’t a company that’s looking to sell tomorrow and make a quick buck. This isn’t going to be a sale that’s going to happen this month or this year, it’s a possibility this may not even happen in the next five years.

This is a company that realizes that there will need to be some sort of plan in place when the inevitable happens.   You need to look out for the company you’ve created and the people you’ve employed.  The best way of doing that is by having the employees purchase into the company and to find someone who holds the same ideals and outlook for the business.

And let’s be honest, whomever comes in to purchase this company has some problems in front of them.  If they’re looking to increase sales, they’re going to have to increase capacity.  The Bottleworks will be pretty much at capacity over the next couple of years.  So, a new brewery will probably have to be built.  That’s going to take a lot of capital.

Now, does this mean we’re guaranteed that everything will be fine and dandy in ten years time?  No. This is a business and anything can happen.  Any kind of unease or concern you’re feeling about this sale is probably being felt tenfold by employees at Schlafly.  But if there is any local company that can pull off a sale and keep the company true to its roots, I think it’s Schlafly.

This week on the STL Hops Twitter

  • Batch #12 of @AveryBrewingCo’s Maharaja has hit St. Louis in bottles and on draught. Look for it at your favorite retailer or bar! (4 minutes ago)

Stuff from around the web

Retail Beer Releases

  • deVine Wines & Spirits (6/17/2010)
    • Abita Amber
    • Abita Jockamo IPA
    • Alpha Dog Imperial IPA
    • Arcadia Angler’s Ale
    • Arcadia Hop Rocket IIPA
    • Arcadia Choco Loco Stout
    • Arcadia Hop Mouth
    • Avery Maharaja Batch #12
    • Boulder Hazed & Infused
    • Boulder Flashback IBA
    • Bear Republic XP Pale Ale
    • Bear Republic Red Rocket
    • Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye
    • Bell’s Oberon
    • Corsendonk Brown Abbey Ale
    • Franziskaner Weissbier
    • Goose Island Summer Time
    • Grand Teton XX Bitch Creek
    • Grand Teton Bitch Creek
    • Grand Teton Sweetgrass IPA
    • Great Divide Hercules IPA
    • Grieskirchner Weisse
    • Gulden Draak
    • Lagunitas Undercover Investigation
    • Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
    • Lagunitas Pale Ale
    • Lagunitas IPA
    • Lagunitas Maximus IPA
    • Leinenkugel Summer 12pk Can
    • Left Hand Chainsaw
    • Left Hand 400lb Monkey
    • Left Hand Warrior IPA
    • New Holland Sun Dog
    • New Holland Golden Cap
    • O’Fallon Wheach Cans & Bottles
    • O’Fallon Hemp Hop Rye
    • RJ Rockers Son of A Peach
    • Rogue Chipotle Amber Ale
    • Schlafly AIPA
    • Schlafly Summer Helles
    • Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA
    • Ska Buster Nut Brown
    • Ska Decadent Imperial IPA
    • Sierra Nevada Summerfest
    • Southern Tier Raspberry Wheat
    • Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown
    • Van Twee Brewmasters Edition
  • Provisions Market (06/18/10)
    • Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary, Charlie, Fre & Ken
    • Southern Tier Phinn & Matt’s
    • Ska Decadent Imperial IPA
    • Ska Tru Blonde Ale CANS
    • Ska Dubbel Golden Ale
    • Ska Mixed Up 12 CANS
  • U-Gas Waterloo (06/18/10)
    • Founders KBS
    • Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A.
  • Wine and Cheese Place (Clayton) (6/18/10)
    • Avery Maharaja #12 new batch!
    • Ska Decandent Imperial IPA
    • The Fish Guy’s Wild Ass Amber Ale
    • Grand Teton Tail Waggin’ Double White Ale

Restaurant and Bar Beer List Updates

    • 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar (06/18/10)
      • Dieu Du Ciel Péché Mortel
      • De Glazen Toren Cuvee Angelique
      • Aecht Schlenkerla Helles
      • Chimay Tripel
      • Boulder Hazed and Infused
      • Avery Ellie’s Brown
    • Barrister’s (6/16/10)
      • Bell’s Two Hearted
      • Blue Moon
      • Boddingtons
      • Boulevard Wheat
      • Goose Island Matilda
      • Guiness
      • Magic Hat #9
      • Sam Adams Summer Ale
      • Smithwick’s
      • Stella Artois
    • Bigelo’s Bistro (6/17/10)
      • Great Divide Oak Aged Espresso Yeti Imperial Stout
      • Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA
      • Boulevard Zon
      • Bells Two Hearted
      • Sam Adams Summer Ale
      • Schlafly American IPA
      • Founders Reds Rye
      • Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat
      • Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
      • Schlafly Summer Helles
      • Schlafly Kölsch
      • Blue Moon
    • Cicero’s (6/17/10)
      • Blanche de Bruxelles Wit
      • North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner
      • Ska Modus Hoperandi
      • Arcadia Sky High Rye
      • Lagunitas IPA
      • Bell’s Oberon
      • La Chouffe
      • Goose Island Matilda
      • Big Sky Moose Drool
      • Magic Hat #9
      • Spaten Maibock
      • Newcastle
      • Blue Moon
      • Left Hand Milk Stout (nitro blend)
      • Schlafly Helles Lager
      • Schlafly Kölsch
      • Schlafly Hefeweizen
      • Schlafly Pale Ale
      • Boddington’s
      • Guinness
      • Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
      • Reissdorf Koelsch
      • Fullers ESB
      • Abita Purple Haze
      • Lindemans Framboise
      • Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
      • Boulevard Tank 7
      • O’Fallon Wheach
      • O’Fallon 5 Day IPA
      • Maudite
      • Shiner Bock
      • New Belgium Fat Tire
      • New Belgium Ranger IPA
      • New Belgium Skinny Dip
      • Smithwick’s
      • Pilsner Urquell
      • Deliruim Tremens
      • Woodchuck Amber
      • Anchor Steam
      • Sierra Neveda Summer Fest
      • Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse
      • Warsteiner Pils
      • Brother Thelonius
      • Maredsous Dubbel
      • Boulder Hazed and Infused
      • Black Raspberry Mead
      • Bass Ale
      • Sam Adams Summer Ale
      • Shock Top
      • Goose Island 312
      • Hofbrau Hefe
      • Fitz’s Root Beer
      • Bud Light
    • Iron Barley (06/18/10)
      • Cathedral Square Belgian Abbey Ale
      • Ofallon Hemp Hop Rye
      • Left Hand Milk Stout
      • Square One Brewing Kölsch
      • Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
      • New Belgium 1554 Black Ale
      • Goose Island Honker’s Ale
      • Griesedieck Golden Pilsener
      • Warsteiner Dunkel
      • Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale
      • Ofallon 5 Day IPA on Cask
      • Boulevard Smokestack Saison (750 ml)
      • Boulevard Smokestack The Sixth Glass (750 ml)
      • Boulevard Smokestack Long Strange Tripel (750 ml)
      • Boulevard Double Wide IPA (750 ml)
      • New Belgium Ranger IPA (Bottle)
      • Tucher Hefe Weiss (Bottle)
      • Bell’s Oberon Ale(Bottle)
      • New Holland The Poet Oatmeal Stout (Bottle)
      • Weihenstephan Dark Hefe (Bottle)
      • Rogue Dead Guy Ale (Bottle)
      • Left Hand Polestar Pilsner (Bottle)
      • O’Fallon Smoke (Bottle)
      • Founders Dirty Bastard (Bottle)
      • Brouwerij Huyge Floris Apple (Bottle)
      • O’Fallon Wheach (Bottle)
      • Guinness Draft (Bottle)
      • Coniston Bluebird Bitter (Bottle)
    • The Royale (6/17/10)
      • Arcadia Sky High Rye
      • Boulevard Tank 7
      • Griesedieck Bros. Golden Pilsener
      • Guinness Stout
      • O’Fallon 5 Day IPA
      • Piraat
      • Schlafly American IPA
      • Schlafly Hefeweizen
      • Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA
      • Strongbow Hard Cider
      • GUEST BOTTLES
        • Bell’s Two Hearted
        • Boulevard Saison-Brett
        • Founders Double Trouble
        • Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire
        • Schlafly Oatmeal Stout
        • Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
    • The Stable (6/16/10)
      • Amalgamated Hefe
      • Bell’s Two Hearted
      • Bell’s Oberon
      • Ephemere
      • Founders Centennial
      • Founders Reds Rye
      • Grand Teton’s Bitch Creek
      • Hofbrau Maibock
      • Lagunitas IPA
      • Lagunitas Undercover Inverstigation Ale
      • Left Hand Fade To Black
      • Left Hand Milk Stout
      • Moylan’s Imperial IPA
      • O’fallon Wheach
      • Sierra Nevada Glissade
      • Sierra Nevada Summerfest
      • Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi IPA
      • Ska Brewing Decadent Imperial IPA
      • Ska Buster Nut Brown Ale
      • Southern Tier Hop Sun
      • Southern Tier Mokah
      • St.Louis Framboise
      • Tucher Hefe Weizen Helles

      Brewery and Brewpub Beer List Updates

      • Mattingly Brewing Company (06/18/10)
        • Pale Ryeder Palm Sugar Rye Tripel
        • Snow Burner Smoked Imperial Brown Ale
        • BrightSide Belgian White
        • Anniversary Ale I: Spiced Belgian Strong Ale
        • Biere de Mars
        • Black Sky Stout Porter
        • Homeward Brown
        • BrightSide Belgian White
      • Schlafly Bottleworks (06/18/10)
        • Pale Ale
        • Hefeweizen
        • Oatmeal Stout
        • Pilsner
        • Summer Lager
        • Raspberry Hefeweizen
        • Kolsch
        • No. 15
        • Dry-Hopped APA
        • Irish Style Extra Stout
        • American IPA
        • Brewer’s Choice
        • Blueberry Cider
      • Schlafly Taproom (06/18/10)
        • Raspberry Hefe
        • American IPA
        • Dortmunder
        • Cream Ale (Augie’s Wedding Beer)
        • Weissbier (Bavarian Hefeweizen, Heritage Festival Beer)
        • Blueberry Cider
        • Kolsch
        • Summer Lager
        • Hefeweizen
        • Pale Ale
        • Dry-Hopped APA
        • Oatmeal Stout
        • Cask- American Brown (Centennial & Ahtanum)
        • Cask- American IPA (Simcoe & Columbus)

      Here’s a list of upcoming beer events:

      Today, from 4PM to 6:30PM the Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton will be tasting a number of different beers: Haandbryggeriet Norse Porter, Ska Decadent Imperial IPA, Nogne Andhrimnir Barley Wine, Left Hand Chainsaw Ale Double Sawtooth, and Avery Maharaja #11 and #12. Additional information can be found at their blog.

      Cory from deVine Wines and Spirts, located at 2961 Dougherty Ferry Rd, holds a beer tasting every Wednesday evening from from 5PM to 8PM. Each Wednesday will offer up a few new beers for you to taste. Swing on by and check it out.

      Once again, if you’re a retail shop, bar, restaurant, brewery or distributor and want me to list your tasting, make sure to email me at mike@stlhops.com.

      schlafly_128x128.jpgGot a chance to sit in on a Schlafly Town Hall meeting on Monday and came away with some nifty information about some new beers that will be coming down the pipe.

      Burn Ward Wheat

      This will be the next addition to the Brewers’ Choice series being put out by the Bottleworks.  As this beer is being by by Drew Huerter, I’m sure you can already imagine what this will be like.  Luckily, Drew gave me a run down of the beer:

      50 IBUs
      ~35% Wheat Malt
      5% Munich
      5.5% CaraVienne
      Columbus (Bittering)
      Simcoe (Whirlpool/Dry Hop)
      Palisade (Whirlpool/Dry Hop)
      German Tettenang (Whirlpool/Dry Hop)
      6.87% ABV

      So, for all of you looking for that hoppy wheat beer, Drew is helping out. This should be available later this month.

      Augie’s Wedding Cream Ale

      When brewers at Schlafly get married, they get a chance to brew a beer. Augie got married, and he chose an American Cream Ale as his beer of choice. Rather than me try and describe the beer, I’ll leave it to Augie:

      It was brewed with 17% Illinois grown corn, “Alhambra Corn”, using a traditional cereal mash. The rest of the grain bill was made up of 2-row brewers malt. OG was 12.9P and the finished beer ended up coming in at 5.5%abv. Hopped with Hallertau Mittelfruh to 20IBU. Fermented on the cooler side, 62F, with Taproom American Ale yeast (WLP051) to give a nice, clean fermentation character. Lagered for three weeks to really smooth out the beer.

      In general, I think using some local ingredients really adds to the “craft” of “craft beer”. That was really one of the big drivers behind this beer. Overall the style is fairly straightforward, but the use of local corn gives an interesting twist.

      We went to some extremes just to be able to use the corn. We actually performed the cereal mash at The Stable and then loaded the corn mash (about 80 gallons worth) into coolers to transport to The Taproom. The coolers were then dumped into the mash tun as the rest of the grain was being mashed in.

      Despite the complicated nature of all this, the whole operation went fairly smoothly (minus one cooler). Needless to say, this beer will never be made this way again. It is truly a “one-off”.

      This will be on draught starting tomorrow at the Tap Room. As only 15bbls were brewed, this is sure to go fast.

      Blueberry Cider

      There has been a strong response to all of the ciders that Schlafly creates, and I’m sure this one will be no exception. This went on draught yesterday at the Schlafly Bottleworks. It’s a very nice blend of blueberries with apple cider. Expect more ciders at the Tap Room and Bottleworks in months to come.

      Schnucks Culinaria Ale (No official name yet)

      Schnucks really loved the response to the previous Culinaria beer and they’re looking to do another.  This beer is still in the planning stages, so they’re still working out all of the details, but at the moment it’s looking like a Raspberry Oatmeal Stout that will be blended with a different Kaldi’s Coffee roast than the one that’s being used for the Coffee Stout.

      As things are still up in the air on this beer, you can possibly expect some changes.

      Schlafly American IPA

      You’ve spoken and Schlafly has listened, this comes from James Ottolini (but please call him Otto) Head of Brewing at the Schlafly Bottleworks:

      For what it is worth, we did not plan for their to be such a response to the AIPA. We have made another smaller batch at Bottleworks and tweaked a few things. It was dry hopped this week and if all goes well with our production schedule this beer will be packaged and sent to distributors the week before fourth of July weekend. This will be the last AIPA for the Special Release series for the summer. This batch will have more hop aroma and bitterness.

      Always good to see when companies listen to their customers and help create a better product.

      itap.jpgIf you headed out to the newest International Tap House location in Soulard on this wet morning, you might have discovered it wasn’t open yet.  As with all things dealing with the City of St. Louis, there was red tape to deal with and things didn’t go as planned.

      But now it’s official, and they’re set to open up on Saturday, June 19th at 11AM.  My hope is to have the draught list sometime before the opening. Update, draught list is now below. Personally, I know I’ll be stopping in for a pint come Saturday afternoon.

      Oh, be sure to also check out the swanky new website that iTAP is rocking.

      Big heads up to Evan Benn for the still in progress draught list at Soulard:

      • Guinness
      • Youngs Chocolate Stout
      • Boddingtons
      • Left Hand Milk Stout
      • Reissdorf Kolsch
      • Delirium Tremens
      • Lindemanns Framboise
      • Goose Island Matilda
      • Leffe
      • Hoegaarden
      • Avery Maharaja
      • Chimay
      • Great Divide Titan
      • Schlafly Kolsch
      • New Belgium Mothership Wit
      • Scaldis
      • Bell’s Two-Hearted
      • Brother Thelonius
      • Founders Red’s Rye
      • Charleville Hoptimistic
      • Corsendonk Pale
      • Saison Dupont
      • Old Rasputin
      • Bell’s Oberon
      • Chambly Noire
      • Tripel Karmeliet
      • Boulevard Tank 7
      • Hofbrau Original
      • Paulaner Hefe
      • Tucher Hefe
      • Odell St. Lupelin
      • Lagunitas Undercover Shutdown
      • Boulder Hazed and Infused
      • Scrimshaw Pilsner
      • La Chouffe
      • Ska Modus Hoperandi
      • Ace Pear
      • O’Fallon Wheach
      • Maredsous 10
      • Bear Republic Racer 5
      • Wittekerke
      • Pabst Blue Ribbon