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Let me let you in on a little secret, St. Louis.  There are more than a few people across the United States that are pretty jealous of us right now.  No, it has nothing to do with the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series and everything to do with the fact that we’ve had four different breweries open up in our town in the past 12 months.

I’m pleased to announce that 4 Hands Brewing Company is almost finished and they’re ready to serve you some beer.  4 Hands owner Kevin Lemp has put out the word that they’ll be opening at 4PM on 11/11/11.

One of the coolest parts about this beer renaissance in STL is that every brewery that’s been open has been unique.  They’ve seen what happens to the breweries that came before brewing up the same old Pale Ale, Wheat Beer, and Pilsner (besides there are already some breweries in town that do a great job making these beers.) To stay open now you have to stand out and do something different, which brings us to the list of beers being poured on Friday the 11th:

  • Reprise Centennial Red
  • Copia Fresh-Hop Saison
  • Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown Ale
  • Bona Fide Imperial Espresso Stout (featuring espresso from locally-owned Goshen Coffee Company)
  • Excess Rye Wine

All of these initial beers are from their pilot batches, so when the soft opening comes around on Friday the 11th, the doors don’t close until all of the beer is gone. Once the beer is gone, 4 Hands will close their doors and they’ll re-open soon after and stay open for good.

Until the doors open, here are a few photos to get you ready:

Schlafly will be holding one of their annual Vertical Beer Dinners on Thursday, November 10th beginning at 6:30PM.  “But, I’m not a SIP Club member!”, you say.  No worries, this event is again open to the public.

This six-course meal, which has been designed by Tap Room head chef Andy White will run you $55 per person (or $45 if you’re a SIP Club member) and you can reserve a spot by calling Stewart Wolfe at 314-241-2337 ext 252.  Here’s the menu (which could change based on Andy White’s mood):

Course 1: Tails
’06 Imperial Stout: Oxtail Pie, Biscuit Crust, Buerre Normandie
’06 Barleywine: Grilled Lobster Tail Americaine

Course 2: Ribs
’07 Imperial Stout: Beef Short Ribs, Tamari Caramel, Root Vegetable Dumpling
’07 Barleywine: Chili Broiled Pacu Ribs, Pok Pok, Peanut Gravel

Course 3: Cheeks
’08 Imperial Stout: Veal Cheek en croute, Sauce Natural, Wheat Berry Salad
’08 Barleywine: Seared Halibut Cheeks, Hatteras Chowder, Tiny Oysters, Little Vegetables

Course 4: Loins
’09 Imperial Stout: Peppered Lamb Loin, Lentils du Pays, Bouquet Garni, Soda Bread
’09 Barleywine: Rabbit Tenderloin, Fresh Pasta, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Double Cream, Crushed Pepper

Course 5: Sugar
’10 Imperial Stout: Vanilla Bean Marshmallow, Ganache, Graham Cracker Tuille
’10 Barleywine: Smoked Pear Crepe, Cashews, Crme Patisserie

stlhopslogosmall.gifI know people have been asking about it, but it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. On November 12th at 6:00PM, STL Hops will be having its Fourth Anniversary Party at Perennial Artisan Ales. This is the first year where the event won’t be held at Schlafly. With the all of the new breweries opening in the area, I thought it would be fun to kind of share the love and move the event.  I want to thank Schlafly for hosting the first three years, they were awesome hosts.

Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets and the cost is $24.01. Why the extra penny? Because with the BPT service fee, the exact cost of the ticket is $26.00. All of the proceeds for this event will be donated to Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Your ticket will include beer and snacks. I’ve also added a designated driver ticket for $10 that will get you in the door for food, snacks and fun.

I’m still working on what beer will be available at the event, but as you’ve seen in the past, there will be plenty of great stuff to drink this evening. We’ll also have some snacks available from Pappy’s Smokehouse.

Keep checking back on this post because I’m working on not only getting a bunch of brewers but also a bunch of swag as well. 200 tickets are being made available for this event, so get them while you can.

Purchase tickets HERE.

itap.jpgI may not be very good at most thing outside of drinking beer, but I’m actually a pretty decent bowler. It’s not like I could join the PBA or anything, but I can hold my own when it comes to knocking down some pins.

So, when I saw that the International Tap House was holding an event called “Pumpkin Bowling” on Saturday, October 22nd beginning at 2PM, I was intrigued. I asked iTAP co-owner Brad Lobdell how would the process work. “Basically, we’ve set down a tarp and you roll a pumpkin to knock over the kegs we’ve set up. ”

“It’s a hell of a lot of fun.”

If knocking down kegs and possibly destroying some produce doesn’t interest you, iTAP will also be featuring a bevy of pumpkin beers for you to enjoy.  During the event all pumpkin beers will be $1 off and you can get a sampler paddle for $12. Here’s just a few of the beers they’ll be pouring:

  • Southern Tier Pumking
  • Schlafly Pumpkin
  • Ferguson Pumpkin
  • Charleville Witch’s Brew’mmm
  • Sam Adam Double Pumpkin

The guys from iTAP are trying to dig up a couple more pumpkin beers so you may see a some more hit the line up. If you’re a fan, Saturday will be all things pumpkin at iTAP.

Very few things are as special as the first time you do something.  It’s so mysterious and new that it seems almost alien. Creating your first cask at a brewery must be a bit of a harrowing experience.  You have no clue about how it’s going to turn out and then you release it for public scrutiny.

But, let’s be honest, these guys are professionals.  They’re brewing beer day in and day out so they know what’s up.  It’s especially neat that the guys from Ferguson Brewing Company didn’t just dump one of their everyday beers into a cask and just call it a day.  They played with it a bit and created something that sounds pretty cool. Here is Ferguson’s head brewer Josh Wilson to describe his creation:

We finally got a couple of firkins in and are about to tap our first cask beer.  Its been long overdue and Im pretty excited to see what happens to our Pecan Brown Ale when we fill the cask up with a huge amount of candied pecans and then prime it with some brown sugar.  Honestly your guess is as good as mine as to what the flavor will come out as, but if I was a gamblin man, Id guess nutty.  

The addition of brown sugar to create carbonation in the cask probably isn’t unique, but I’ve not heard of any brewery in St. Louis that’s done it before, so it’s definitely a new experience for me. If you want to try some of this cask, Ferguson will begin pouring it tomorrow, Thursday October 20th beginning at 4PM. If you haven’t visited, this is an excellent opportunity to check out their beautiful location and try some delicious beer.

Mark from Bigelo’s Bistro is putting on another of his fabulous beer dinners. This time Mark will be hosting homebrewer Jim Leabig for a very special event. Jim has kindly brewed and donated all of the beer for this dinner which will be a fundraiser for Toys for Tots.

The dinner will be taking place on Sunday, November 13th beginning at 4PM. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, will be $35 each, not including gratuity. $20 of each ticket will go directly to Toys for Tots. Bigelo’s is also kindly asking that you bring a new toy to donate when you come to the dinner.

You can make reservations by calling 618-655-1471. Here’s a look at the menu:

Reception Beer
Session IPA

Pulled pork slider, balsamic-onion marmalade
Berlinerweis

Thai Nachos: tamarind shrimp, green curry simmered beans, thai slaw, crispy wonton chips
Amarillo Saison

Oaxacan black mole chicken over rice
India Brown Ale

German Chocolate Cupcakes
Coconut Milk Stout

Beer dinners are fun. Not only do you get to try some really delicious food, but you also get to drink some awesome beer. But if beer and food aren’t enough to get you to come out to a beer dinner, what about also meeting a very cool brewer/owner?

This Wednesday, October 19th beginning at 7PM, Three Kings Public House will be hosting a beer dinner featuring beers from Avery Brewing Company. They’ll also be hosting the one and only Adam Avery. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Adam, he’s easily one of the nicest people in all of brewing.

This four course meal will set you back $40 per person (not including tax and gratuity) and reservations can be made by calling 314-721-3355. Here’s a look at the menu:

If this meal didn’t look awesome enough, I’ve also been informed that there will be a few special beers being paired with the scallop, pork, and dessert courses. Namely duganA, IMMITIS Barrel Aged Sour Ale, and Rumpkin. Two of these are beers that have never been featured in Missouri before, so this is a very special treat being brought in by Adam.

This dinner is sure to fill up quickly, so don’t mess around and make your reservations now.