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Archive for April, 2012

Anticipation: (n) expectant waiting: the feeling of looking forward, usually excitedly or eagerly, to something that is going to happen.

There aren’t many beers that beer nerds in this town clamor for more than Schlafly American IPA. A recent winner in the STL Hops Beer Challenge, AIPA has droves of fans here and across the country. Well, the time is upon us. It’s time for the beer with more hop aromatics than any other beer in the Schlafly portfolio. It’s time for the beer that stands up to any IPA on the West and East coasts. It’s AIPA time!!

American IPA has big, bold hop flavor from American-grown hops and is deep golden and full bodied. Made with large quantities of 2 row and Crystal malted barley, this beer is an American, scaled-up version of its cousin style, English IPA. Flavored with the American hops, Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe, this beer has pronounced bitterness and very prominent aromas of citrus and fruit. After fermentation is complete, we dry hop AIPA with a complex blend of 3 of the most aromatic US grown hops: Amarillo, Centennial, and Simcoe. Combined together they create a unique bouquet of aromatics that is the stuff of legends.

To help get things started, Schlafly Bottleworks will be tapping a cask of AIPA dry-hopped with Simcoe tonight, April 24th at 6:30. Bottleworks’ brewer Jerad Williamson is kicking off what he is calling his Olfactory Education Series where each cask is dry-hopped differently each week. Check out the schedule:

Upcoming Bottleworks Cask Nights:

  • April 24th AIPA dry hopped with Simcoe
  • May 8th AIPA dry hopped with Centennial
  • May 22nd AIPA dry hopped with Amarillo
  • June 12th AIPA dry hopped with Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe

In addition to the planned casks at Schlafly Bottleworks, we can confirm that both International Tap House locations will be tapping casks simultaneously next Wednesday, 5/2 at 6PM.

So what about draught? Well, you will be happy to know that both The Tap Room and Bottleworks will tap AIPA on this Friday, April 27th when their doors open. You will start to see draught at accounts around town the first week of May. As for bottles, while there is no definitive date, look for them to start showing up around the area mid-May, with the possibility that it is sooner at the two brewery locations.

I don’t know about you, but this is my favorite time of year. AIPA time!

Due to technical difficulties, last week’s label review wasn’t able to stay posted. In the words of the website administrator “It’s too awesome to stay up because it may crash the internet.” I certainly wouldn’t want that to happen. So hopefully this review is much less awesome so it will stay up long enough for people to read it. Today we breakdown the label for Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

That’s it? The words “Two Hearted Ale” and a fish. Have you ever been fishing? It’s boring. I mean, really fucking boring. First of all, fish only eat between the hours of 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. It’s impossible to catch a fish other than during this time period.

So there you are, waking up at 4:30 a.m. to get on a boat. Boats were invented for people to ski behind and get naked on, but you’re getting on a boat before the sun is even up and will be doing neither. More than likely it’s cold out too and you have to put on a jacket. I should repeat that: YOU’RE ON A BOAT WEARING A JACKET! That makes no sense.

You might be saying, “But Jason, you can drink beer while you’re fishing!” And to that I say, “Quit talking to yourself dipshit, I can’t hear you.” Yes, you can drink beer, but I can think of 230 better situations to drink beer. Drinking a beer while getting your prostate checked would be preferable to this.

After an hour and a half of casting and reeling in, casting and reeling in, you finally get a bite. HOLY SHIT I GOT ONE! You start to real it in like you just landed a giant swordfish. This thing is going to be huge! There it is! It’s a….fucking 6 ounce sunfish. Two hours on a cold boat, no boobs, and all you got was and a 6 ounce fish that’s the pigeon of the fish world.

We are now left with the words “Two Hearted Ale.” Did they use two hearts in brewing the beer? I’m no cannibal, but it would be pretty cool to drink a beer made of hearts. Problem is, I don’t know what kind of flavors to expect out of cardiac muscle. It would probably end up tasting like chicken.

While there may be a significant population of recreational fishers and/or cannibals, I am neither. If I ever wanted to be completely bored while drinking beer, I’d buy this. However, under normal circumstances, I’m going to choose a beer with a label more interesting.

3.5 / 10 on the Buyability Scale™.

Hendel’s Market Cafe is presenting a beer dinner this Tuesday, April 24th at 6:30PM featuring the beers of 4 Hands Brewing Company. The cost is $45 per person; reservations are required and can be made by calling (314)837-2304. Here is the menu for the event:

Starter
Potato latkes. roasted red pepper. cumin sour cream.
Single Speed Session

Soup
Reuben. melted swiss. rye crouton.
Pyrus Saison

Main
Smoked pork loin. blueberry bbq.
Fingerling potatoes. spring vegetables.
Reprise Centennial Red

Dessert
Brandy chocolate pecan pie.
Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown

Today, from 4PM to 6:30PM the Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton will hold its weekly Friday beer tasting in which they’ll be sampling: Anchor Brekle’s Brown, Breckenridge 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout, Newcastle Summer Ale, Magic Hat Elder Betty, Magic Hat IPA on Tour Blind Faith, and Summit Unchained Series Batch 09 Dunkel Weizen. Additional information can be found at their blog.

Beer tasting again this Friday at Randall’s on Jefferson. Today from 3PM-5PM there will be a tasting featuring Lagunitas. You’ll have your chance to sample Wilco Tango Foxtrot, IPA and Red. For more information, please be sure to check out their Facebook page.

This Saturday, Wolfbrau in St. Peters continues its “Wolfbrau’s Taste of Beer.” On select Saturdays, Wolfbrau will be featuring a single style or brewery to feature. This Saturday, from 4PM to 6PM, they’ll be featuring Charleville Maibock, Six Row Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter, and Bell’s Oberon. For more information, be sure to check out their Facebook page.

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

Cathedral Square’s Jerad Gardner will be at the Randalls Fairview Heights from 4-6pm and at Grappa Growlers tomorrow in Belleville from 3-5pm. He be sampling a variety of Cathedral Square’s products. Go on out and say “Hi” to Jared.

Also on Wednesday, the Naked Vine holds a beer tasting from 5-7PM. This tasting will give you a chance to try some of Naked Vine’s offerings and is absolutely free. Check out their Twitter feed for more updates.

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.

Neither rain, nor cigars, nor wet feet could keep down the enthusiasm that took place last Saturday at the Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition Festival. The skies definitely opened up almost immediately at the start of the festival, but the rain couldn’t dampen the fun of having three breweries in from Texas.

Luckily, the storms moved out quickly and left a beautiful afternoon in Maplewood. The Texan beers, particularly the ones from Deep Ellum Brewing, were something not to miss. But if you did miss them, these photos are about as close as you’re going to get unless you’re visiting the Lone Star State.

ciceros.jpg Cicero’s Italian Restaurant continues their Winter Beer School semester this Wednesday from 5:30-6:30PM and a second class from 7PM-8PM. Cicero’s Beer School provides background about beers and beer styles usually directly from people directly in the beer industry. It’s perfect opportunity to learn more about a style you’re unfamiliar with or to just brush up on a style you haven’t enjoyed in a while.

This week’s school is being hosted by Tim Surprise of Arcadia Ales. Tim will be on hand to discuss and sample some B Craft Black IPA, Coco Loco Stout, London Porter and Witsun. Go out and take advantage of one of the few places where you can drink and learn!

If you can’t make it out to the Beer School, you can check out all of the classes via podcast at Cicerosbeerschool.com.

While it’s fun to be on the hunt to try and find that special or fun beer, it can be pretty tiring. Well, you can stop running all around town and visit Llywelyn’s Pub in Webster Groves (and also now in St. Charles!) to see something cool on tap. Llywelyn’s is continuing their program that they’ve been calling “A Brew You Never Knew.”

Each Wednesday, Llywelyn’s will feature a single beer on draught that may have been overlooked or in some cases is the only draught version of that beer in town. It’ll be a chance to re-visit an old favorite or even discover something you’ve never had before.

This week Llyweyln’s in Webster will be featuring the Goose Island Nut Brown Ale on draught. While the St. Charles location will be serving up 4 Hands Single Speed So, if you’re looking for something special without all of the lists and missed opportunities, make sure to stop into Llywelyn’s in St. Charles or Webster tonight!