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Archive for November, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to get up at 4AM, stand in the bitter cold all to buy some crap for 2 bucks off. Wouldn’t you rather sleep in, eat some leftovers and then go out and join your friends for some beer? More importantly, wouldn’t you rather partake in some special beer and beer specials?

The International Tap House (all three locations) will be opening at 11AM this Friday and will be kicking off the holiday season with some holiday beers. Here’s a list of beers that will be pouring on Friday:

Soulard:

  • St Bernardus Christmas
  • Wittkerke Winter White
  • Enghien Nol Triple Blonde
  • Gouden Carolus Noel
  • Delirium Noel
  • Kasteel Winter
  • Samichlaus
  • N’Ice Chouffe
  • Odell Iisolation
  • Bell’s Christmas
  • Bell’s Cherry Stout
  • Bell’s Double Cream
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration
  • Schlafly Christmas
  • Great Divide Hibernation
  • Deschutes Jubelale
  • New Belgium Accumulation
  • Anchor Christmas
  • Charleville Whiskey Scented Santa
  • De Ranke Pere Noel
  • Nogne Winter
  • Ridgeway Insanley Bad Elf
  • Ridgeway Lump of Coal
  • Jolly Pumpkin Noel
  • Boulevard Nutcracker

CWE:

  • St Bernardus Christmas
  • Wittkerke Winter White
  • Enghien Nol Triple Blonde
  • Gouden Carolus Noel
  • Delirium Noel
  • Kasteel Winter
  • Samichlaus
  • N’Ice Chouffe
  • Odell Iisolation
  • Bell’s Christmas
  • Bell’s Cherry Stout
  • Bell’s Double Cream
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration
  • Schlafly Christmas
  • Great Divide Hibernation
  • Deschutes Jubelale
  • New Belgium Accumulation
  • Anchor Christmas
  • Charleville Whiskey Scented Santa
  • Prarie Artisan Ales The Beer that Saved Christmas
  • Ridgeway Insanely Bad Elf
  • Jolly Pumpkin Noel
  • Boulevard Nutcracker

Chesterfield:

  • St Bernardus Christmas
  • Wittkerke Winter White
  • Enghien Nol Triple Blonde
  • Gouden Carolus Noel
  • Delirium Noel
  • Kasteel Winter
  • Samichlaus
  • N’Ice Chouffe
  • Odell Iisolation
  • Bell’s Christmas
  • Bell’s Cherry Stout
  • Bell’s Double Cream
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration
  • Schlafly Christmas
  • Great Divide Hibernation
  • Deschutes Jubelale
  • New Belgium Accumulation
  • Anchor Christmas
  • Charleville Whiskey Scented Santa
  • Ridgeway Santas Butt Holiday Porter
  • Prarie Artisan Ales The Beer that Saved Christmas
  • Jolly Pumpkin Noel
  • Boulevard Nutcracker

This event will run from 11AM until iTap closes. To also honor the true meaning of the holidays, iTAP will be holding a toy drive all weekend benefitting O.A.S.I.S. Holiday Gift Shop. Donated items should be new, unwrapped gifts appropriate for an infant through age 18.  And to say thank you, iTAP will give you a buy one get one free on your first beer. Giving and getting, that’s the spirit of Christmas.

Today, from 4PM to 6PM the Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton will hold its weekly Friday beer tasting in which they will be pouring: Tallgrass Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat, Anchor Christmas Ale, Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 5, Urban Chestnut Pilgrim 7, and Urban Chestnut Dorfbier. Additional information can be found at their blog.

Today, from 4PM to 6PM the Wine and Cheese Place on New Ballas will hold a special Friday beer tasting to celebrate the store’s expanded selection. They’ll be sampling the following beers: So Tier Live, Dixie Blackened VooDoo, Trappistes Rochefort 6, Free State Winterfest, and He’brew Death of a Contract. Additional information can be found at their blog.

Cathedral Square‘s Jerad Gardner will be at Shamrocks Grill today from 6-9PM for a Cathedral Square Tap Takeover. He’ll be sampling a variety of Cathedral Square’s products. Go on out and say “hi” to Jerad.

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 Hermitage out of San Jose. For more information, be sure to check out their Facebook page.

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.

If years of watching PBS as a child has taught me anything it’s that education is a wonderful thing. You know what makes learning even better? Beer.

Global Brew Tap House knows that beer and education are a natural mix so they’ve tapped (pun intended) their own Certified Cicerone Zachary Pohlman to lead beer school classes at their two locations.

But, the holidays are never a normal time and there is always something special going on. In this case Mr. Pohlman will be leading a very special Goose Island beer tasting on December 2nd at 6:30PM at the O’Fallon location. The price of this tasting will be $35. Look at this line-up of beers:

  • Matilda Lambicus
  • Halia
  • Lolita
  • Bourbon County Brand Stout
  • Another TBD depending on availability

Tickets for this tasting go on sale this Saturday, November 23rd at 12PM. You can purchase tickets this this link. This seems like quite an opportunity to teach your tongue with some awesome beer.

Miss out on the Abraxas vertical that our friends at iTAP put on last week? Well, how about a second chance at 2012 and 2013 Abraxas? If that’s not enough, how about an entire Perennial Artisan Ales tap takeover to go along with it?

This Saturday, November 23rd at 2PM, Cugino’s Italian Bar and Grill in Florissant will be using a portion of their 56 taps to put on a pretty great selection of Perennial beers including 2012 and 2013 Abraxas. Be certain to check out the full list of beers below:

cuginos-perennial

300140-250Barrel-aged beers are the current darlings of the craft beer scene. It seems like everyone is doing them. Some places do them better than others and one of those places is Stone Brewing Co. To show off their barrel-aging prowess, Stone has partnered with International Tap House in the Central West End to put on a very special event.

On Tuesday, December 10th iTAP will be pouring 2013 Stone Russian Imperial Stout, 2013 Stone RIS Aged in Templeton Rye Barrels, and also Templeton Rye Whiskey. That’s right, you’ll get a chance to try the regular stout, the barrel-aged version, and also the whiskey that was in one of those barrels.

Want to go? Well, tickets are now on sale through Brown Paper Tickets.  Your $20 ticket will get you an 8oz pour of both of the beers listed above along with a 2oz pour of the whiskey. There will be two sessions (6:30PM and 8:30PM) available for your enjoyment. This is a great opportunity to enjoy this beer and all of its parts in one sitting.

ciceros.jpg Some people have a special spot in their heart for Christmas, for some it’s Halloween. But me, it’s Thanksgiving. Without a doubt it’s my favorite holiday. Great food, great times with family and friends, and also some great beer.

Thanksgiving also gives us an opportunity to reflect on our lives and also allows us to help out the less fortunate. What if you could not only enjoy some great food and beer but also help those in need? Sounds like a win-win to me.

Next Wednesday, November 27th Cicero’s will be holding a benefit for Meals on Wheels featuring a Thanksgiving dinner buffet and unlimited beer samples for $25. How does this benefit Meals on Wheels you ask? Well $10 of each ticket sold goes directly to Meals on Wheels.

This fundraiser, which will run from 5:30PM-7PM, will have a buffet that features: Roasted Turkey, Artisan Bread Stuffing, Cranberry Gran Marnier Relish, Traditional Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Green Bean Casserole, Chocolate Cream Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Fresh Whipped Cream. Yum.

But wait, I also said something about unlimited beer samples. Here’s the list: Avery White Rascal, Great Divide Colette, 4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA, Schlafly Pumpkin, Great Divide Yeti. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also receive a 6oz Cicero’s Beer School Sample Glass.

There are only 50 tickets available for this event and they’re going fast. Call (314) 862-0009 for more information and for tickets.

All-three-in-one-272x3001The wind not withstanding, this past Sunday’s temperatures got me thinking about tailgating. This most-American of past times would not be complete without beer. But what is a beer drinker to do when temperatures reach 80-90 degrees?

Oh sure, there is always a cooler, but let’s be honest, they can be a bit of a hassle. They’re usually pretty bulky and then you have to deal with ice. Either bought or made yourself, ice is always pretty heavy and when you add in the weight of the beer it’s never fun dragging around a cooler to your favorite outdoor event.

Apparently I wasn’t the only person to have these gripes. A few students at SLU decided to take these issues with coolers and turn it into a business. Ben Albers reached out to me and asked me to try out and review their invention, the Case Coolie. For sake of disclosure it’s worth pointing out that Ben provided me a free unit to test out.

Pros:

  • Lightweight – Weighing only 1.5lbs, this unit is easy to carry and also light enough to keep you from feeling like your arm is going to fall off.
  • Large – The Case Coolie will hold a lot of beer. You could easily fit in two cases of cans.
  • Keeps beer cold – In my tests of the unit, even in heat of the high 80s, my beer stayed cold for 5-6 hours without the need for ice.

Cons:

  • Could be sturdier – While the construction of the unit feels solid, I would prefer something that kept its shape and had a little more rigidity. It’s kind of difficult to throw some random cans in this, they really need to be kept in their original packaging.
  • Velcro closure – Some kind of snap closure would have been nicer to make sure that nothing falls out while moving your beer around.

Overall this is a pretty great unit that works really well for outdoor events that usually require some sort of canned beer. Bottles will definitely work, but I’d suggest leaving them in their 12-pack or 6-pack holders. While the price of $29.99 for the unit is certainly higher than your typical cooler, the slightly higher price will quickly be offset by no longer needing to buy ice.

If you’re interested in the Case Coolie, be certain to check out their website. Also check out this nice write-up they got on NPR’s All Tech Considered blog.