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Archive for December, 2013

beer_santahatJust a heads up, I’m going to be on vacation for the next week and so there may not be any posts from STL Hops over that time period.  I’ll still be checking in on the forums and checking my email for breaking news, but my guess is that it will be quiet during the Christmas holiday.

I want to thank you all for making this site so enjoyable and so popular and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and also a Happy New Year. I look forward to 2014 and what it brings for beer in St. Louis.

-Mike

STLHops_ShadedThis is happening a little later than normal this (or next) year, but I wanted to get past the holidays and give you something to look forward during a bleak January.

On January 18th, STL Hops will be having its Sixth Anniversary Party at Perennial Artisan Ales. We’ve moved this party around over the past six years and Perennial was kind enough to host for a second time.  I want to thank Schlafly and 4 Hands Brewing for hosting the previous years of events, they were awesome hosts.

Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. This year we’re doing something different and will be offering two different price points. The General Admission ticket will cost you $30.00 (not including Brown Paper Ticket fees) and will get you samples from 6PM-10PM. For those of you feeling extra saucy, we’re going to do an extra special VIP ticket for $40 which will get you in an hour early to taste some of these extra awesome beers. All of the proceeds for this event will be donated to Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Your ticket will include beer and a special glass made specifically for this event. I’ve also added a designated driver ticket for $2 that will get you in the door for the 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. Part of the reason I’ve been dragging my feet is that I’ve been trying to lock down all of the beer.  But let me tell you, there is some cool stuff already lined up. I’ve confirmed that Guerrilla Street Food will be setting up shop outside to provide you with some sustenance

Keep checking back 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.

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 St. Charles (and also now in Wildwood!) 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 feature 4 Hands Smoked Pigasus on tap. While the St. Charles location will be serving up the 2nd Shift El Gato Grande on draft and the Wildwood location will have Boulevard’s Nut Cracker Ale on tap tonight. 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, Wildwood or Webster tonight!

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: Wadworth 6X Bitter, Struise Tsjeeses Reserva, Evil Twin Justin Blabaer, De la Senne Zwarte Piet, Timothy Taylor Landlord Pale Ale, Adnams Tally-Ho Barleywine 2012 Reserve, Cambridge Brewing Red God, Xbeeriment Copper Snow Barleywine Style Ale, Amager Hoppin’ Frog Frog Hops to Amager, Upright Six, Upright Seven, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Hermitage Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Ryetopia, and Odell Woodcut #7 Oak Aged Imperial Stout. 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: Avery Out of Bounds, Deschutes Jubelale, Bells Cherry Stout, Goze Leipziger, and Oud Beersel Kriek. Additional information can be found at their blog.

Cathedral Square‘s Jerad Gardner will be at Lukas Liquor tomorrow from 12-4PM. He’ll be sampling a variety of Cathedral Square’s products. Go on out and say “hi” to Jerad.

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.

SideProject_TheOrigin_750ml_v1 copyRumors are a real pain. It’s one thing to start them, it’s another thing to continue to perpetuate them. Over the past couple of months a few people on the popular beer websites have started putting out the idea that Side Project Brewing‘s initial release The Origin was “infected.”

Rather than just shoot off at the mouth, Side Project owner Cory King decided to have the beer tested to verify what he thought he knew all along, that this beer wasn’t infected. Cory posted on the STL Hops forums the results of that testing.

So…

I want to first start by saying,

THE ORIGIN IS NOT INFECTED.

Most of you know me personally and know that I am usually pretty quick to post on here to clear up any confusion, answer any questions, or to stop any rumors before they grow out of control. With that said you might wonder why it has taken me a while to respond to this post…

At Side Project, I try to make sure that I am brewing the best beers that I possibly can. Not only that, I love to age the beers as long as they need, release them when they are ready to drink and to make sure that I am 100% proud and approve of what I am selling to you. A lot of you have spent many hours and your hard earned money acquiring Side Project beers, and I cannot thank you enough for your support and in return I want to always supply you with the info that you want and the quality that you expect.

The first person to send me a message about The Origin did so about a month ago, asking if it was possible that The Origin was infected. I replied that anything is possible, as it is, and that I would work to make them happy because I hadn’t any hard proof whether it was or was not. I just assumed that this was an isolated incident and moved on. Until someone on BA reviewed it as infected. (actually several people gave it low ratings, but they were all on the same day, from the same state, so I assumed the same tasting group and the power of suggestion had taken over all of their palates).

This though did affect me and my heart sank. I was really worried and concerned that I had misrepresented Side Project and released something that was not of the high standards that I hold myself. Even though I don’t have a lab, I trust my palate and knew that that beer coming from the barrel was 100% and ready to sell. I thought that something had happened during bottle conditioning, so I immediately started trying to figure out how to address this.

I started looking into labs and reached out to some friends at Schlafly to see if they could lend a hand. I want to thank Schlafly for offering their services to me, I cannot thank them enough for the news that they gave me today ;). I never believed that it was infected, but I needed the proof to be content.

The Origin is not infected.

Even though its not infected, it sucks that all it takes is one person to post it online and now people are questioning it. I can defend myself and my beers on here, but I cannot reply to people reviewing The Origin as infected, and all it takes is one palate to prematurely cry infection to cause a whole stir among the beer community of the other forums. The damage is done and I cannot fix that… I just wanted to let you know that I wanted to wait until I knew based on hard facts whether or not anything was going on in the beer before I replied to concerns addressed here and I hope that you understand.

So, what is going on? The Origin does taste different now then the draft version during the release. The bottle also taste different than the bottle I opened the day before the release. The Origin is a blend of 3 beers that are now over 2 years old. All of my beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle conditioned. They are living and will change with age. I released the beer ready to drink fresh and it is your choice to hold it, age it and let it change if you wish. How will it age? I have no idea. What should it taste like now? I have no idea. Am I still happy with it? ABSOLUTELY.

I had expected the blend to taste more like it does now then what it tasted like during the release, but either way, I love both how it tasted then and how it tastes now. I stressed the fact that this was a blended beer by adding the neck tag to every bottle, but I unfortunately believe that because the label says “imperial stout” that too many people are having a preconceived notion of what they want it to taste like before they taste it, and thus the age and flavors are confusing some.

Being that there are only 186 bottles, all from one barrel, all bottled within a few hours of each, all through 1 beer line and 1 beer gun, the likelihood of an isolated “infected” bottle is zero to none. This beer, as well as most of my beers, will need to be consumed with an open mind, an openness to styles and more of an approach of “do I like this, the balance and the complexities” as opposed to “does this fit a certain style”

Sorry for the very long response, but I didn’t want to stop until I felt like I had adequately defended not only the integrity of Side Project, but also mine as a brewer and business owner…

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time at my email: Cory@SideProjectBrewing.com. Thank you everyone for the support that you have shown me and I hope that you have loved my beers as much as I have loved brewing and sharing them.

THE ORIGIN IS NOT INFECTED…

Cheers.

The problem we have here is groupthink. My guess is that you have a few people who are unfamiliar with aged beer (and the flavors associated with it) and the sherry/oxidized flavors that come from it and automatically assume that the beer is infected. This is going to remain a problem as craft beer becomes more and more popular and you then have more new people learning about beer.

The important thing is that bottle of Origin you may have in your basement is fine and feel free to drink away (or save it for a rainy day.)

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: Jester King Black Metal, Saint Somewhere Pays du Soleil, Upright Five, and Boulevard Pop Up IPA. 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: Murphys Red Ale, Lindemans Pomme Lambic, Crown Valley Sleighbell Spiced, O’Fallon Chocolate Cherry, and Southern Tier 2XMAS. Additional information can be found at their blog.

Cathedral Square‘s Jerad Gardner will be at Dierbergs Clarkson & Clayton from 3-5PM today and Schnucks Arsenal 12-2PM tomorrow. He’ll be sampling a variety of Cathedral Square’s products. Go on out and say “hi” to Jerad.

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.

quincy-streetThough he may be a fictional character and I may not agree with all of political ideas, Ron Swanson may be the person I admire the most. The one thing that Mr. Swanson and myself absolutely agree on is that breakfast is the best meal. Period.

Where Mr. Swanson and myself will diverge is that he would probably want to enjoy his breakfast with a glass of 16-year-old Lagavulin Single Malt whiskey, I on the other hand would prefer to enjoy it with a fine beer. If you’re like me, then Quincy Street Bistro has a special little event for you.

Next Saturday, December 14th from 9AM-11AM, Quincy Street will be holding Kegs and Eggs II. This event pairs some awesome breakfast dishes with some delicious craft beers. Chef Rick Lewis has created some special dishes that will fill your belly (right before Nightmare Before Christmas, no less) and will give you the craft beer breakfast you’ve always wanted. Here’s the menu:

Kegs and Eggs II-jpeg

If you’ve not been to Quincy Street, do not miss out on this, they’re cooking up some of the best food in St. Louis and they doubled down by making the best meal: breakfast.