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Archive for March, 2014

deschutes-mirrormirror-09“It’s not really barleywine season,” I heard someone say.

I mean, sure, some beers are definitely seasonal. Things like stouts and barleywines will definitely get more love in November than in August. But there are some beers that defy logic.

When Deschutes Brewery came to St. Louis, there were two beers that Deschutes fans were clamoring to get: Abyss and Mirror Mirror. Abyss makes its way here every year, but sadly we missed out on the last release of Mirror Mirror which hasn’t been available since 2009.

When Deschutes began their Reserve Series of beers, it began with a double batch of their flagship beer Mirror Pond. This oak aged barleywine pays reverence to the barrel-aging of the old world with new world ingredients.

You Deschutes fans better be ready because Mirror Mirror is back and will be available in St. Louis. To celebrate this event Deschutes is working with the International Tap House in the Central West End to launch the beer in STL. The event takes place this Wednesday, March 26th beginning at 5PM.

As an extra treat, this will also be a Keep the Glass night featuring the highly sought after Teku glasses that you glass nerds love (while supplies last.) Who am I kidding? I love them too!

And as a super extra fun treat, Deschutes brewmaster Brian Faivre sent along two bottles of 2009 Mirror Mirror that Karen King will be pouring samples of (also while supplies last.)

I don’t know if it’s barleywine season or not, but it’s certainly Mirror Mirror season.

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: Green River Ambrosia Ginger Libation, Mikkeller Collab with Grassroots Wheat is the new Hops, Mikkeller Imperial Single Hop IPA – CITRA, Mikkeller Drink ‘in the Snow, Mikkeller AK Alive Alaskan Wild Ale, Mikkeller / Anchorage Beer Geek BreAKfast, and Tired Hands Brewing / de La Senne Crushable Saison. Additional information can be found at their blog.

Today, from 4PM to 6PM the Wine and Cheese Place on New Ballas will continue their Friday beer tastings to celebrate the store’s expanded selection. They’ll be sampling the following beers: Weihenstephaner Vitus, Three Bears Pale Lager, UCBC Winged Nut, and Magners Irish Cider. Additional information can be found at their blog.

Cathedral Square‘s Jerad Gardner will be at Dierbergs Zumbehl today from 3-5PM. 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.

Welcome back to the STL Hops 2014 St. Louis Beer Challenge! With March Madness starting today, I thought it would be fun to have a contest to see how local beers would do in a tournament. Thanks to an influx of new breweries, we now have a tournament featuring beers from within 75 miles of downtown St. Louis.

Now, a few things. First, this is the first year we had some semblance of a ranking.  I looked back at the past years round winners and pitted them against beers that may have gone out in earlier rounds.  I also did a bit of sorting so a brewery didn’t face off against itself in the first round. New beers that weren’t in last year’s competition were seeded in the last few seeds. Second, as we have a bunch of new breweries and new beers, there might be something I missed. I’m sorry if I missed you, it wasn’t on purpose.

If you’re curious how I picked the beers, here’s the method behind my madness. We’re continuing what we did last year and there are four distinct brackets again: Black/Brown, Hoppy, Belgian, and Wildcard.  I tried my best to make sure each brewery in the area was represented in each of these brackets.

I heard a couple of people say it was difficult to pit a stout vs an IPA.  I can understand that, so by grouping things a little bit, maybe it will make you decision easier (or harder.) Wildcard is exactly as it sounds, if a beer didn’t fit into one of the other brackets, it went into here.

If I did this right, you won’t have to mix styles too much until you hit the final four.  (This is a big if, I set this up on very little sleep.)

You may also notice that some of your favorite seasonal and one-off beers aren’t on the list. For the most part, I tried to stick with two year-round beer from each brewery and one season. As not everyone gets a chance to try a lot of the one-off or seasonal beers, thought it would be more fair with the year round releases.

Now, for the serious stuff. Even after the unpleasantness from a couple of years ago, I’m sticking with the Bracketeers website. It’s still the best website I can find to make this process easy for me and you, so we’ll stick with it.

Please, I remind everyone again not to take this too seriously, it’s just for fun.
Round Dates:
Round 1 – Thu Mar 20
Round 2 – Mon Mar 24
Round 3 – Thu Mar 27
Round 4 – Mon Mar 31
Round 5 – Thu Apr 3
Championship – Mon Apr 7

So, good luck to everyone and have fun! (If you can’t see the poll below, click on this link to visit the website hosting it.)

 

llywelyns-243x300While 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 Summit Brewing Company Biere De Garde Ale on tap. While the St. Charles location will be serving up the Boulevard Smokestack Series Chocolate Ale on draft and the Wildwood location will have Lagunitas Undercover 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!

ba17With apologies to the Blues and the Cardinals, one of the hottest tickets in town is when Perennial Artisan Ales release some of their barrel-aged stouts. Last year’s BA Abraxas day saw people lining up in freezing temperature to get a couple of bottles of these velvety wonders.

Seeing how there is no way to please everyone, Perennial has put together a system to try and please as many people as possible when it comes to getting these special bottles. I’ll let Perennial’s Emily Wymore fill you in with the details:

Option #1: EARLY RESERVATION
Our first priority was to make sure that our local supporters are given the first opportunity to purchase their bottles. So, this week (Wednesday, March 19th-Saturday, March 22nd), we will be taking reservations in the tasting room for 100 full allocations (2 bottles per person, $25/bottle. Bottles will be paid for at time of pickup, not at time of reservation One reservation per person).

When a reservation is made, you will need to present a valid ID along with an email address. Early reservation bottles will be available for pickup beginning Thursday, April 3rd at 4:00 PM. If your bottles are picked up on Thursday, April 3rd, you will be guaranteed a draft pour of BA 17 as well. This will be the only opportunity to have a guaranteed draft pour.

Although we will be tapping kegs on Friday and Saturday as well, this will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Bottles can be picked up anytime between Thursday, April 3rd and Saturday, April 12th during normal tasting room hours. Any bottles remaining after Saturday, April 12th will go on sale in our tasting room Wednesday, April 16th.

Option #2: LOTTERY
This year, we are also incorporating a lottery system into our barrel-aged releases. When the lottery becomes active, there will be a link on the homepage of our website (www.perennialbeer.com). You will be asked to provide your name and email address. Multiple entries will be discarded. One entry per person, please.

The lottery will be open from 12:00 AM Sunday, March 23rd-12:00 AM Sunday, March 30th. Names will be randomly selected on Sunday, March 30th and all entrants will be notified immediately. If your name is selected, you will have the ability to purchase a full two bottle allocation.

Bottles will be available for pick up/purchase Friday, April 4th-Saturday, April 12th during normal tasting room hours. An original, photocopied or mobile photo of valid state ID of the winner and a copy of the email announcing them as a winner will be required upon pickup and purchase of each bottle. Any unclaimed bottles will go on sale in our tasting room Wednesday, April 16th.

Even if you have reserved your bottles with option #1, you will still be allowed to enter the lottery!


And for those of you that are wondering, Barrel-Aged Sump Coffee Stout will be released May 1st-3rd and Barrel-Aged Abraxas will be released June 5th-7th. Look for more details about these two releases in April!

2ndshiftlogoLet’s be honest, when a bar announces a tap takeover, it usually only means a significant portion of the taps are from a single brewery.  And while that’s certainly cool, you don’t really see a lot of true tap takeovers.

When you only have six well-curated taps like 33 Wine Bar, doing a tap takeover becomes a lot easier.  This Saturday, March 15th, 2nd Shift Brewing will be hosting a tap takeover at 33 Wine Bar in Lafayette Square.

Beginning at 3:30PM, 33 will have six different 2nd Shift beers on tap.  Here’s the line-up of beers that will be tapped throughout the evening:

  • Katy
  • Tart Hibiscus Wit
  • Art of Neurosis
  • LSD
  • LSD w/ @BlueprintCoffee
  • Green Bird Gose
  • Smoke & Mirrors

In case you missed it, Todd Alström (of Beer Advocate fame) tweeted the following about the Blueprint Coffee LSD on Thursday:

 

Todd now knows what a lot of us know, 2nd Shift kicks ass. If you’re a fan of 2nd Shift, don’t miss out on this takeover at 33 this Saturday.

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: Perennial Aria, Perennial Saison de Lis, Redhook KCCO Black Lager, Bell’s Consecrator Doppelbock, and Spaten Munich Dunkel . Additional information can be found at their blog.

Cathedral Square‘s Jerad Gardner will be at Schnucks Des Peres today from 3-5PM. 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.