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STL Craft Beer WeekI’m sure Mike will have plenty more to say about this, but St. Louis Craft Beer Week is fast approaching. The official dates are July 29 – August 6 (so Craft Beer Week + 1 Day).

The main purpose of this heads up is that the schedule is filling in rather nicely, with 115 events on the books so far and more to come. Check out the events as they’re created on Facebook or visit the official STL Craft Beer Week website http://stlbeerweek.com/. You can also follow the twitter account @stlbeerweek for #STLCBW updates.

If you can’t find anything on the list of events that suits you, then maybe you shouldn’t be into beer anymore.

It’s been a long time coming, but here we are again to review a beer label. This should go about as well as Brett Favre playing for the Jets. Today we’re reviewing Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout.

Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout

Let me start off by saying, if you’re in the group of people that believe stouts are not summer beers, then kindly fuck off and stop reading. I’ll never understand this line of thinking. Do you stop eating soup in the summer? Do you stop drinking coffee? Do penguins just kill themselves before summer hits? No. Quit perpetuating this bullshit.

We see a very minimalist approach with this label of a solid brown color and few words. The implication here is, before noon, we drink our coffee and then after noon, we drink beer. Well, that might work for some people, but in the real world, we can’t just drink whenever we want. Most of us have jobs and families and responsibilities. This is already pissing me off and wishing I was back in college.

Java stout, huh? Are you one of those people that use the word java in place of coffee? Fuck you. I bet you also call it a “cup of joe” don’t you? Are you enjoying Joe’s jizz in your coffee? Did you know that Java is an actual place? It’s another one of those exotic islands that’s beautiful to spend a week in but is hot garbage otherwise. The only mode of transportation is a damn water buffalo and their shitty currency goes in increments of like 10,000 with pictures of dudes with machetes on them. I don’t think you want your beer associated with this hell hole.

And finally, let’s talk about the predominant color on this can: brown. Maybe it’s just me (and it usually is), but when I think of coffee I think of poop. Coffee is a proven laxative and it’s impossible to think about coffee and not wonder about the resulting butt nuggets. If you work in an office, you are well aware of the state of the bathroom and the symphony of shits that occur in the late morning. Imagine having to deal with that on Java where everybody just defecates in the neighborhood turd pond.

So here we have a label that wants us to drink 10 hours out of the day while reminding us of the consequential ass sneeze. This might be popular among alcoholic Indonesians, but I’m just a boring Midwestern dad, so I’ll move on to something else.

Civil Life Brewing

If you haven’t noticed, Civil Life is a big fan of pigs. First we had Pigs and Pints Part 1. Then we had Pigs and Pints Part 2: Electric Pigaloo. If you didn’t make it to either of these shindigs, you missed out on some great food, beer, and fun. Lucky for you, they will never stop in their quest to serve more pig.

This Saturday, July 6th, Civil Life Brewing Company will be having a South City Pig Roast. From 12:30 until the pig runs out, they will be serving 1/3lb sandwiches with 2 sides for $8 (cash only). Throw in a pint of Civil Life beer for $5 and you’ve got a meal that’s tough to beat.

Civil Life is probably the kid friendliest brewery in St. Louis, so bring the whole family down and enjoy some beer and meat this holiday weekend, just like Jesus intended when he invented the United States.

 

Heritage Tour PosterIf you weren’t aware, there’s a cool little blog on the world wide interwebs that likes to discuss the history of St. Louis and Manhattans. It’s called Distilled History and you should check it out if you feel like learning some interesting things about the history of our fair city.

One beer-relevant post he did back in October was the history of Joseph Schnaider’s Brewery and its amazing beer garden.  I’ll spare you most of the details (click here to read the post), but the beer garden was several acres big and would serve thousands of people on any given day.

There are many more interesting posts, and after reading them, you will quickly learn why it was voted as the Best Personal Blog in the 2013 RFT Web Awards.

All this back story leads to why you should take part in the Southside Brewing Heritage Tour that will be hosted by the Landmarks Association of St Louis and Distilled History on Sunday, May 19. You will tour old brewing sites and buildings that still exist all while having a few local beers on the bus.

Tickets are $45.00 for members of Landmarks Association and $55.00 for non-members. Call Landmarks Association at (314) 421-6474 or email Andrew Weil (aweil@landmarks-stl.org) at Landmarks to purchase tickets. Seats are limited and additional bar tabs at tour stops are not included. Participants must be 21 or older.

You can read some more info about the tour in Distilled History’s post here.

stlhopswikiRound 2 of the challenge is complete and we can see in the brackets what’s been happening in St. Louis the past few years. A changing of the guard is happening, and the new breweries on the block are taking over.

The old favorites, beers like O’Fallon 5 Day and Schlafly APA, which have both done well in past tournaments, have been eliminated. Ten of the sixteen beers remaining are represented by 3 breweries: 2nd Shift, 4 Hands, and Perennial. 2nd Shift alone has four beers remaining. Each year that passes, these newer breweries are getting more and more popular around town, and it shows in the brackets.

Amazingly, we see a rematch of last year’s championship matchup in the sweet 16, with Schlafly AIPA going up against 2nd Shift Art of Neurosis. The other half of the IPA bracket has 4 Hands Divided Sky vs. 2nd Shift Brew Cocky. It will be interesting to see which one of these four will be left standing next week.

Over in the Belgian bracket, 2nd Shift Katy won a very tough matchup against 4 Hands Cuvee Ange and now has to face off with Perennial Saison de Lis. And in the wildcard bracket, you have to choose between two great summer beers: Schlafly Kolsch or O’Fallon Weach.

Check out all the matchups below and help your favorites continue on.

Round Dates
Round 3 – Thu March 28
Round 4 – Mon April 1
Final Four – Thu April 4
Championship – Mon April 8

If you can’t see the poll below, click on this link to visit the website hosting it.

stlhopswikiWell, Round 1 finished without many surprises. A few interesting matchups, though, are worth talking about. (Click here for all the Round 1 results)

First, Ferguson Pecan Brown barely defeated Cathedral Square Holy Moly 50.5% to 49.5%. Ferguson Pecan is a fine beer, but I think if more people drank Holy Moly, this would’ve turned out differently. Holy Moly is arguably one of the best beers Cathedral Square has to offer and can be found for a pretty low price around town in 22 ounce bottles.

Another close finish was Civil Life English Pale (a.k.a. British Bitter) barely edging out Perennial Peach Berlinerweiss, 50.3% to 49.7%. This was a really tough call for me, and the result might have been different if this was July and it was 100 degrees out. But there is 12″ of snow on the grow so English Pale wins and moves on to face one of the annual favorites, Schlafly Pumpkin.

As each round goes by, the choices get tougher and tougher. Start voting below to help your favorites move on.

Round Dates
Round 2 – Mon March 25
Round 3 – Thu March 28
Round 4 – Mon April 1
Round 5 – Thu April 4
Championship – Mon April 8

If you can’t see the poll below, click on this link to visit the website hosting it.

Local Beer GoodDo you like beer? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But do you like food, too? Well, have I got some information for all you people who like beer AND like food. A pair of restaurants are doing beer dinners that are sure to tickle your taste buds with great food paired with local beer.

First, Five Bistro is wrapping up their series of events to benefit Tower Grove Farmers’ Market by hosting a “Pub Classics” beer dinner Thursday October 18 featuring classic dishes from the old Newstead Tower Pub paired with local beers. Beers featured in this dinner will be Urban Chestnut Oachkatzlscwoaf and Daft, Civil Life ESB, and 4 Hands Centennial Red. Check out the entire menu here (pdf). The dinner will cost $50/person (+tax and tip) and 25% of the sales are donated to the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market. Call 314-773-5553 for reservations.

Then, on Tuesday October 23, Dressel’s is having a “Locavore Beer Dinner” to celebrate the local harvest. They will be pairing beer  from your favorite local breweries with fresh local fare. Beers featured in this dinner will be Civil Life ESB, 2nd Shift Saison, Perennial Peace Offering, Urban Chestnut STLIPA, and the newly released 4 Hands Smoked Pigasus. The menu can be found here. The dinner will also be $50/person (+tax and tip) and you should email Ben Dressel at ben@dresselspublichouse.com for reservations.

If you’ve never been to a beer dinner, you should. It’s a lot of fun to see how the chefs choose to compliment the flavors of the beer with their food. Not to mention that 4 beers and 4 courses of food from these two great restaurants for only $50 is a good deal.