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Category: Brewery News

narrowgaugeIt’s been a long time coming, but the boys at Cugino’s in Florissant are ready to officially launch Narrow Gauge Brewing Company this Thursday, June 16th. If you’ve been paying attention, there has been a lot of buzz developing about Head Brewer Jeff Hardesty’s beers. At the STL Hops Anniversary Party in March, Narrow Gauge nearly stole the show with their SHB (Single-Hopped Beer) Galaxy IPA and Zavtrak Imperial Stout. A few festivals later and more and more people having been asking when they’d be able to get more. Well the time is here!

The name Narrow Gauge is a tribute to the three owners’ hometown. In October 1878, the St. Louis and Suburban Railway, one of several independent rail car lines in the area at the time, started narrow gauge steam railway service from Midtown to Florissant and dubbed it West End Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Cugino’s tapped two beers earlier this month. Mordecai, a juicy American Pale Ale, and Old Town Porter, a smooth Porter with just the right amount of roast. Thursday they will also have full batches of Fallen Flag American IPA and SHB: Galaxy. You can also expect small, pilot batches of Copra (a Porter brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and coconut), Pineapple Mordecai and a few other SHB variants. And they’ll be filling 32oz growlers.

So get up to Narrow Gauge tomorrow night and kick these guys off right!

While rumors of the closure of American Craft Brewing & Distilling (formerly known as The Stable) have literally circulated for years, it looks like they may have finally come true. Received a tip last evening that American Craft was closed yesterday (they’re typically open on Sundays) with the employees receiving no answer when trying to reach the owners by phone.

Any attempts to visit for lunch today proved fruitless as the door appears to be locked at 12PM. Posted hours have been removed and equipment seems to be stacked in their patio. Calls to the restaurant were not picked up. While there is no definitive proof American Craft is officially closed, this certainly does not look to be good news.  More information as we have it.

I know I’ve talked about it ad nauseum, but I’m just so, so amazed how much awesome beer stuff has been happening in St. Louis in 2011. One of the coolest things has been that we’ve seen four new breweries open in our area this year.

Well, tonight we can now say there are five new breweries that have opened in 2011. I’m happy to announce that 4 Hands Brewing will be opening their tasting room on Thursday, December 15th at 3PM.

Moving forward the hours of operation at 4 Hands will be Wed-Fri 3PM – 11PM and Saturday 1PM-11PM. They will also be cash only their first week of operation with credit cards being accepted as early as next week.

While many of us had a sneak preview of their pilot beers at their soft opening back in November, this is official opening and your first chance to try their production beers. While all of their beers won’t be available at the start, you will be able to sip on the Reprise Centennial Red, Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown Ale, and Divided Sky Rye when the doors open. Here are some descriptions of three of their four core beers:

Reprise Centennial Red Ale – The Centennial hop is the centerpiece of our American Red Ale. Reprise pushes the limits of a single hop with an amazing bouquet and stunning bitterness all the way through. The citrus character provides an experience you will want to repeat. Reprise is crimson in color with aromas of citrus fruit and biscuit malts.

Divided Sky Rye IPAThis beer brings together two of our favorite ingredients; Hops and Rye – Serious hops up front provide a pungent, floral, and citrus character. We use Centennial, Cascades, and Columbus in this hop lovers dream. The rye provides a slightly spicy flavor and a full mouth-feel. Divided Sky pours straw in color with notes of tangerine, grapefruit, and pine.

Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown AleThis is one monster of a Brown Ale! We used chocolate malt and roasted barley to give this beer a cast iron backbone. Our Oatmeal brown pours a dark mahogany with aromas of dark chocolate and coffee

If you’re looking for a little sustenance while drinking on these tasty beers, 4 Hands has set up food trucks on Thursday (Guerrilla Street Food from 4:30 to 8:30 ) and Friday (Seoul Taco). There will also be live entertainment from 8PM to 11PM on Friday and Saturday.

And now that the doors are open, the next thing we’ll see is distribution in the area. Smartly, 4 Hands will be waiting until after the holidays to begin rolling out their beer on draught to the St. Louis area and then shortly after we can begin seeing it in 22oz package on store shelves.

Five new breweries in 2011. It’s been a great year for beer for all of us. I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.

buffalologo.gifFirst of all, let me just quickly say that Buffalo Brewing is not closed or closing. I tried to keep from any sort of speculation about the current state of the brewery in the last post, but obviously speculation is bound to occur. Also, let me apologize again to Dave and Dushan from Buffalo because as I mentioned in the original post it was never my intention to cause any problems.

According to Dave Johnson, Dushan (the owner of Buffalo) is looking to take on an investor to the Buffalo Brewery which will allow him to not have to spend every waking hour at the restaurant. Dushan is very devoted to Buffalo, but as you can imagine all of the hours he puts in can take a bit of a toll on him. Bringing someone else on to help with managing the place is a good way to allow him to give him a bit more free time for a personal life.

Now, if someone came to him and offered to purchase the business, this is something I’d think he’d probably consider as any good business person should. At this point it’s looking like we’ll all have hopefully have beer from Buffalo for years to come.

ld_bud_inbev_080707_mn.jpgYou may have heard by now, but Anheuser-Busch’s board of directors have approved the purchase of the company by InBev. I’ve given my thoughts on this merger in the past, but I can’t say it’s still not a bit of a sad day. As someone who’s been through a few mergers and lay-offs in my short life, my best wishes go out to all of those people currently working at AB. Feel free to leave your comments about the merger and the impact. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

As someone always looking for an upside, maybe we see more beer in St. Louis because of it?

buf2.jpgI’ve mentioned Buffalo Brewing a couple of times now, but it’s looks like we’re in the home stretch now. According to Dave from O’Fallon Brewery the final inspections are occurring and he hopes to be brewing on Sunday. Wondering what kind of beers they plan on offering? Well lucky for you, Buffalo Brewing now has a website which also provides a quick rundown of their first beer offerings:

Buffalo Gold
Is brewed with premium American barley, wheat and imported hops. This light colored ale has a light malt flavor and smooth finish
5% ABV – 15 IBU

Chili Beer
Our Fun Beer!
Is brewed with highly modified premium American Barley, wheat and imported hops. Our chili ale has a light flavor and subtle spiciness.
5% ABV- 15IBU

Buffalo Drool
Our interpretation of the American Brown Ale. It’s brewed with six American grains and American hops. Our brown ale has a strong malt backbone and slight chocolate flavor, with a hint of hops in the finish
5.5% – 15 IBU

Buffalo Red
It’s brewed with four premium American grains and premium American hops. Our red ale has a strong malt backbone and a high hop flavor.
5.6% – 30 IBU

Buffalo Drool sounds a lot like Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewery in Montana. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Moose Drool, so if Buffalo Drool is anything like it, we’re in for a treat.

Edit: Dave informed me that they’re also be carrying two seasonal beers, starting with a Bavarian Hefe and a Rye IPA.

sitelogopic.jpgAvery Brewery, the makers of Hog Heaven, Salvation and Ellie’s Brown Ale, have been sighted in Kansas City, MO. Looking at Avery’s website it looks as if Major Brands was scheduled to begin distributing them in Missouri starting this month.

With any luck we’ll be seeing them in St. Louis shortly. If you need your Avery’s fix right now though, you can easily find them at many fine Illinois vendors.