Of all of the people I’ve met during my time of writing STL Hops, one of the coolest people I’ve gotten to hang out with has to be Drew Huerter. For those that don’t know, Drew was the head brewer at the now defunct Mattingly Brewing Company and also a brewer at Schlafly.
So, it’s with a bit of sadness that I announce that Drew will be leaving St. Louis and heading onto bigger things in Texas. Drew passed along a letter to everyone that I couldn’t edit even if I wanted to:
“I don’t know how I’m gonna tell you,
I can’t play with you no more”
– Led Zeppelin, That’s the Way
I certainly didn’t expect this, not now, at least. Things are just now starting to take a turn for the magnificent. The tide of ignorance and apathy I’ve fought since 2004 is waning, and faster by the month. I certainly never expected to leave at the turn of the tide. Yet tides are a funny thing. The currents and winds of this life have charted my next course, and the currents bring me to Dallas, Texas in their time of great thirst. I suppose I should start earlier…
- 1983 – The first batch of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine is released. Drew Huerter is born. Coincidence?
- September 1984 – Drew’s father, Dan wins 1st place for American Style Lager in the National Homebrewing Championships
- September 13, 2004 – Drew turns 21 years old
- September 19, 2004 – Drew attends his first beer festival, HOP in the City, and before the session ends has a fully crystallized fantasty of one day working for Schlafly.
- December 20, 2004 – Nexus of the universe, two generations of Huerters seize the day and venture into the Rager’s homebrew shop (yes, those Ragers, of the IBU formula) and assembled the ingredients to make about 5 gallons of American Amber. It turns out well.
- June 16, 2005 – Drew gets his first homebrewing ‘setup’ finished and makes an open fermented Weissbier, and it is drinkable. It is brewed and fermented in the Moolah Temple Apartment 3H.
- July 1, 2005 – Drew goes completely off the deep end with his third batch, a 15% ABV Oak Aged, Dry hopped Belgian Dark Strong ale with staggered sugar additions. There are still a few bottles of ‘Recurring Fantasty’ stashed away.
- December 22, 2005 – First homebrewing award received for Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Imperial Stout with 100+ IBUs of Centennials in the HHHC Spice/Herb/Veggie category.
- April, 2006 – Narrow miss for the medals in Category 23: Specialty Beers at NHCs for Imperial Oatmeal American Brown, finishes 5th due to ‘lack of oatmeal flavor’.
- September 11, 2007 – Drafted to the big leagues at the Morgan Street Brewery. Aside – some guy starts a St. Louis centric beer website around this time.
- March 18, 2008 – Brought into the rotation at the Schlafly Taproom.
- December 31, 2008 – First full production batch of Mattingly Brewing Company Beer reaches the taps: BrightSide Belgian White.
- July 1, 2010 – Mattingly Brewing Company closes after releasing over 75 different beers. Burn Ward Wheat relased.
- February 9, 2011 – Drew’s Last Day at the Schlafly Bottlworks.
To be on the front lines of the Craft Beer Revolution with such a passionate bunch has been an absolute blast. Brewing for and drinking with the members of this community has been outlandishly rewarding, fun and fulfilling.
So it is both with a heavy heart, but a soaring spirit that I take flight from this wonderfully weird flock. My incredibly patient and wonderful wife, Julie, and I will migrate south for the foreseeable future. The good news is that I will be building out and will be running a new production brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing Company. Yes, we will be bottling. Yes, the lineup will be ambitious, creative, daring and boundary pushing. The opportunity had to be progressive and vast to lure me away from the city and the community that have made me feel so welcome. This will be nothing less.
Anyway, I am honored to take a great risk in the path blazed our forefathers at Sierra Nevada, Boulder Brewing, Widmer, Goose Island, New Albion, Anderson Valley, Anchor, Bell’s, Boston Beer and countless other pioneers. I will miss this community, this family, dearly, but I can only hope to cultivate such a caring and passionate group of beer lovers as I’ve been lucky enough to call friends, here in St. Louis.
Cheers and beers,
PS Schlafly 20th Anniversary Volume #4? I have doubts that will be my last collaboration in this town!
Drew also let me know that the ‘Swan Song’ Belgo-American Rye IPA collaboration that he did with Dave Johnson at Buffalo should be tapped today.
A hearty good luck from me, Drew, I know we all look forward to trying some of your amazing creations in the future.