Big changes are afoot at The Stable, first bit of news is that they’re hired a new chef.  Chef Ben Welch was hired in mid-September and from what I hear he plans having an emphasis on local ingredients.  For those that loved The Stable beer selection but weren’t crazy about some of the menu options, this is welcome news.

The other big news at the Stable is that they have a new headbrewer.  If you’ve been around Schlafly or been homebrewing for any number of years, it’s a good chance you know him.  The Stable’s new headbrewer is Augie Altenbaumer.  Had a chance to sit down with Augie and ask him a few questions:

STL Hops: How long have been headbrewer at The Stable?

Augie Altenbaumer: Since about late August.

HOPS: Any big changes we should be expecting to the beer lineup?

AA: Not anything really big.  We’re still going to have an emphasis on German lagers.  We will be introducing more ales to the regular line up.  We’ll probably have an American-style IPA and a Porter on this fall.  Otherwise, we’ll still have the Märzen, Helles, and Zoigl.  We’re also looking at a few Belgian styles.

HOPS: Has brewing picked up?

AA: It’s not really picked up, but we have a much better handle on demand.  We’re still brewing about once a week.

HOPS: The Stable has a 1.5 barrel brewhouse. Has having a smaller brewhouse taught you any tricks?

AA: When you have three pots for mash and three pots for boil, you have three chances to have problems.  So we’re always looking to fine tune things.

HOPS: Well, and you also used one of your mash tuns as a hopback.

AA: Yeah, all of our pots are identical, so we can use any of them for any part of the process.  Using the mash tun as a hopback allowed us to do something new with the Wet Hopped Zoigl and the Hop Harvest Brown.

HOPS: The Stable did a little distributing in the past, might we see more of that in the future?

AA: Well, anything is possible.  But at this moment I think we’re going to be keeping everything in house.

HOPS: If the brewing job hasn’t changed, is there something new for you as a headbrewer?

AA: The biggest new thing has been paperwork.  I have to keep a close eye on doing the tax paperwork and inventory. It’s important to keep track of what you need and what you’ve used.

HOPS: Any plans for barrel aging some beer?

AA: Because The Stable makes its own [85 Lashes] rum, there will probably be some beer aged on the rum spirals at some point.

HOPS: Any last comments?

AA: I promise, for those of you that are fans, the Zoigl will not be changing.