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At the end of 2011, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Evan Benn reported that Augusta Brewing Company would be expanding their operations to include a new brewpub in Washington, Missouri. This brewpub would take the place of the former Droege’s Grocery Store which was located in downtown Washington.

Rehabbing a 19th century building obviously takes some time, but I’m happy to announce that beginning today, Tuesday, July 17th, the new John G.’s Taproom is now officially open to the public. Located at 109 West Main Street, John G.’s will feature nine Augusta beers on draft and two guest taps.

The only thing this brewpub doesn’t currently have is a brewery. Augusta’s head brewer Shawn Herrin is expecting the new brewing equipment to arrive mid-August which he hopes will bump their current production of 500bbls per year up considerably.

For some interesting photos of the build-out of the new location, be certain to check out the Rediscovering Washington blog. If you head out, let us know what you think in the comments or on the forums.

There’s a good chance you’ve been to Midtown Alley in St. Louis and not even known it.  If you’ve visited Pappy’s Smokehouse, The Good Pie or Buffalo Brewing, you’ve visited Midtown Alley.  It’s a vibrant part of town that’s made quite a comeback in the past few years.

To celebrate this exciting rejuvenation, Midtown Alley will be throwing the 3rd Annual Midtown Alley Street Fest on October 1st from 10AM-11PM.  There will be live music on two different stages, a car show, and most importantly for us beer fans, a beer garden.

This will be a great opportunity to taste some beers from some of the best locals breweries that St. Louis has to offer.  In attendance will be: Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, Six Row Brewing, Charleville Brewery, Augusta Brewing, Ferguson Brewing, Cathedral Square Brewery, and Schlafly Brewing.

If you haven’t been to Midtown Alley, this is a great festival to see how awesome this part of town has become.  And you’ll get to drink some great beer to boot.

The Great American Beer Festival was held this past weekend in downtown Denver, while not only being a very special beer festival, also doubles as a competition for professional breweries.  The St. Louis area did pretty well this year as it had two local craft winners:

  • Category 71: Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout (23 Entries) – Gold: Hyde Park Stout Augusta Brewing Co., Washington, MO
  • Category 26: Bohemian-Style Pilsener (42 Entries) – Silver: Golden PilsnerMorgan Street Brewery, St. Louis, MO

It’s also worth noting that Flat Branch Pub and Brewery out of Columbia, MO also walked away with two awards:

  • Category 2: American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast (43 Entries) – Silver: American Hefeweizen – Flat Branch Pub and Brewery, Columbia, MO
  • Category 74: Sweet Stout (29 Entries) – Silver: Oil Change Stout – Flat Branch Pub and Brewery, Columbia, MO

Winning an award at a beer competition takes a little bit of luck but a hell of a lot of skill. Congrats to Morgan Street head brewer Marc Gottfried and Augusta head brewer Shawn Herrin on their very impressive wins. Can’t wait to enjoy both of these beers in the near future.

For those of you who didn’t have a chance to try the Sour Cherry Beer that Square One Brewery released to help celebrate St. Louis Craft Beer Week, I’ve got good news for you. According to Augusta Brewing’s Head Brewer Shawn Herrin, some of this beer was bottled and is currently bottle conditioning.

If you don’t remember, this is the description of the beer:

Brewed 3 years ago as a Tripel, then refermented with sour cherries and inoculated with a Belgian lambic blend of yeasts and bacteria. The beer was left on the cherries and pits for 8 months and then racked off into kegs, half on oak, half all stainless.

Prior to carbonating, we blended the two back together and then blended again with a recent batch of tripel. Very tart and has sharp cherry flavors along with a hint of nuttiness (from the pit) in the finish.

I had a chance to try this last week and I was very impressed with the results.  It had a wonderful tartness without every being too acidic.  It was a well crafted blend.

Before you get too excited about this coming out in bottles, I’ve been told that this will was a very limited bottling with only about 25 cases available.   As soon as I have more information about the release date and where it’ll be available, I’ll make sure to let everyone know.

freshhopFor those of you that need the final push to purchase tickets for the Schlafly Fresh Hop Ale Festival, here’s the list of beers that will be available at the event:

Amalgamated
Harvest Pale AleAn American-style Pale Ale with a large flavor addition of wet Amarillo hops. The wort was passed through the hop back packed with the wet Amarillo hops to extract and better retain the super-fresh hop character that results from using fresh, wet hops. (5.5 ABV)
Harvest ZoiglThis rare beer is a bready, malty lager with only a delicate hop flavor. Zoigl is a communal beer from the Oberpfalz region in Germany. Using these wet hops was a natural fit for a beer that focuses on the floral nature of the hops. (5% ABV)

Augusta/Square One
Hop HarvestOur IPA is brewed with 2 Row, Crystal 40 and flaked barley, along with Perle, Golding, Cascade and Amarillo hops. 30lbs of fresh Amarillo hops were added to the fermenter for additional flavor and aroma. 2009 Augusta Bottoms Beer Festival, Favorite Festival Beer

Mattingly
Hop Seeker American Strong AleOur Hop Seeker is an American Strong Ale brewed with large doses of Magnum, Chinook, Ahtanum and freshly picked whole leaf Amarillo hops added to our hopback (built just for this beer), and is kept balanced by Pale Ale, Munich, Special B Malts and raw cane sugar. Hopheads, you have found what you seek. (8% ABV, 50 IBUs)

Morgan Street
Morgan Street Fresh Hop Lager61 IBUs of Cascade hops make this pale lager intensely bitter. 30 pounds of fresh, wet Amarillo hops were added to the whirlpool and give a complex, grassy character. Finished with 8 more pounds of Cascade whole cone hops in the serving tank, this is one beer strictly for the hop lover. (61 IBUs)

O’Fallon
Extra Pale Ale2-Row 82%, Munich 10L 12%, Caramel 20L 6%, Kolsch Yeast—30 lbs of Amarillo wet hops added at the end of boil in the hop back for that straight off the vine taste.

Schlafly
Tap Room Hop Harvest AleBrewed with Centennial and Cascade hops, then wet-hopped with 30 lbs of Amarillo fresh hops. Beer has a fruity, peachy quality and is very refreshing. (6% ABV 45 IBUs)
Bottleworks Fresh Hop AleAn American Pale Ale style that is dry-hopped and wet-hopped. The wet hops include Amarillo hops and the dry hops include Amarillo, Sorachi Ace, and Cascade hops. These hops combine to give it a very floral hop aroma with touches of many different kinds on citrus. (5.4% ABV 44IBUs)

augbotlogow_barley-small-web-view.jpgLast year was my first time attending the Augusta Bottoms Beer Festival, I called it a “beerventure” which is a pretty accurate description. It’s just a nice time outdoors with beautiful weather in the Missouri Wine Country. This year’s festival is on October 4th from 12PM-5PM, ticket will run you $25. I do ask one thing, as Augusta is about a hour away from St. Louis, please make sure to have a designated driver, it’s the responsible thing to do. Here’s a run down of the breweries in attendance this year:

  • Augusta Brewing Company
  • St. Louis Brewery ~ Schlafly
  • Square One Brewery
  • Buckner Brewing Company
  • Morgan Street Brewery
  • Charleville Vineyard Winery and Brewery
  • Griesedieck Brothers Brewing
  • Anheuser Busch Michelob Specialty Brews
  • O’Fallon Brewery
  • Boulevard Brewing Company
  • Tin Mill Brewing Company
  • Buffalo Brewin

Bring your lawn chairs and your sun screen and be sure to come out. This is my second favorite beer festival in the area and I don’t think you should miss it.

“You’re dressing up tonight,” were the first words out of Irene’s mouth when I got home. It was probably a good idea, as I soon found myself rubbing elbows with many of St. Louis’ elite. While there were plenty of white tablecloths and mayors to be had, importantly enough this still felt like a beer dinner. Granted it’s difficult for it not to feel like a beer dinner when you’re sitting next to a couple of brewers.

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Left: Drew Huerter, Marc Gottfried, and Dave Johnson talk beer before the event.
Right: People mingling around the dinner tables.

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Left: The menu from the “Ultimate Beer Dinner”

 

 

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Left: Stephen and Sara Hale talking before we sit down to Sauce’s Allyson Mace and Catherine Neville.

Right: A close up of the wonderful (and expensive) table setting.

 

 

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Left: Mayor Slay helps to kick off the Brewers Heritage Festival

Right: Co-host Dave Liberman describes what went into the Ultimate Beer Dinner

 

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Marc Gottfried (Morgan Street) and Dr. John Witte (Square One, Augusta) discuss their beers while Stephen Hale demonstrates the finer points of dry hopping a beer.

 

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Four of the five courses, for some reason I completely dropped the ball and forgot to take a photo of the 5th course.

 

Also not pictured:

  • Me peeing next to Mayor Slay
  • Tom Schlafly’s after-party
  • The Alstrom Brothers

And after the break, video of Stephen Hale discussing the Biere de Garde en francias.

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