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wineandcheeselogo_128x80.jpgIn honor of their thirtieth anniversary, The Wine and Cheese Place began working with local brewers to create very special collaborations featuring beers being aged in a number of different barrels. Well, they’ve continued the fun by partnering with Schlafly to release Volume II of their bourbon-barrel aged Quad.

Only a very, very limited number of these bottles have been created, which means they’re going to be very difficult to get. But here’s your chance to not only have first crack a purchasing one of these limited bottles but to also attend the release party taking place this Friday and have your first chance to try this new version of the classic beer.

Send an email to contest@stlhops.com with the subject of Schlafly BBQ, I’ll randomly pick two winners on Friday, January 17th at 9AM. A couple of quick notes:

  • If you’ve won something from STL Hops in the past 6 months, please be cool and let someone else enter.
  • If you can’t attend, please don’t enter.
  • You must be 21 or older to enter.
  • No multiple entries.

Big thanks to Paul Hayden from The Wine and Cheese Place for donating the two tickets to the party.

wineandcheeselogo_128x80.jpgIn honor of their thirtieth anniversary, The Wine and Cheese Place is working with local brewers to create very special collaborations featuring beers being aged in a number of different barrels. Well, the first one featuring the Schlafly Quad, which was aged in Buffalo Trace barrels for almost 6 months, is ready for release.

Only a very, very limited number of these bottles have been created, which means they’re going to be very difficult to get. But here’s your chance to not only have first crack a purchasing one of these limited bottles but to also attend the release party taking place this Friday (hosted by Schlafly’s Dan Kopman) and have your first chance to try this beer.

Send an email to contest@stlhops.com with the subject of Schlafly BBQ, I’ll randomly pick two winners on Thursday, February 16th at 3PM. A couple of quick notes:

  • If you’ve won something from STL Hops in the past 6 months, please be cool and let someone else enter.
  • If you can’t attend, please don’t enter.
  • You must be 21 or older to enter.
  • No multiple entries.

Big thanks to Paul Hayden from The Wine and Cheese Place for donating the two tickets to the party.

image080.jpgAs it’s the second Tuesday of the month, that must mean it’s time for Cask Night at the Schlafly Bottleworks. Tonight will provide you with a chance to try a traditional ale, similar to what you would have found before the days of stainless steel and forced carbonation.

Tonight’s cask will be the Old Ale (aka: Schnucks Culinaria Holiday Ale).  They’ll tap the cask at 6PM.

If you’re not clear on what cask beer is, here’s a little information from Schlafly’s VP Dan Kopman on how they create their cask beer:

We take beer off the sample point at that 5 day point where the primary fermentation is complete and yeast and sugar still remain. We then simply bung the cask and store it to allow the additional fermentation and conditioning to happen. So the beer is cask conditioned.

If we take it too late then we don’t get enough natural carbonation and we can get very flat cask ale on tap. If we take it too early the opposite. Then we dispense without CO2 or nitrogen – no cask breather. We do not add finings as I seem to be the only consumer of cask ale that is still hung up on a “bright pint”. We do not add any extra sugar to the cask or yeast.

This is an excellent opportunity to educate or re-educate yourself on just how great cask beer can be.

Tonight, from 4:30PM to 6:30PM, Dan Kopman, Vice President of Schlafly, will be on hand at the Wine and Cheese Place in Forsyth for a very special sampling of Schlafly beers.  Not only will Dan offer up samples of Schlafly’s insanely popular year-round beers, but they’ll also be hitting up some big bottles as well.

Tonight is your chance to sample a vertical of the 2006 through 2011 Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. You’ll also have the opportunity to sample the 2006 through 2011 Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine.  And if that isn’t enough to whet your palate, you’ll also be able to sample the newest the last of their 20th Anniversary series of beers, the Southern Hemisphere IPA.

Needless to say, this is a very rare and very cool opportunity to try some very special Schlafly beers. Don’t miss this event if you have a chance to visit the Wine and Cheese Place.

ciceros.jpg Cicero’s Italian Restaurant continues their Winter Beer School semester this Wednesday from 5:30-6:30PM. Cicero’s Beer School provides background about beers and beer styles usually directly from people directly in the beer industry. It’s perfect opportunity to learn more about a style you’re unfamiliar with or to just brush up on a style you haven’t enjoyed in a while.

This week’s school will be hosted by Dan Kopman of Schlafly. Dan will be on hand to discuss and sample some of the beers from Schlafly, including the Raspberry Hefe, Pale Ale, Scotch Ale and Oatmeal Stout.. Go out and take advantage of one of the few places where you can drink and learn!

If you can’t make it out to the Beer School, you can check out all of the classes via podcast at Cicerosbeerschool.com.

Tonight, from 4:30PM to 6:30PM, Dan Kopman, Vice President of Schlafly, will be on hand at the Wine and Cheese Place in Forsyth for a very special sampling of Schlafly beers.  Not only will Dan offer up samples of Schlafly’s insanely popular flagship Pale Ale, but they’ll also be hitting up some big bottles as well.

Tonight is your chance to sample a vertical of the 2006 through 2010 Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. You’ll also have the opportunity to sample the 2007 through 2009 Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine.  And if that isn’t enough to whet your palate, you’ll also be able to sample the newest their newest creation, the 20th Anniversary Imperial Pilsner.

Needless to say, this is a very rare and very cool opportunity to try some very special Schlafly beers.  Don’t miss this event if you have a chance to visit the Wine and Cheese Place.

When the Schlafly Tap Room began the Schlafly Reserve Series back in 2006, they bought a few bourbon barrels to age the Schlafly Reserve Imperial Stout in.  As the beers grew in popularity, so did the number of barrels needing to be purchased.

The problem with using barrels to age beer in is that it’s a one time deal.  When the barrels arrive from the distillery the woods has been exposed to the high-alcohol bourbon so any microorganism, such as wild yeast or bacteria, has pretty much been killed off, leaving the barrel clean and ready to be used.

But once you’ve used the barrel for aging beer, it’s a different story.  The alcohol in the beer isn’t high enough to kill off these micro-pests so they’re forced to buy new barrels.

As you can imagine, being able to use these barrels only a single time is not only wasteful, but expensive.  But what if you could use the wild yeast to your benefit?  I’m proud to announce the debut of the first step in the Schlafly Sour Beer Program.

As part of a half-million dollar upgrade to the Schlafly Tap Room, the very rarely seen boiler room, which is located under the beer garden, will be cleaned up and will be the home of this exciting new program.  New equipment will be purchased, new racks for barrels will be installed, and new draught lines will be put in to accommodate these new beers.

The first step of this new program began back on 03/31/2010 when a special blend of Belgian Single (which had already been fermented out) was added to four different bourbon barrels that underwent a cleaning and a conditioning.  It was at that point that three different strains of Brettanomyces were each added to separate barrels, with one barrel being left alone as a control.

The three different strains of Brett that were added were: Claussenii, Lambicus, and Bruxellensis. It’s important to note that Brettanomyces doesn’t necessarily add sourness to a beer, it usually adds a layer of funk. But, that doesn’t mean that certain lactic acid producing bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Pediococcus couldn’t possibly show up as the beer sits.

As for the release of these beers, that’s going to take some time. “From a brewing standpoint, I really want to give our folks some time to do it right. I want to make sure our guys have the tools to do this the right way,” says Schlafly Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Kopman.

For more information about sour beers in St. Louis, be certain to check out the September issue of Feast Magazine. Feast will be offering up a look at this very interesting beer style along with additional information about Schlafly’s Hop in the City festival beer, the Oud Bruin.