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Way back in 2010 a small group of us met in the basement of the now shuttered Mattingly Brewing Company for an event our friend Drew Huerter dubbed Big Black Beer Bash. Before the scene took off and well before bottle shares were commonplace, Big Black Beer Bash was an event to share some of the biggest blackest beers from our “cellars.” In 2011, with Mattingly Brewing having closed and Drew moving on, we moved the event to the patio of iTap Soulard on a Sunday afternoon.

The event swelled to a much larger group of like-minded beer folks sharing beers. Part of that crew that day was this guy named Cory King. At the time he was working behind the bar at iTap and none of us really realized what was to come. For a couple of years the event was moved to Perennial Artisan Ales to handle the influx of the growing scene. Fast forward to Cory and Karen starting Side Project. Cory approached us about having a smaller version of BBBB at the new Side Project Cellar in early 2015. It was one hell of a party, but the constraints of The Cellar’s size didn’t allow us to host as many folks as before.

After a year off, we’re happy to announce that we are ready to bring back Big Black Beer Bash. Cory and Karen have graciously offered up the new brewery space for the event. I’ll let Cory tell you more:

What: The Big Black Beer Bash 2017. The BBBB was started by our friend Drew Huerter, formerly of Mattingly’s and then of Schlafly, where a small group gathered in the basement of Mattingly’s to sip on bottles of big stouts, porters and barleywines during the coldest parts of the winter. After a short hiatus, we would love to bring the tradition back of opening those dusty, huge beers, that are ripe for sharing.

Where: Side Project Brewing – 7458 Manchester Road Maplewood MO 63143

When: Friday, February 10th from 4pm to 8pm

Who: Anyone who wants to attend that can bring a big beer to share! (no cost to come, but you MUST bring at least 1 bomber or 750mL to share)

Why: Because these are the best bottles for bottle shares ;).

The brewery will not be open, we will just be using the facility for the bottle share and the restrooms. No glassware will be provided. Please bring everything you would need, as if this bottle share was outside in some remote location. You can bring your own food. Just please respect our place, clean up after yourself and see you in February!

Cheers,
Cory King

If you have attended this event in the past you know it’s a great time. If you haven’t, we invite you to what we believe is one of the better bottle shares you’ll attend. So here’s to Drew Huerter and here’s to sharing some Big Black Beers. See you there!

How do you top bringing in the largest state in the union to your beer festival? You bring in the second largest state in the union.

Rumors about Texas being the next state invited to the Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition Festival swirled when it was discovered that local brewing legend Drew Huerter was moving to Dallas.

Well, last night Schlafly officially announced via their Twitter feed that we will be seeing three different breweries from the Lone Star State visiting the St. Louis area. On April 14th, we’ll be seeing: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company from Fort Worth, Real Ale Brewing out of Blanco, and of course Deep Ellum Brewing out of Dallas.

Drew Huerter is the head brewer at Deep Ellum and for many of us, this will be the first opportunity to try some of his beers since Deep Ellum opened on December 17th. I personally couldn’t be more excited about this announcement and can’t wait for April 14th to arrive.

Schlafly put out this hilarious video to announce the state, so be sure to check it out:

Drew with his Mom and Dad.

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,
Drew Huerter

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.

buffalologo.gifWorking together is one of the most impressive aspects of the craft beer industry.  They know if they don’t stick together, they could die alone.  In my opinion, there is no city in the US was this is more prevalent than in St. Louis.  I’m always impressed how these guys stick together.

It’s in this spirit of teamwork that collaborations come together.  This time around we have arguably two of the best brewers in St. Louis, Dave Johnson and Drew Huerter, working together to create a truly unique beer at Buffalo Brewing. Dave and Drew have dubbed this beer a “Belgo-American Rye IPA.”  Here’s a description of the beer from Dave:

Made with Golden Promise, Vienna, Honey Malt, and malted Rye. Then we added cane sugar, unrefined hard brown sugar, orange blossom honey, buckwheat honey and generic honey. Its hopped with Magnum, Summit, Mt. Hood, and Centennial. It should be around 6-6.5% depending on where it finishes at the OG was 14.5P.

That is a complex set of ingredients that should prove to be a very distinct end product. This beer should be released next week, so keep checking the STL Hops Twitter feed to see when it is ready to go.

This is kind of a bittersweet post.  On one hand, we’re going to be able to enjoy the Big Black Beer Bash again this year.  On the other hand, it’s a reminder that Mattingly Brewing Company is no longer with us.  But, we can use the BBBB to pour one out for our homies.

This very special version of the Big Black Beer Bash is going to be held on Sunday, January 30th beginning at 3pm at the International Tap House in Soulard.  Why is this a very special version?  Well, it’s because iTAP in Soulard isn’t open on Sunday’s, which means the following:

  • iTAP will NOT be selling beer that day.  They’re opening their doors and letting us party.
  • This event is BYOB.  You must bring at least one beer to attend the party.
  • Keep in mind the theme when you bring a beer.  Make it dark, make it black.
  • Food/snacks are absolutely welcome.
  • Make sure to be respectful. iTAP is being very generous by opening its doors.

Big thanks to Eric Hildebrandt, Cory King, Drew Huerter, and of course Brad Lobdell and Sean Conroy for bringing back this very cool event.  Can’t wait for the 30th.

mattingly_84x128.jpgAfter the sudden closure of Mattingly Brewing Company back on July 1st, one of the most popular questions was, “What’s happening to all of the beer that’s just sitting at Mattingly?”  Well, I received word yesterday that The Stable has formalized a plan to acquire the remainder of beer from Mattingly Brewery.

On Wednesday, September 1st from 6:00 – 9:00 pm The Stable will be putting on an event where they’ll be serving up Mattingly beer.  I’ve been told that Drew Huerter will be picking out what beers thet Stable will be serving and Doug Mattingly will be on hand. Beer will be $3 a pint and $10 pitchers.

As the Stable’s Brad Wheeling puts it, “We are really excited about being able to do this. It would have been a shame for all the hard work and effort that went in to creating their beer go to waste. ”

Even after the event on September 1st, it’s probably going to be likely that The Stable will still have a lot of Mattingly beer on hand.  They’ve exploring the possibility of  other events in the near future.  For those of us that didn’t get a chance, this will be a great way for us Mattingly fans to give them a proper farewell.

buffalologo.gifNothing says love in brewing like a collaboration.  In this case it’s getting awesome brewers like Drew Huerter, Dave Johnson and Jerid Saffell together to brew up a spicy witbier at Buffalo Brewing just in time for the last few days of August.

This four barrel batch of beer, which features fresh grated orange zest, hand toasted coriander, dried chamomile flowers, and Summit and Hallertau hops was fermented using the Belgian yeast culture from the now defunct Mattingly Brewing Company. According to Jerid, this will be on tap today.

Here’s the stats on this beer:
1.052 OG
16 IBUs
5.0% ABV

This sounds like a perfect treat to sit back and drink while enjoying this wonderful weather we’re having in St. Louis.