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“Making friends is our business.” – Adolphus Busch

Though I’m not entirely sure that New Belgium Brewing‘s Lauren Salazar would approve of being compared to one of the beer czars of old, she’s certainly made a lot of friends in the beer business.  In fact, I’d argue she’s one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met in the beer world.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Lauren, well, here’s your chance.  Starting today New Belgium’s Wood Beer Specialists Lauren Salazar and Ted Peterson will be in St. Louis to do a bunch of events in the area. Here’s a rundown of everything going on:

Wednesday, January 6th
Meet the Brewers at Three Kings w/Perennial Artisan Ales 7:30-9:30pm
Lauren Salazar & Ted Peterson, New Belgium’s Wood Beer Specialists and Phil Wymore, Co-Owner of Perennial Artisan Ales

Featuring: Love Felix Apple, Le Terroir, Bier de Mars, Blackberry Barleywine, Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout on Nitro & a special test batch keg of Clutch, and a keg of Perennial Blue Label Maman

Thursday, January 7th
Sour Symposium at Bridge 4-6pm & 7-9pm

Guests will go through the art of blending beer from grain to glass focusing on techniques Lauren and Ted use in New Belgium’s cellar. Attendees will also get to blend their own sour beers using different samples of unblended base beers kept in individual foeders of the brewery’s cellar and document their blend ratios to see who has what it takes to be the next Master Blender.

Full details and to purchase tickets please visit: http://stlsoursymposium.brownpapertickets.com

After Party to immediately follow the close of the 7-9pm session at Bridge

Friday, January 8th
Schnucks Des Peres 5-7pm
Lauren Salazar & Ted Peterson will be talking about New Belgium, brewing and upcoming beers!

Featuring samples of: Love Felix Peach, Le Terroir, La Folie and a sneak peak of new releases, Glutiny & Citradelic!

itap-LOGO

I’m usually the first person to admit when I’m wrong. Nothing wrong with making a mistake, that’s how we all learn. I will fully admit I was wrong way back in 2009 when the International Tap House in Chesterfield opened.

I thought to myself, “No way this works.”  It’s not that I didn’t trust what co-owners Brad Lobdell and Sean Conroy were doing. It’s not that I didn’t think they could run a bar.  I honestly didn’t trust the St. Louis drinking public to embrace this new kind of bar.

In hindsight, it’s all rather genius.  A beer focused solely on craft beer.  No food, no brewery-on-premise, no gimmicks; just a bar serving awesome craft beer.

Brad and Sean will be the first to admit the concept of a craft-focused bar wasn’t a unique idea.  But opening this kind of bar right on the cusp of a beer Renaissance in St. Louis forever changed how craft beer was viewed in St. Louis.

Five years later, Brad and Sean proved a lot of people wrong. And now it’s time to celebrate how wrong many of us were. To celebrate five years, iTAP Chesterfield will be throwing a week-long celebration.  Here’s the line-up of events:

Sunday February 2nd Super Bowl – Super Share 3PM

  • Bottle Share
  • Homebrew Share
  • Pot Luck

The event will last throughout the Super Bowl and we encourage everyone to bring in a rare/special bottle or even a homebrew for a “kick-off” toast to our 5 years of being open! We’ll also be having a pot luck, so if you’re a good cook, bring plenty to share!

Monday February 3rd – “Memory Monday” 6pm

  • 1/2 off all the taps
  • Original beer lineup (or close as we can)
  • DJ Randall at 8pm

We’ll be bringing back our very first draft lineup we had back in 2009, or as close as we can get to it! You’ll be surprised by how far we’ve come in our beer choices in St. Louis! ALL taps will be ½ off.

Tuesday February 4th -Bell’s Takeover 6pm

  • Cherry Stout
  • Expedition Stout
  • Java Stout
  • Black Note

Bell’s Trip Giveaway*:
-One night stay at a hotel
-Brewery Tour
-$100 gift certificate
-$100 gas card
*winner for trip will be chosen at 8pm – enter by buying a bell’s beer

We’re giving away a trip for two to Bell’s Brewery in Michigan! All you have to do is drink Bell’s beer at our Chesterfield or Soulard location now until 2/3/14 to be entered. Winner will be chosen at 8pm on 2/4 and you must be present to win! Also enjoy some of Bell’s special release beers.

Wednesday February 5th –Perennial/Abraxas Night 6pm

  • Abraxas 2013
  • Abraxas Vanilla
  • Abraxas Coffee
  • 17
  • Peach Berliner Wiesse
  • MAYBE Fantastic Voyage –(have to wait to see if Cory thinks it is good)

The Perennial team will be celebrating with us on Wednesday by sharing some of their most sought after Abraxas variants: including the 2013 release, Abraxas Vanilla, and Abraxas Coffee. Other special release offerings by Perennial will also be on draft.

Thursday February 6th – Boulevard & Passport Appreciation 6pm

  • Saison Bret3
  • Chocolate Ale (stl launch party)
  • Foeder Projekt

Brewer Jeremy Danner will be traveling to St. Louis to party with us at iTap. We’ll be featuring some awesome special releases including 2013 Saison Brett, the release of 2014 Chocolate Ale, and an exclusive Keg of Foeder Projekt (very rare wood barrel-aged series). We’ll also be showing our Passport Members some love with a limited edition iTap 5-year t-shirt.

Friday February 7th – Firkin Friday 4pm

  • 4 Hands – making us a special IPA Variation
  • New Holland Dragon’s Milk
  • 2nd Shift LSD with Blue Print Coffee
  • Left Hand Milk Stout

Some of our favorite breweries are kind enough to give us super fresh Casks of their beer. What better way to celebrate the Friday of our 5 year anniversary?

Saturday February 8th –Celebrity Bartender 12pm

  • 12pm – Brad, Sean, & Greg
  • 1:30pm – Cory and Karen King
  • 3pm – Tracy, Jon, & Lisa
  • 4:30pm – Jason & Caitlin
  • Music by Adam Stanley at 3pm

To bring an end to the week of iTap beer drinking, we are throwing some familiar faces back behind the bar. There will also be some free food at 1pm for all to enjoy. Bartenders will pick the beer special during their shift. This gang is sure to not disappoint!

Shelton_Bros_LogoBack in October we told you about the return of Shelton Brothers Importers to Missouri. Anyone could just drop some new beers into the market, but if you really want to be part of the community, it’s all about putting on some events.

I guess it’s good Shelton Brothers Missouri’s rep Mark Reinwald has lined up some awesome events over the next couple of weeks that will make a lot of beer nerds happy. Here’s what’s coming:

  • Tap Takeover at Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar on Wednesday, January 22nd. Tou sour beer fans won’t want to miss it! Starts at 6PM. Here’s the tap list:
    • Prairie Ale.
    • Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire.
    • Mikkeller Limoncello.
    • Mikkeller/Amager Hr. Frederiksen Vaesel Brunch.
    • Kerkom Winterkonniske.
    • Nogne India Saison.
    • Cantillon Iris.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Tap Takeover at International Tap House Central West End on Thursday, January 23rd. Come out and meet brewmaster Chase Healey! Tapping Prairie Ale, The Beer That Saved Christmas, Funky Galaxy, and Bomb! And it’s a Keep The Glass night, too! Starts at 6PM.
  • Flying Saucer Brewery Night on Wednesday, February 5th. We’ll be featuring Jolly Pumpkin and you get to keep the glass! Starts at 7PM.

perennialHow are you? No really, how are you doing? Hopefully the answer is: “Super awesome fantastico.” You know who else cares about you? Perennial Artisan Ales.

To thank you and their customers for being super swell people, Perennial is throwing a series of events that they’re calling Thank You STL Day. Beginning at 4PM tomorrow, Perennial is breaking out some super cool beers to thank their hometown supporters. Here’s a list:

4PM – Crow’s Nest to have Gingerbread Stout
6PM – Twin Oak to have Tropical Fruit Saison
8PM – iTAP Soulard to have a very special BA beer

I’ve heard what that special beer is and let me tell you, it’s pretty special. BUt I’ve been sworn to secrecy, so if you want to find out what it is, you may want to visit iTAP tomorrow night. But why stop at just iTAP, there are going to be some very cool beers at Crow’s Nest and Twin Oak as well.

What a way to say, “Thank you.”

More breweries in town means we’re never at a loss for things to do in the St. Louis beer scene. Never at a loss for putting on some cool events, Perennial Artisan Ales is keeping the next few weeks rather busy. Here’s a look at what’s going on:

Thursday, February 23 -Edwardsville Rollout Party at Erato 5:00-??
To kick off their entry into the Illinois market, Perennial is throwing a little party at Erato on Main. They will have Hommel, Saison de Lis, Plan B & Black Walnut Dunkel on tap. There will also be some giveaways including shirts, hoodies and a Private Tour & Tasting for Ten.

Saturday, February 25th – Perfect Your Palette 4:00-6:30 in the cellar

“Perfect your Palette is a hybrid art class/wine and beer tasting. The celebration of art in all forms is a large part of what Perfect your Palette is about. We hope to cultivate students that enjoy all things fresh and innovative.

Perfect your Palette will teach people the basic techniques for creating a strong, personal piece of art. You’re not just there to have a drink or paint, you are there to be around people who are passionate about life’s most flavorful experiences. Whether you are passionate about art, wine or beer, we will strive to combine all of these passions into one experience.”

Visit www.perfectyourpalette.com to sign up!

Wednesday, February 29th – Beer School at Cicero’s

Tuesday, March 6 – 6:30 Perennial Beer vs. Harsha Wine Dinner at Perennial

This will be a four courses from John Perkins & Entre, each paired with a Perennial beer and a wine from Harsha Wines. $60 plus tax & gratuity. Hosted by Perennial (with special guest, Mike Sweeney:) and Kyle Harsha. Call 314-631-7300 or email info@perennialbeer.com for more info/reservations.

It’s amazing how quickly the disparity between breweries available in Missouri and Illinois is quickly getting smaller and smaller.  Many beers that were once only available to us in Southern Illinois have quickly found their way into the St. Louis market.

One of those brands that’s made the journey across the river is Summit Brewing Company.  To celebrate the release of the newest brewery in St. Louis, Summit Distributing (no relation) is throwing a few launch parties today and tomorrow around the area.  Here’s a list of events going down:

Today
5:30 – 6:30 Cicero’s  (Extra Pale Ale & Oatmeal Stout)
6:45 – 7:45 Blueberry Hill (Extra Pale Ale)
8:00 – 9:00 Three Kings  (Oatmeal Stout)

Tomorrow
5:30 – Chesterfield International Tap House (Extra Pale Ale & Oatmeal Stout)
8:00 – Soulard International Tap House (Extra Pale Ale & Oatmeal Stout)

I’m being told this initial launch will feature only draught product and that bottles won’t be far behind. It’s always great to have another excellent brewery in St. Louis and these launch parties will give you a great opportunity to try some of Summit’s fine beer.

It’s time to welcome the newest brewery to the St. Louis area. Ladies and gentlemen let’s give it up to Firestone Walker Brewing Company! To celebrate the arrival of this west coast behemoth, Major Brands has worked to put on a number of events around the area. Here’s a list:

  • Monday 3/14 – Wine & Cheese Place, Clayton – tasting 5pm – 7pm
  • Monday 3/14 – The Bridge promo scheduled, 7PM
  • Tuesday 3/15 – Lukas Liquor tasting scheduled 4pm – 6pm
  • Tuesday 3/15 – iTap Chesterfield promo scheduled 5pm – 7pm
  • Tuesday 3/15 – iTap Soulard promo scheduled 8pm – 11pm
  • Wednesday 3/16 – Cicero’s Beer School, 5:30pm – 7pm

Each of these events should provide an excellent chance to try a number of different Firestone Walker beers along with beers from the Nectar Ales line.  Here’s a list of beers that have made their way into Major Brands warehouse:

  • Anniversary #14
  • Abacus
  • Double Jack Imperial IPA (draught and bottles)
  • Walker Reserve Porter
  • Nectar Hemp (draught and bottles)
  • Nectar IPA (draught and bottles)

I know there are a few things missing on this list, but we should hopefully be seeing them in St. Louis soon. Can’t wait to see some of these beers around town.