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qandbrewI’m happy to announce that the winner of two tickets to this Saturday’s Q & Brew in the Lou is Dave T!  Congrats to Dave and thank you to everyone who entered.

I want to once again thank the fine folks at the RFT for providing the tickets to this event. If you weren’t lucky enough to win you can get $5 off your ticket by using the code STLHOPS (until Thursday, 8/21 at 10PM). Buy tickets here.

Thanks again to everyone and you can look forward to more contests soon!

qandbrewQ & Brew in the Lou is taking place this Saturday and you were probably looking to buy some tickets. What if you could win them instead? Well today is your lucky day, as I’m giving away a set of passes to Saturday session of this celebration of smoke and hops.

This $50 value will allow you to partake in this fun festival. All you need to do is email contest@stlhops.com with the subject of Q and Brew.  

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 follow the bolded directions above. If you don’t follow the rules, you’re automatically disqualified.
  • You must be 21 or older to enter.
  • No multiple entries.

I want to thank the fine folks putting on the RFT for providing the tickets to this event. This contest will end on August 21st at 9AM CDT when I will pick a winner at random for each set of tickets.

If you don’t trust your luck, for a limited time (until Thursday, 8/21 at 10PM) you can get $5 off your ticket by using the code STLHOPS. Buy tickets here.

Here’s a look at the beer list for the festival:

4 Hands Brewing Co. – Single Speed, Contact
Alpha Brewing Co. – Belgian Black IPA, Liberty Brown Ale, Gameday Red Ale
Boulevard Brewing Co. – Pop Up IPA, Ginger – Radler
Cathedral Square: Hail Mary IPA, Begian Styles White IPA
Charleville Brewing Co. – Hoptimistic IPA, Half Wit Wheat
Crispin: Crispin Original, Crispin Pear, Crispin Black Berry, Crispin Honey Crisp
Exit 6 Brewery: Vanilla Cream Ale, TBFIE, Ryane’s Red
Excel Brewing Co. –  Eastside IPA, Oktoberfest, and Flash Bang.
Ferguson Brewing Co. – Pecan Brown Ale, Lemon Grass Saison, Belgian IPA
Goose Island Beer Co. – 312, 312 Pale Ale, Endless IPA
Granite City Brewery: Northern Lager, The Bennie, The Duke, Bourbon Brown Ale
Griesedieck Brothers Brewery: Golden Pilsner, Unfiltered Bavarian-style Wheat
Kirkwood Station: Blackberry Wit, Rye IPA
Kraftig: Kraftig, Kraftig Light
Modern Brewery: Saison, Pale Ale, Modern/Kuva Collaboration, Hickory Smoked Baltic Porter
Morgan Street Brewery: Virgin Territory: IPA, Lactovision: Sour Belgian, Oktoberfest: Marzen
O’Fallon Brewery: Zeke’s Pale Ale, Berry Best, Wheach
Schlafly Beer: Pumpkin Ale, Dry-Hopped APA, Lewis Osterweis Hard Ginger Beer
Shock Top: Belgian White, Honeycrisp Apple Wheat, Honey Bourbon
Six Row Brewing Co. – Punktoberfest, Arch Nemesis Midnight
Square One Brewery: Oh Hawaii American Wheat Beer, American Style IPA
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. – Stammtisch (German Pilsner), Ku’Damm (Berliner Weisse)

qandbrewEvery time the topic of some of the best food and beer pairings comes up, I almost immediate discuss one of my favorites: beer and BBQ.  There is something about smoky meat and beer that makes me happy.

The Riverfront Times must have been reading my mind when they decided to put on their first craft beer and BBQ event that they’re calling Q & Brew in the Lou. This event will be taking place on Saturday, August 23rd from 4PM to 8PM at the St. Louis Union Station South Plaza.

Your $25 ticket (or $30 at the door) will get you unlimited samples of beer from over 20 breweries. BBQ will be available for purchase if you’re looking for that great pairing. There is also a VIP ticket for $55 for those ballers out there. A list of the breweries include:

  • 4 Hands
  • Boulevard
  • Cathedral Square
  • Charleville
  • Excel
  • Exit 6
  • Ferguson
  • Goose Island
  • Kirkwood Station
  • Morgan Street
  • O’Fallon
  • Schlafly
  • Six Row
  • Square One
  • UCBC

But there’s more! For a limited time (until Saturday, 8/9) you can get $5 off your ticket by using the code STLHOPS. If that’s not enough, stay tuned next week for a contest where we’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to the event!

As reported by the Riverfront Times’ Gut Check (and I guess also the St. Louis Business Journal, but it can’t be seen online) it looks like St. Louis is getting our own Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. If you’re not aware of the Flying Saucer, it’s a chain of restaurants mainly located in the south that have a heavy emphasis on craft beer.

When I last visited the Kansas City Flying Saucer, they looked to have about 200 bottles and 100 draught lines. If the St. Louis location, which looks to be going in at 1120 Spruce Street downtown, has that many taps, it’ll easily be the largest amount of draught beer available in St. Louis.

Now, the discussion that’s popped up around the Flying Saucer has certainly been chain vs. local. As many of you know, we have more than few spots that have plenty of craft beer available. Some may ask, why do we need another. In my eyes, the biggest (and best) thing about the Flying Saucer is the location.

Without a doubt, this location is going to attract a big crowd around Cardinal games. For those of us singing the praises of craft beer, having more people exposed to craft is only going to help us all in the long run.

I was a big fan of the Kansas City location and absolutely look forward to the St. Louis location. Can’t wait to get beamed up.

If you’re a food nerd (and if you use the phrase “foodie” you’re probably not) then you’re well aware of Eater.com. If not, well Eater is easily one of the largest food news/rumor/humor websites on the internet.

So, when Eater reached out to the Riverfront Times Food Critic Ian Froeb to get the scoop on what trends are happening in our humble little ‘burb, Ian had a clear answer: craft beer. Of all of the things going on in our fair town, it’s safe to say that craft beer is easily one of the hottest commodities we’ve got going.

Ian talks about the community that has grown up around the craft beer scene here and even throws a bone to us fine folks at STL Hops. Make sure to give it a read, we’re big time now!

stable_128x126.jpgYou have to give it to The Stable’s beverage manager Jerad Gardner, he’s not one to rest upon the 2008 Best Beer Selection award from the Riverfront Times, he’s always trying to push the envelope.

When someone from the STL Hops Forums is looking for Capt. Sig’s Deadliest Ale from Rogue Brewing, Jerad finds a way to bring a keg in.  So it should be no surprise that his newest creation tugs at the beer geek’s heart.

Starting this Friday, Jerad begins a series of events he calls “Firkin Fridays.”  Over a number of different Fridays, Jerad will be bringing in different cask ales from different breweries around the nation.  This Friday, May 15th, beginning at 7PM, you’ll have a chance to purchase pints of Left Hand Brewing’s Sawtooth cask ale.

Many of us have been begging for more cask ale in the St. Louis area and Jerad, as always, has been listening.

rft2008.jpgAh yes, the yearly “Best of” list from the Riverfront Times. If you were reading STL hops way back last year, you may remember I had a few gripes with last year’s lists. So how does the RFT do this year? (And yes, I’m choosing to ignore the people’s choice stuff.)

Best Beer Selection in a Restaurant
The Shaved Duck

Where do you find the beer list in most St. Louis restaurants? On the last page of the wine list – if you’re lucky. More often than not, it exists only in your server’s brain. It’s not too tough, after all, to commit to memory a “selection” of Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select. A server might try to memorize the beer list at the Shaved Duck. A photographic memory would help. The new gastropub in Tower Grove East stocks a terrific selection of beers. It’s not the longest in town, but it’s curated with great care. American craft beers are featured, from local folks like Schlafly and O’Fallon to industry “giants” like Bell’s, New Belgium and Anchor Steam to lesser-known but not lesser lights like Charleville and North Coast. There are only four taps, but the restaurant rotates in new brews with some regularity – all the more reason to return again and again.

Be still my heart. This is a category I suggested last year and low and behold and to see it actually in print brings a tear to my eye. As for the selection? Brilliant. I mean, let’s be honest, if we had seen The Stable, Erato on Main, Mangia Italiano or the Rotten Apple as the winner, would we have been any less happy? We’ve become very fortunate in the past year to see so many new restaurants pop up that really put an emphasis on great beer. I’m glad to see the RFT recognize that. continue reading…