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Tonight, starting at 6:00PM, a representative from the Schlafly will be tapping a cask of their collaboration beer, the Rye IPA and will be serving it at the Gramophone.

This beer will be available until they run out or the pub closes. My guess is that they won’t have to worry about it not running out.

buffalologo.gifIf you’re looking to recuperate from stuffing your face on Thanksgiving or from fighting people to try and get that last Dancing Fun-Time Elmo, maybe you deserve a sort of cold one.  On Friday afternoon at Buffalo Brewing Company, head brewer Dave Johnson will be cracking open a delicious cask of Buffalo Rye IPA.

According to Dave, the cask has been “triple hopped” with CTZ, Simcoe, and Cascade.  This is probably one of the best beers being made in St. Louis right now, so this is an excellent opportunity to try it in a very special way.

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…

After constantly saying, “I really need to make my way down there.” Irene and I finally had the chance to visit Buffalo Brewing a couple of weeks ago, so I though I’d share some of my thoughts and some photos.

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Buffalo Brewing Co.
3100 Olive St. (Map It)
St. Louis, MO 63103
314-534-BEER (534-2337)

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Beers:

Obviously Buffalo Brewing’s biggest draw is the fact that they provide hand-crafted fresh micro-brewed beer on premises. Their current line-up is Buffalo Gold (a pale-colored ale), Chili Beer, Buffalo Drool (a brown ale), Buffalo Red, Hefeweizen and a Rye IPA. Since the Gold was currently out, I decided to go with a sampler line-up of the five remaining beers. I’m happy to say that they were all clean-well made beers.

Judging by the menu, the Chili beers looks to be the same base recipe as the Buffalo Gold but with chili added to the beer after primary fermentation. I don’t have much experience with chili beers, but I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle chili flavor. You would just catch a hit of the heat in the back of your tongue, but it was never overpowering. It always left you wanting more.

The Drool and the Red were both solid session beers, perfect for someone who’s looking to either bring someone into the craft beer fold or for the times you want to have 2 or 3 pints without having to worry about getting fall-down drunk. The stand out beer of the evening for me was the Rye IPA. It had a wonderful floral aroma and the hops matched well with the spiciness of the rye malt.

If I had one qualm with the beer it’s with the “hefeweizen.” True hefes feature a spicy clove and banana aroma which this beer had neither of. This is just another American wheat beer. There isn’t anything wrong with it, but it’s not a hefe. (And Buffalo, you’re not the only one guilty of this, you’re just the first for me to nitpick on this detail***.)

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Food:

One of the things I couldn’t quite get over when reading through the menu was just how inexpensive things were. Irene and I had two beers, a five beer sampler, an appetizer and also two entrees and I don’t think we dropped more than 35 bucks. That’s a nice little respite over some of the prices we’ve been paying for food and beer recently. While the menu offers a lot of typical bar fare they also offer a lot of buffalo based choices if you’re looking for the taste of beef without all of the fat.

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Intangibles:

Buffalo Brewing offers a large dining room with a western motif. One issue we noticed with the indoor dining was that because of the high ceilings it can get a bit noisy at times. Buffalo also offers a nice outdoor covered patio if eating alfresco is your thing. They also have a very large bar if you’re looking to just belly up and have a few beers.

One last quick note, I stopped by Buffalo last Wednesday for a beer and was disappointed to find out that a few beers were out and were temporarily replaced with a few O’Fallon beers. Hopefully the next time I show up I’ll be able to have another pint of that tasty Rye IPA.

*** So according to Dave Johnson, he used a true German hefe yeast, the banana and clove just didn’t come through.  He’s going to try using a different yeast next time.