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Perennial_Abraxas_V04I’m such a schmuck, in the craziness of life, I totally forgot to announce the winner of the 2014 STL Hops St. Louis Beer Challenge. But that doesn’t make the win any less special, I’m happy to announce that this year’s winner is Perennial Artisan Ales Abraxas!

Abraxas had a hard fought battle in the final round beating last year’s champion 2nd Shift Brewing Art of Neurosis with a 62.3% to 37.7% win. What’s so cool about the win is that we’ve had three different champions in the past three years. We definitely have some power house beers and it’s fun to see them face off against each other.

Can’t wait to see what we have in store for next year. Congrats to Perennial, Abraxas is an awesome beer and deserved the win!

2ndshiftlogoOver 12,000 votes later, we now have a winner for the 2013 STL Hops St. Louis Beer Challenge. Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s winner is 2nd Shift Brewing’s Art of Neurosis IPA.

It was a hard-fought final match versus its brethren the 2nd Shift Brewing Katy, with a 67.7% to 32.3% final match up. It’s great to see Art of Neurosis come back this year to win it all after being runner-up last year to Schlafly’s AIPA. It’s even more exciting that newcomer Katy made it all the way to the championship round.

I hope everyone had a lot of fun with this and didn’t take it too seriously. Congrats to 2nd Shift for having two beers in the finals and we’re all winners for having so much great beer in St. Louis.

27589775It only took eight days, but those extra days gave me a chance to sit back and reflect on the year that was and what can expect for 2013.  First, let’s take a look back at 2012:

January
Schlafly: 20 Years of Memories
Deschutes Hits St. Louis Today
Smuttynose Hits Southern Illinois
4 Hands Brewing Launches Their Beer in St. Louis
Perennial Artisan Ales/Half Acre Plan B Brewday

February
Photos: Wine and Cheese Place / Schlafly Collaboration Release Party
Photos: Schlafly’s Sour Cellar
4 Hands Brewing Company Lupulin Carnival
Photos: 2012 Schlafly Cod and Cask Festival
Photos: UCBC’s Wolpertinger 2012
St. Louis Brewers Guild Has Officially Been Formed

March
American Craft Brewing & Distilling (aka The Stable) Closing?
CarlBock Makes its Glorious Debut this Weekend
Photos: Beer/Wine Dinner at Perennial Artisan Ales
Heavy Riff Brewing Company Opening in Dogtown

April
The Civil Life Brewing Company Presents Pigs & Pints
Savant Beersel Release at Perennial Artisan Ales
The Return of Schlafly AIPA
Photos: 2012 Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition
STL Hops Homebrew Club Inaugural Meeting
STL Hops 2012 St. Louis Beer Challenge Champion!

May
4 Hands Brewing Up Local Collaborations
Travel Guide – Columbia MO
Flying Saucer Coming to St. Louis
Photos: The Civil Life Brewing’s Inaugural Pigs and Pints Beer Festival
Photos: 2012 Microfest
New Retail Beer Store/Bar Coming to Washington Ave.
St. Louis Craft Beer Makes Eater.com Front Page

June
2nd Shift and Friends 23st Annual Beerfest
Photos: 2012 St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival
Midwest Belgian Beer Fest at Perennial Artisan Ales
From the Mailbag: Selling My New Craft Beer Brand
Perennial / Farmhaus Collaboration Kick-Off Party

July
Schurcipefones Festival Closing Out St. Louis Craft Beer Week
St. Louis Craft Beer Week Marks Homecoming for Stone Brewing Company Brewer
Augusta Brewing’s New Brewpub Finally Open
4 Hands Collaborates with James Beard Chefs to Create “Foundation”

August
2012 St. Louis Feast Day at The Royale
2012 St. Louis Craft Beer Week – Mission Accomplished
Photos: 2012 St. Louis Craft Beer Week

September
Civil Life Brewing Celebrates 1st Birthday
Winner of 2012 Dark Lord MS Paint Contest
Photos: 2012 Schlafly Hop in the City
Five Years of STL Hops
Tin Mill Brewery Closing?

October
STL Hops 5th Anniversary Party
Charleville Raring Up For Some Rare Releases
Six Row Collaboration with Llywelyn’s Pub
2012 Schlafly Fresh Hop Ale Festival
St. Louis’s First Craft Brewery to Can Locally
Local Winners at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival
Inside the Biz: Beer Freshness and Distribution
iTAP Announces New Location in the Central West End

November
A Short Video by 4 Hands/Llywelyn’s from St. Louis Craft Beer Week
Stone #EnjoyBy IPA Hits #MO This Week
STL Hops 5th Anniversary Party Recap

December
Photos: Basso at the Cheshire Inn
Photos: The Fortune Teller Bar
Six Row Brewing Begins Third Anniversary Celebrations Tonight


Holy crap, that was a busy 2012. It’s a wonder we all survived. But I think we have a hell of a 2013 to look forward to. Just some of the things we should see:

  • Flying Saucer opening
  • International Tap House CWE opening
  • 4 (maybe 5) new breweries opening in the metro area
  • A new brewer-run St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival
  • 5th Annual St. Louis Craft Beer Week
  • New 12oz bottles/cans from local breweries

I’m sure we’ll see even more craft beer bars, more restaurants featuring craft beer and more events take place this year.  It’s very exciting, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Almost 10000 votes later, we now have a winner for the STL Hops St. Louis Beer Challenge. Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s winner is the Schlafly’s American IPA.

It was a hard-fought final match versus the 2nd Shift Brewing’s Art of Neurosis IPA, with a 67.1% to 32.9% final match-up. AIPA was a juggernaut all the way through the tournament, which isn’t that surprising as it’s always one of the most talked about beers on STL Hops. It’s especially exciting as this beer should be hitting store shelves very soon. Talk about a good way to celebrate a win!

I hope everyone had a lot of fun with this and didn’t take it too seriously. Congrats to all of the contestants and thanks again for giving us some great beer in St. Louis.

It’s been a long time coming, but Stone Brewing is finally coming to St. Louis. What does this mean for us? Well, plenty of Stone beer for starters.  Missouri’s Stone rep, Nate Sellergren confirmed to me last night that beginning on April 19th, we’ll be getting all nine year-round beers.  Here’s a list of those beers:

  • Arrogant Bastard Ale
  • Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale
  • Stone Pale Ale
  • Stone IPA
  • Stone Ruination IPA
  • Stone Levitation Ale
  • Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  • Stone Smoked Porter
  • Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

There’s a little something for everyone to love in that list. I mean, as long as you love either hops or smoked malt. Luckily, I think a lot of us do.  We’re also scheduled to get all of the limited release beers as they’re released throughout the year.

Now, when Stone enters a state (that sounds kind of filthy) they get their party on.  So, expect some crazy events to happen between April 19th and April 23rd.

According to a few people in the know, Stone is scouting out locations for an event similar to the “Total Tap Tower Takeover” in Minnesota in which they will be putting on a ton of Stone beers all at one time.

As more details of the events come out, be sure to check back for more information.

Got a little tip from a member of the STL Hops community and after a bit of investigation it looks like St. Louis will be getting another new brewery very soon.  The name of this brewery will be 4 Hands Brewing.  My sources tell me it’ll be a new production brewery located near downtown St. Louis.

I’ve been told that Will Johnston, formerly of  Lucette Brewing Company out of Wisconsin and Goose Island Brewery, has signed on to be the new brewmaster for 4 Hands.  I have a call in to the developers behind 4 Hand and hope to have some more information to you soon.

This is yet another exciting development in the local St. Louis beer scene.  In the meantime, here’s a few photos and information from their Facebook page:

4 Hands Brewing Company, located in St. Louis Missouri, will provide the craft beer enthusiast a handcrafted portfolio inspired by the American Craft movement as well as Traditional Belgium and French Farmhouse ales. 4 Hands Brewing Company will package the Core collection in 12 oz 6 packs, the Seasonal selection in 22 oz bottles, and the Barrel Aged program in 750 ml champagne bottles.

The Barrel Aged Program will produce a truly unique line of beers. The use of Wine And Spirit Barrels containing an array of adjuncts (fruit, herbs, spices) in conjunction with wild yeast strains will enhance the flavors to produce a one of a kind beer.

schlaflyapaOver 11000 votes and we now have a winner for the STL Hops St. Louis Beer Challenge. Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s winner is the Schlafly’s Dry-Hopped APA.

It was a hard-fought final match versus the Buffalo Brewing Rye IPA, with a 66.2% to 33.8% final match-up. Earlier in the week, the Rye IPA took a large lead in the poll, but Schlafly fans came around and fought their way back to make this a very impressive win.

I hope everyone had a lot of fun with this and didn’t take it too seriously. Congrats to all of the contestants and thanks again for giving us some great beer in St. Louis.