Today Mike and I hit two local breweries making excellent beers!
First on the list was Perennial Artisan Ales. This place (as I’ve mentioned before) is awesome! You never know what will show up on tap! So, we ordered a sample of all 8 (two samplers actually). The beers on tap this night were: 1) Coffee Abraxas, 2) Abraxas (Mexican Chocolate Stout), 3) Seventeen (Mint Chocolate Stout), 4) Fantastic Voyage (Coconut Milk Stout) [Beer 52], 5) Fete de Noel (Belgian Strong w/ Rosemary, Orange Peel, and Raisins), 6) Hereafter (Witbier (I think) with Sage and Pear), 7 Aria (Belgian Pale Ale with Brett Yeast), and 7) the Saison de Lis. Wow! These beers were awesome and they kicked our butts! Oh, one of the owners/brewers was there and gave us a quick tour. Score! The beer was so good we forgot to pay our tab. lol. Gave me an excuse to go back and drink some more …
Here was a look at their current stock and beers. Small volume through the brewery but they are expanding. They have good demand.
This set of barrels are from the Side Project work … you gotta get your hands on some of these beers. Most Excellent.
From Perennial we went to 4Hands for their twice monthly (on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays) “Beer Swap meet.”
I really enjoy everything about 4 Hands. Of course, we got the complete sampler here too … The folks are awesome, beers are good, and you can sample so many different beers … all so good! Come on over and enjoy with them.
About 2 miles from my place is a little brewery of which you’ve probably heard: Anheuser-Busch? Ok, maybe it’s not little … it is the largest brewery in the world. My friend Mike and I took a tour. I will … Continue reading
Twelve days behind. Darn. I keep thinking I will stay caught up and then … I don’t. Haha. I need a ghost blogger. Someone to write all this stuff for me (oh, and do the research as well). Oh well … time to catch up a little.
Today’s beer was a nice Canadian one: Unibroue Blanche de Chambly. This is a very nice Witbier … according to the brewery, it is North America’s first abbey beer. Cool. One other interesting tidbit for you … Unibroue is actually owned by the Japanese (Sapporo International).
I savored this nice beer at Tripel. Where else? haha.
My favorite restaurant/bar in St Louis is Tripel Brasserie. To understand why, I need to tell a short story. I will keep it simple: Before I moved to St Louis in June I thought I was moving to Belgium. My mind was wrapped around all those Belgian beers (supplemented with some good German ones). When I found out that, no I’m not going to Belgium, I’m going to St Louis it was quite the letdown. However, once I got here and saw the thriving Craft Brew scene I was immediately cheered up! I went to the Heritage Beer Festival in June and it was even better! As I was making my way back to my apartment from the fest I stumbled across this restaurant (Tripel) that wasn’t open yet … but they invited me in and I was hooked ever since. Great Belgian/French food paired with Belgian beer (and local Belgian-style beers) matched with great folks? Who can pass that up? I make it a point of hanging out there at least once a week (usually Tuesday) … many times I’m there a couple of times. Here are a few pictures to show how great the place is:
Oh look, Jim is coming out to meet me!
A little welcome mat …
Plenty of beers on tap (local and Belgian)! And plenty in the bottle … they have a very nice selection.
Matt and Darla hanging behind the bar.
A great space to have dinner — awesome decor.
Terry getting ready to put together the day’s special cocktail!
Oh, I guess I should go ahead and list my 41st beer in my quest: The Petrus Aged Red. On Tap. They keep their beers moving in here … this is a new one on tap. Another nice thing about Tripel — they have the right glass for each beer. Definitely a plus. Oh, did I mention it is less than a mile from my place? An easy “walk” home …
Enjoy! Beer Mentor
Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, 4 Hands Brewery hosts a “Specialty Beer Swap” by local homebrewers or beer “aficianados.” I went to my first one tonight — although lightly attended due to other beer activities going on in the city, I was able to sample several different beers. Beer 38 for me was one I’ve wanted to sample: The Velvet Merkin. Whoa. This is an outstanding beer. Firestone Walker out did themselves with this Oatmeal Stout. Although it is 8.5% ABV, it is so smooth. Many bourbon-barrel aged beers are sometimes overpowered by the residual bourbon in the barrel–not this one! There was the hint in the background, but you could definitely tell this was all beer! If you can get your hands on a Merkin, I recommend it! <smile>
The fantastic thing about this evening is that this was not the only beer I was able to sample. Next up (none of these are in any particular order) was a Russian River Beer: Temptation. Wow! Two world-class beers in a row. This one is listed as an American Wild Ale. Here’s the description: “A blonde ale fermented with a special strain of yeast, then aged in French oak chardonnay barrels. Flavors of wine and oak absorb into the brew throughout twelve months of aging. During this aging process, a secondary fermentation occurs using a yeast strain disliked by most brewers and winemakers called Brettanomyces.” [from BeerAdvocate]
Next up? Short’s Brewery Soft Parade. This one was a little sweet for my taste … very similar to a Lambic/Kriek but I’m not sure they call it a Lambic. The bottle says “High Gravity brewed with a bunch of different fruit.” Still a very good beer.
Fourth taster? Port Brewing‘s Santa’s Little Helper. An Imperial Stout aged in Oak Barrels … wow again! This beer was fantastic. So nice and tasty, the aroma was great with a very good finish. Find it, buy it. haha.
The last beer was one I provided. Premiant Hopburst by Brouwerij de Molen. It is bottle 104 out of 366. This bottle was 4 years old. This is a single-hopped IPA made exclusively with Premiant hops (a Czech variety). I liked this beer, but a couple of the guys there didn’t. Maybe they weren’t used to an aged IPA? I thought it was really good.
Overall a great beer tasting evening at 4 Hands. I look forward to the next one!
Curreently, 4 Hands brewing is my favorite brewery in St Louis (followed closely by FOBAB multi-medalist Perennial). 4 Hands’ beers are consistently outstanding. My only caveat is you have to really like hops, but who doesn’t? Today’s beer is not hoppy, the Chocolate Milk Stout.
Some Chocolate Milk Stouts will have a harsh or burnt characteristics because of the blend of cocoa and chocolate malts–not this one! 4 Hands really built a smooth milk stout that is easy drinking. Great chocolate nose and the finish is smooth. If you have the opportunity to try some of their beers, I highly recommend it. If you are taking in a show at The Old Rock House or a Cardinals ballgame (when in season), recommend a stop in before or after the game.
Enjoy! Beer Mentor
Another one of the new craft beer breweries to open in St Louis is Cathedral Square Brewery. They are so new they don’t really have a place of their own, but they are making beers and they are available so I had one– the Abbey Ale.
As you can see, I had this on tap at PW Pizza (Yes, featured in Beermentor’s Neighborhood). I found it to be a nice Belgian-style ale (you definitely tell it uses the Trappist Yeast from the flavor). I would definitely buy this to have in the fridge. I need to give a few more of their beers a chance–hopefully they will get a place soon so I can stop in and try special stuff too.