Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This past week and a half...

...has been sooooo great! I declared the beginning of The 12 Days of Halloween back on Oct 23rd and turns out I wasn't kidding. Two bonfires, two costumes, one street festival, one punk rock flea market, two pork bellies, two private tastings, one beer dinner, and one awesome little kid in a monkey costume saying "Me need more candy, Dada. Me got bellyache. More candy make me feel better." Halloween fucking rules.

A big glass of witch's brew raised to the following quality establishments.
The Amsterdam Tavern
The Schlafly Tap Room
Binge & Purge
Duff's Restaurant
The Royale Food & Spirits
Buck's house
Whitey's house
Dylan's house
The Fortune Teller Bar ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This month, I would just like to point out that this Saturday is the greatest of all holidays, Halloween. Grab some pumpkin ale or some mulled wine or some smoky whisk(e)y and Come As You Aren't!

Also, the day after All Hallow's Eve is pretty cool too. On Cherokee Street, there will be a Day of the Dead celebration all up and down the strip. This is a great opportunity to check out the amazing variety of shops and joints that are thriving on Cherokee now. I love watching this neighborhood come back to life. I'll be hitting the punk rock flea market at Binge & Purge, Sam Coffey's open house, La Vallesana for some lengua and Jarritos, and best of all, the long-awaited Foam at the corner of Jefferson. Foam is slated to open this Friday after teasing us for months (Foam's facebook page boasts "Opening since 2008!") and I'm super excited. Coffeehouse-slash-alehouse, this will be the first place on the strip to serve craft beer. Reason enough to come out and celebrate.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

The holidays are here.

That's right. The only two holidays that really matter are upon us. Halloween is next month, and tomorrow, for one day only, the Saint Louis Brewery, brewers of Schlafly Beer, will crack open a keg of every single one of their 40+ styles of beer and let us all drink deep. Thirty bucks, all you can drink--the greatest display of brewing prowess this town has ever known.

I'll be the one with the big dumb grin. See you there.

HOP in the City
Schlafly Tap Room
2100 Locust St. Downtown STL
September 19, noon-5

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another round

Just so all three of you know, I'll be writing about beer in a new online venue very soon. I'm sure I'll still have the occasional STL-bar-centric post for Sacred Beer, but the more reliable, slightly more professional stuff will be available elsewhere.

Stay tuned.
But first, go to The Royale and Blueberry Hill soon (a rare personal plug--sorry, it's all about the beer) to experience O'Fallon Chocolate By The Barrel Cream Stout. I was told that only the big O'Fallon accounts get this beer. Go. (Check stlhops: Beer Lists for availablility.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back to school

So, for the first time in eight years, I'm enrolled at an institution of higher learning. I figure that, if I want to open a bar, I should probably have some learnin' under my belt regarding that business stuff. A little law class couldn't hurt either. I just I wish I'd known that online classes are in fact more time consuming than real life ones. Silly me, thinking I was being smart avoiding the drive.

Writing--well, doing anything, really--with a toddler in the house requires ninja skill and speed. Working on assignments requires lots of time sitting quietly, a state of being anathema to your average 2 yr old. Even now as I write this, the J-Bear is looping his arms around my right arm, chanting Come outside wif me. Come outside wif me.

Ok the laptop just caught a soccer ball. Gotta go.
Oh, uh, Founders Breakfast Stout on tap at Stable and 33. Go.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yet another story about buying down

Great news for beer...


...even though the increase in popularity proves that craft beer is hardly boutique. Appreciated by a specialized and sophisticated market, yes, but ultimately populist in nature.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh right, I have a blog.

Whoooooooshit that was a long break. OK, back to keeping my thoughts on the local drinking scene in an orderly black-on-white manner as opposed to clogging up my head or littering my house in scrap paper form.

For today's note, I'd like to mourn the passing of Wm. Shakespeare's Gastropub in Midtown. I'd only visited once, and I was wary when I saw the totally dead term 'gastropub' in the very title, and the beer selection left something to be desired for a place claiming to be a pub, a pub being more than just dark wood and Guinness on tap, but still, sucks to see another potentially beercentric place go down. Especially at that location--how great would it have been to have a thriving beer destination next to the Fox Theater? Ah well, back to the brewpubs.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Saint Louis Craft Beer Week

Yes! It is happening. For too long I've stared longingly at stories about beer weeks in San Fran and Philly and, geez, every week in Portland, and now, thanks to beer god Mike Sweeney Saint Louis has embarked on its first Beer Week as well. Philly's big enough--and been doing this long enough--that they've racked up an astonishing seven hundred events over a ten day period. Ours will be decidedly low-key by comparison, but hey, why am I comparing?

The festivities culminate at the Brewers Heritage Festival, Friday & Saturday June 5 & 6. The previous Saturday, May 30, I will be in in the Windy City celebrating Chicago Maifest--that city's got enough German joints to make it a kickass celebration. In between, we'll be rocking this town's beer past and beer future within an inch of its life. My birthday's on June 2, so you see...well, I've already told my wife I might be a little, um, absent that week. If you know me, you should try to find me. I'll be the one with the big smile.

Keep up with everything at http://www.stlbeerweek.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Date Night

My lovely wife and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on Sunday. Hard to find a place open on Sundays, but we were determined. We decided to satisfy our curiosity about Herbie's Vintage 72. Good call, that was. A proper White Tablecloth joint, the food and wine and service were fantastic, but the nicest surprise: a solid beer list. A bottle of sparkling with dessert, of course, but with dinner, delicious draught beer. Switching back and forth between Schlafly APA and Bear Republic Racer 5 while supping on perfectly medium rare filet, tender rabbit and sashimi grade tuna was just goddamn sublime. "Let's do this once a month." "Deal."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Out of Town

Found myself in Evansville, Indiana today. Yes, today, as in Sunday, as in "Yeah we know Indiana has beer you can't get in Missouri and that you don't know when you'll be back in Indiana but screw you we made a stupid law about no package sales on Sunday and we're sticking to it." Grr. That's not to say, however, that there was no beer to be had. On-premise sales are ok, as in "Get drunk at the bar and crash your car but you can't take any home to drink." OK I'll let it go.

Yes, the beer to be had. A fine establishment by the name of the Gerst Bavarian Haus was open for business and they served beer. Lots of beer. Twenty-six taps, the most intriguing of which were Dark Horse Oatmeal Stout, Arrogant Bastard Ale, and a decent enough trifle called Gerst Amber Beer which, a quick search of BA tells us, is a Dunkel made by Pittsbugh Brewing. Bottle selection was extensive and appropriately German-heavy. Prices were very good, even for the monster frosted fishbowls. Man that was cold beer. Kept me from drinking very much, the cold, it did. The food was tasty and included offerings not found in many US German restaurants, including kraut balls, fried pickles, cornbread cakes, and on-the-bone pig knuckles. Gerst is big and woody and beautiful, housed in a former hardware store on a classic small town Main Street strip. (The front windows still bear the words "Feed & Seed", "Tools", etc, plus new additions in the old painted style, creating some hilarious juxtapositions like "Implements/Oysters" and "Guns/Ammunition/Lunches.") Took some great pictures that I'll post here if I can.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Good time of year to drink.

Seriously, pull up a chair. It makes all the winter blahs turn into cozy memories.

Schlafly is of course on the ball, providing ample festivities to get you out of the house. Last week was Burns Night, the annual celebration of Robert Burns and all things Scottish. Mmmmm, haggissy. This weekend they'll do it all again at the Cod & Cask festival, for which the kitchen (woo-hoo Andy White!) makes up a whole mess o' battered cod and serves it up with beery selections from Ye Olde Handpump. I'll be there in the afternoon--the stuff goes fast!

Also last week was the 1st Annual Arch Rival Rollergirls Trivia Night fundraiser. Lots of Bud was imbibed (hey: free) and lots of cheese balls inhaled. Mmmmm, junk food. (Bud and cheesy poofs? Throw in some canned green beans and you got my family's grocery list circa 1982... JK, Mom. JK.) Anyhoo, the important thing here is that the fourth season of roller derby in Saint Louis is about to begin. The kickoff party is Friday the 13th at the City Museum and the season opener is the following Saturday the 21st. Drinking beer with roller girls is good for the soul. We should all give my wife a big bear hug for bringing them to Saint Louis.

Did anyone hear about the megatap that just opened in Chesterfield? Of course you did--they're already getting lots of press. The International Tap House looks mighty fine. Too bad they're in Chesterfield. I can count on one hand the number of times I've found myself out there. Well, every neighborhood deserves a good beer bar, at least until there's good beer at every bar. Then we'll have gotten somewhere. If you're in the neighborhood, check 'em out.

And there's always Blueberry Hill.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Everybody's already saying it's better than 2008. Adios, shitty recession/corporate bailout/lame duck/torture/Prop 8/Palin/ABInBev/Blagojevich/Madoff scumfest. On the other hand, thanks for the new president. We were kind of embarrassed for the last guy. Party at my house Jan 20th.

Speaking of ABI...well, let's not. I'm just waiting to see how the distribution scene changes. Just another reason to DRINK MORE LOCAL BEER. And while hometown brewers are putting out some respectable brews that may be called extreme by some, I like Lew Bryson's suggestion that we make 2009 The Year of the Session. I know that I've been rediscovering the joy of having quite a few little ones as opposed to just a couple big ones. Let's reward those brewers who remember how to put out a nice English- or German-inspired pint of Everyday Beer. Mild, keller, ordinary, helles--these are the exciting beers in my world right now. No dis to the Belgians or Californians--ever--but, y'know, I just keep thinking of that scene in Beerfest. Remember, where the guys drink the family's beer for the first time and love it so much that they start rattling off all the celebratory and pornographic things they want to do with the beer? Well, that wasn't barrel-aged quad. That was dark lager. That's the beer I want to spend some quality time with in the upcoming year.