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.