Tag - craft beer

St. Peters’ First Craft Brewery Now Open – Third Wheel Brewing

St. Peters’ First Craft Brewery Now Open – Third Wheel Brewing

Third Wheel Brewing is Making Fresh Beer in St. Peters

ST. PETERS, MO/June 8, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – As major breweries become more global, more and more local breweries are starting up.  St. Peters just got its first craft brewery this week.  Third Wheel Brewing at 4008 North Service Road (the I-70 N Outer Rd at Cave Springs) just opened on Wednesday, June 7th, offering a playful take on artisan beer.  But make no mistake, this place is the real deal.

The name for the brewery came from a unique little three-wheeled truck that one of the owners bought at auction.  The tiny truck, nicknamed Trixie, has a motorcycle engine, and requires a helmet for operation under current Missouri law.  They’ve polished her up, and added some great amenity, like taps in the bed!  Trixie is usually parked out front at Third Wheel Brewing, but also travels to festivals across the region.

The craft brewery grew out of the owners’ collective love of beer.  They were already active members of the close-knit St. Louis beer scene.  Brad Wheeling is a longtime beer judge and certified cicerone.  Brewmaster Abbey Spence is a certified cicerone and presided over the OG, an all-women beer collective, before taking the lead at Third Wheel.  The ownership team, which includes Wheeling, Ron and Valerie Woerndle, and Wade and Erin Alberty, leased the 10,000-square foot space near Cave Springs and I-70 last September and began building their brewery.

They’ve started with five unique, house-brewed beers on draft, but plan to add more as the go along—aiming for about 18 labels of their own.  Right now, the taps include Ophelia’s Wit (4.9% ABV), a traditional Belgian Wit beer with coriander and orange peel and just a hint of rosemary; Trixie’s Pale Ale (5.8% ABV), an American Pale Ale, with hints of citrus and pine and well balanced with sweet, bready malt; Quit Your Day Job (5.5% ABV), an American Brown Ale that’s bold but not overwhelming with mild chocolate and toffee notes that are balanced by the citrus bite from Centennial hops; Dyslexic API (8% ABV), a double IPA that’s big, bold, hoppy, and screams citrus and floral; and Going Once…Going Twice… (3.9% ABV) an old-school Berliner Weisse that’s light and slightly tart and can be had straight up or with a shot of their house-made syrup.  Customers can order a flight and try them all.  To fill out the taps, they are also offering guest taps from some of the most popular regional breweries. Customers can come in and have a beer, or order it in a growler to-go.  Soon, they’ll also offer their artisan beers in 32-ounce cans, called “crowlers.”  Third Wheel brewmaster, Abbey Spencer says the cans will keep the beer fresher longer.

Third Wheel Brewing is closed Monday – Tuesday. They’re open Wednesday – Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8:00 p.m.

The Window Kitchen is open until one hour before bar close.  They serve food designed to be paired with beer.  The apps menu includes selections like “Supreme Pacho” which are potato nachos topped with pulled pork, salsa, sour cream, queso, and jalapenos.  There are also deviled eggs topped with apple butter and bacon, and deep-fried brew pretzels served with IPA pub mustard and the house beer cheese sauce.  Or you can order a “Tater Pile” (your choice of house-made fries, chips, or sweet potato fries).

All meals with potato sides come with one of their “Supa Dip” dipping sauces.  There are 14 to choose from so far.  The list includes their creamy, tangy signature Wheel Sauce, Marinara, Queso, Honey BBQ, and other savory choices one might expect.  But there’s also Marshmallow, Caramel, and Mango Habanero.

Diners will find crispy chicken wings with a nice selection of finishes that run from a mild teryaki to classic hot wings.  There’s also a selection of burgers and sandwiches—including a steak sandwich with caramelized onions and Monterey jack cheese—and wraps with fillings like bacon, lettuce, and tomato; Southwest veggie with corn and black beans, and a Caesar steak wrap.

But this place is all about relaxing with friends or family and enjoying great beer.  And they made sure everyone on staff is an expert in serving the beer they make.  Third Wheel even insists that every server they employ be a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. (The Cicerone Certification Program educates and certifies beer professionals in an effort to elevate the beer experience for consumers.)  This means that everyone on the staff has the knowledge to make recommendations that will help customers find their favorite Third Wheel beer.

Contact Information:

Third Wheel Brewing Company
Owners: Brad Wheeling, Ron & Valerie Woerndle, Wade & Erin Alberty
Brewmaster: Abbey Spencer
Cave Springs & I-70
4008 North Service Road
Saint Peters, MO 63376

Steampunk Brew Works is Creating Beer Inside Brewers’ Shop

Steampunk Brew Works is Creating Beer Inside Brewers’ Shop

Town & Country’s First Brewery is Steampunk Brew Works

St. Louis, MO/May 30, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Steampunk Brew Works – Beer brewing is as much a part of St. Louis history as the Old Court House.  The city has been home to scores of breweries, and thousands of homebrewers over the past 250 years.  There are more than 60 commercial breweries in the St. Louis area today.  Thousands of homebrewers create beer of their own every year.  There are clubs, associations, websites, publications, and shops dedicated to the art and craft of homebrewing.  One well known homebrew supplier in the area is St. Louis Wine & Beermaking at 231 Lamp & Lantern Village in Town and Country.

Dave Deaton discovered homebrewing and winemaking in 1988.  Deaton will tell you that it’s every homebrewer’s dream to own a homebrew supply shop or their own brewery.  So in 2006 the computer programmer/cook bought St. Louis Wine & Beermaking.  In 2015, he decided to check two dreams off, by building a microbrewery inside the supply shop.  The renovations, licensing, and permitting process took more time than originally planned.  But it’s now finally all come together.

On Saturday, May 26, Deaton opened Steampunk Brew Works, the microbrewery inside his brewers’ supply shop.  About a third of the shop has been taken up by Steampunk’s three-barrel brewing system and tasting area with a rotating selection of beers on tap.  Customers will be able to sample the brews before buying them in pints and growlers across the bar.  Deaton hopes to also sell to outside accounts.  Right now, the brewery operation is really just Deaton, with help from friends and the staff at St. Louis Wine & Beermaking.  He also says he’s gotten some great help and advice from Jerid Saffell from Heavy Riff Brewing Co. (6413 Clayton Ave., St. Louis).

Since Steampunk Brew Works sits inside a beer making supply shop, Deaton has daily access to more ingredients (like the 80 hops on hand) than do most brewers.  This gives him the opportunity to brew something special, and share the beer as well as how to make it with his customers.  Some of the beers bearing the Steampunk label include their American IPA 1216, a citrusy, refreshing IPA; Cream Ale; Au Frau, a German blonde ale; Gearhead Porter, a well-hopped porter; Cerasus, an American Wheat; Maestro, a hybrid American/English amber; Zwischen, an unfiltered German Kolsch; Nuns Habit, a Tafelbier or low-alcohol table beer; Rusty Shackle, an Irish red; Kolsch; Vulcans Hammer, a Belgian dark strong beer; and St. Draconius Belgian Abbey.  With access to the ingredients Deaton has, customers can expect constant variations on familiar classics.  Like its namesake Sci-fi genre, Steampunk Brew Works offers old-fashioned flavor with a modern twist.

Deaton plans to rotate a half-dozen Steampunk brews on tap in his tasting room, along with some guest labels.  As customers become accustomed to visiting his in-shop microbrewery, some popular varieties may become permanent fixtures.  Deaton will be pouring his beers at the St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival Saturday, June 3rd.  It’s the 11th year for the annual showcase of St. Louis brewers, but the first year for Steampunk.

Steampunk Brew Works owner David Deaton spoke with KSDK-TV’s Dana Dean about the uniqueness of opening a microbrewery inside a brewing supply shop.

The St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival features more than 100 styles of beer from 50 local brewers.  This year’s event will also include a Collaboration Festival Beer, home brew club tastings, a Rare Tapping Tent, live music, and great food in the shadow of the Gateway Arch, along Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd.  The festival happens in two sessions: the afternoon session is 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Early Entry at Noon) and the evening session runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Early Entry at 6:00 p.m.).  The Evening Session will include a world class fireworks display over the Mississippi River!  New this year: a very limited number of tickets to an exclusive iTap Riverfront VIP Experience.  Tickets are $45 – $125.00.  More information, including a complete list of participating breweries can be found at the festival website: https://stlbeer.org/events/heritage/.

St. Louis Wine & Beermaking is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Contact Information:

Steampunk Brew Works
Owner: David Deaton
St. Louis Wine & Beermaking
231 Lamp & Lantern Village
Town and Country, MO 63017
Phone: (636) 230-8277

MOJO Craft Beer & Music Festival Coming to Jefferson Barracks

MOJO Craft Beer & Music Festival Coming to Jefferson Barracks

Local Band & Brewers Team Up for MOJO Craft Beer & Music Fest

St. Louis, MO/May 27, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Nothing freshens up the dog days of summer in St. Louis like a full day of fresh beer and fresh music in the park.  It’s with that in mind that the first every MOJO Craft Beer and Music Festival was created.  This brand-new festival will bring a full day of music, the world’s top rated breweries and cideries, along with locally sourced craft food vendors to Jefferson Barracks Park on Saturday, August 19th.  The event is the brainchild of hometown rocker Dan Marsala (Story of the Year) and the band’s former manager, event producer John Oakes.  They’ve partnered with Radio Station 105.7 The Point, 4 Hands Brewing Company, Flamingo Bowl, and others to create this (hopefully) annual event.

The St. Louis-based rock band, Story of the Year will headline the festival, which organizers describe as a well-organized party in the park.  Other acts that will be performing include P.O.D., Unwritten Law, the Orwells, Lucky Boys Confusion, and Joe Dirt and the Dirty Boys Band.  The event also showcases more than 80 craft beers. Specialty food vendors will be on hand too.

The craft brewers at 4 Hands Brewing have created a special beer to commemorate the festival and it’s headliners, Story of the Year.  The beer, called Story of the Beer, will debut at the event.

Story of the Year band members talk about their longtime friendship with the founders of 4 Hands Brewing.

Ticket prices range from $45 to $199 apiece.  General admission tickets include concert admission and a souvenir tasting glass plus beer sampling from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The VIP Lounge Pass includes the souvenir glass and festival admission, with express entry starting at noon, plus exclusive craft beer tastings, a VIP Pit and viewing area, VIP restrooms, a private cash bar, and commemorative laminate.  Flamingo Bowl VIP Tickets include everything that comes with the VIP Lounge Pass, plus a special meet & greet with the band Story of the Year, including a photo with the band, a pretzel necklace from Telegram Sams, a beer-paired dinner, access to shaded Flamingo Bowl VIP Lounge and the special Flamingo Bowl Hosted Bar (4 pm – 8 pm), a bowling party gift voucher good for one lane of bowling for 5 people up to 2 hours with shoe rental.

Festival tickets are on sale now. Revelers must be 21 or older to enter the festival grounds.  In addition to bringing craft beer and music to a summer day in St. Louis, the MOJO Craft Beer & Music Festival will also support Hope For Young Adults With Cancer with an awareness campaign and various fundraising efforts.  More details about the partnership will be announced as the festival date draws near.  More information about the MOJO Craft Beer & Music Festival can be found on the festival website: https://www.mojobeerfest.com/ or by email to [email protected]

Schlafly Beer To Commemorate Solar Eclipse

Schlafly Beer To Commemorate Solar Eclipse

ST. LOUIS, MO/May 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Schlafly Beer – A St. Louis brewing company is joining in the excitement of the much anticipated total solar eclipse this summer.

Schlafly Beer has announced plans to commemorate this summer’s solar eclipse with a special Path of Totality pack for its Helles-style lager.  Beginning in June, consumers can purchase the special edition, black and metallic silver in all bottles of the beer style, including six and 12-packs.  A pair of solar glasses to watch the phenomenon will also be included inside the pack.

“St. Louis is along the Path of Totality, the path of the eclipse that will experience total darkness.  As science nerds at Schlafly, we are very excited for this, along with the rest of the city, so we wanted to do something fun to celebrate.  The last total eclipse seen in St. Louis was almost 550 years before anyone had tried a Schlafly beer back in 1442,” said Founding Brewer Stephen Hale.

In addition, the brewing company will also offer a field trip to celebrate the spectacular event.  Schlafly will bring the party to the epicenter of the eclipse with the “Schlafly’s Eclipse Field Trip” at the Dew Drop Inn in Bloomsdale, MO on August 21, 2017.  The event will offer BBQ, beers, lawn games, and live music.

For the ultimate excursion, Schlafly will provide an all-inclusive pass including transportation from the Tap Room and back for $45.  Tickets are limited and can be purchased at www.schlafly.com/eclipse starting on July 1.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the sun disappears behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight.  This will also result in a rapid drop in and will reveal massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon.  This incredible sighting will move through the continental United States on August 21, 2017.

The last total eclipse occurred on June 18, 1918. It crossed the United States from Washington State to Florida.
More information about the total solar eclipse is available online at www.space.com and www.nasa.gov.

Alpha Brewing Co. Announces Second Location in Tower Grove South This Fall

Alpha Brewing Co. Announces Second Location in Tower Grove South

Tower Grove South Gets Alpha Brewing Co.

ST. LOUIS, MO/May 6, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Beer aficionados were thrilled when in April of 2013 Alpha Brewing Co. made its home at 1409 Washington Avenue in Downtown St. Louis. Owner/Head Brewer, Derrick Langeneckert, made the decision to open the brewery and tasting room because of his love of beer, and his passion for everything from the menu to the artisan taps.

Alpha Brewing Co. Announces Second Location in Tower Grove South

Alpha Brewing Co. Announces Second Location in Tower Grove South (Picture property of St. Louis Media, LLC/Marty Smith)

The result was an extremely popular hang-out and quiet refuge just off bustling Washington Avenue for those who just love beer.  Now, 4 years later, the brew master is at it again opening a second location in late fall.  “We’ve closed on the building, ordered the equipment and construction has started,” said Langeneckert.

This second Alpha Brewing Company will be located in the popular Tower Grove South area at 4325-4326 Flyer Avenue.  The company is investing approximately $2 million into the 13,000-square-foot space that will house a 15-barrel system capable of brewing up to 10,000 barrels.  They plan to produce 1,000 barrels in the first full year of production.  The brewery’s Washington Avenue downtown facility currently produces 200 barrels annually.

Alpha Brewing is known by locals as a high quality beer production company that distributes its own product, and has beer on tap at Mangia Italiano, Foam, Heavy Anchor, and West End Pub.  The second Alpha location will feature a taproom with 100 seats inside and a 200-seat Biergarten outside.  There will also be a kitchen, and plans to partner with a local restaurant for food service.  The official opening date is scheduled for this November.

Alpha Brewing Company

1409 Washington Avenue

St. Louis, MO

Phone: (314) 621-2337

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Pictures are property of St. Louis Media, LLC/Marty Smith

 

St Louis Microfest Brings Food, Fun & Lots of Beer to Forest Park

St Louis Microfest Brings Food, Fun & Lots of Beer to Forest Park

22nd Annual Beer Tasting to Benefit Lift for Life Gym – St Louis Microfest

St. Louis, MO/April 27, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) St Louis Microfest – It’s that season again! No, not spring—beer tasting season!  Time once again for one of St. Louis’ best beer festivals of the year, the 22nd Annual St. Louis Microfest.  The Gateway City has always been an important brewing hub, and it’s become a key locale for the craft beer and microbrewery industry.  The St, Louis Microfest showcases the best of the region’s’ artisan brewers as well as the finest offerings from breweries around the world.  This two-day festival draws thousands of visitors to Forest Park each spring to sample artisan beers crafted across the globe.  The 2017 event is set for Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, in the lower Muny parking lot and Theatre Drive.

Tickets are available for three tasting sessions, one Friday evening and two on Saturday.  Session 1 is Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Session II will be Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Session III is Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Each session will give festival goers the chance to sample international and craft beers created by breweries in St. Louis and elsewhere—more than 125 international and craft brewers in all.

A regular priced ticket admits one person to one of the three tasting sessions, including a commemorative tasting glass.  Festival goers will also have access to cooking demonstrations and brewing discussions in the Goose Island Demo Tent.  Some of the demo stage pairings include: Sam Adams & Mission Taco, Goose Island & West End Grill, O’Fallon Brewery & Southern, plus Urban Chestnut’s Research Brewery, Strange Donuts, and more.  The Shock Top Stage will feature live music throughout the festival.  Bogart’s Smokehouse, Mission Taco Joint, and The Damn Slow Food Fast will offer food for sale Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  Although this is a beer fest, guests under 21 are permitted to enter the festival grounds.  Only those 21 and over can participate in the tasting.

A limited number of VIP tickets are also available. In addition to the regular activities, VIP admission includes unlimited two ounce tastings in a commemorative VIP glass.  VIPs will also be able to sample some limited releases, rare craft brews, and special releases not available with general admission.  Inside the climate-controlled VIP tent, there will also be a one-plate meal (lunch or dinner) created by Iron Barley’s masterful Chef Tom Coghill.  Friday night’s meal will feature a Cinco de Mayo inspired taco and nacho bar, with dessert provided by Locoz Tacoz.  Saturday is Derby Day, so there will be Bourbon sampling, plus mint juleps (provided by Glazers and Gas Light Square), and Burgoo, BBQ, and Hot Brown from Iron Barley.  Saturday night Strange Donuts will be along with two unique donuts to be paired with two unique brews.  Festivalgoers must be at least 21 years old to enter the VIP tent.

Bonus: Learn who’s the best home brewer in St. Louis, as the winner of the St. Louis Brews Microfest Homebrewing Competition will be announced at the STL Microfest Saturday afternoon.  Judging for the AHA and BJC home brewing competition will the the week before, April 29th, at the Kirkwood Community Center.  Three-hundred entries will be accepted this year, with a maximum of eight brews each.

The 22nd Annual St. Louis Microfest will benefit Lift for Life Gym.  The local nonprofit works with at-risk youth in St. Louis.  The organization uses weightlifting as a means to engage kids in after-school activities in order to keep them out of trouble, off drugs, and make sure they are not going hungry.

St. Louis Microfest is a rain or shine event.  No refunds will be given for any reason.  More information about this year’s festival can be found on the St. Louis Microfest website: http://stlmicrofest.org/.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Ranks Second-Best Wheat Beer Out of 59 Best Wheat Beer/Hefeweizens

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Ranks Second-Best Wheat Beer Out of 59 Best Wheat Beer/Hefeweizens

Paste Magazine Names Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Ranks Second-Best Wheat Beer

ST. LOUIS, MO/April 15, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) There’s no denying that St. Louis is one of the great beer brewing cities of the world.  Well now, according to Paste Magazine, Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. which is the third-largest brewery in St. Louis has the second-best wheat beer out of their list of the 59 best wheat beer/hefeweizens.

Paste Magazine returned to print in March of 2017, as a quarterly magazine writing about a number of different topics such as Music, Movies, TV, Design, Style, Visual Arts, Tech, Food, Drink, Travel, Politics, Media, Business, Science and Health.  So how did they come to their conclusion? Professional beer writers, brewery owners and beer reps did a blind-tasting of 59 American pale wheat’s and German hefeweizens to make that determination.

Each year Urban Chestnut produces about 20,000 barrels.  They have locations in the Grove, Midtown and Germany.  “This is one of those beers we never seem to be able to praise enough,” Paste said.  “We have yet to encounter any American brewery that consistently brews classic German styles as cleanly and superbly as St. Louis’ Urban Chestnut.  This is just what these guys do best, and it’s well past time that everyone else shared our esteem.”

Schlafly Beer, the second largest St. Louis brewery producing over 60,000 barrels a year has made the top 10 list twice, with its hefeweizen coming in at No. 4 and its raspberry hefeweizen at No. 8.  According to Paste, ” The raspberry hefe gives you is the best of both worlds — decadent aroma, but without all the cloying sugar or artificiality on the palate.  For that reason, it’s absurdly drinkable.”

St. Louisans will have the opportunity to make their own determinations on their favorite beers at this year’s St. Louis Microfest.  The 2017 22nd Annual St. Louis Microfest will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017, 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 6, at 10:00 p.m.  It is one of the premiere festivals in the St. Louis area offering festival goers the chance to do a lot of sampling.

Two Plumbers Offers Craft Beer & Video Games in St. Charles

Two Plumbers

St. Charles’ Two Plumbers Brewery + Arcade Now Open

St. Charles, MO/March 27, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – St. Charles County has a brand new way to play.  Two Plumbers Brewery + Arcade at 2236 First Capitol Drive opened for business on March 18th.  It’s one of just a handful of establishments nationwide to combine the arcade bar experience with house-brewed beer.  Two Plumbers was named to honor Mario and Luigi, Nintendo’s famous video game brothers who first emerged to save New York from the monsters in its sewers in 1983.  As Mario Brothers, they went on to rescue the hapless Pauline from the great ape Donkey Kong, and to arcade racing fame in Mario Kart, becoming the faces of Nintendo’s brand.

Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade, St. Charles, MO

Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade, St. Charles, MO

The new brewhouse and arcade near Lindenwood University is the collaborative creation of childhood friends Robert Schowengerdt and John Simon.  A longtime video game fan, Schowengerdt’s background is in animation.  Simon is a microbiologist.  With a decade of home brewing experience, plus time spent in the breweries of Six Row Brewing Co. and Ferguson Brewing Co, he’s leading the brewing operations.

Two Plumbers Brewery + Arcade is an adults-only (over 21) establishment offering small-batch craft beer.  There are ten taps with seasonal offerings and two year round beers: a honey blond called Pauline (the damsel in distress in Donkey Kong), and an American brown ale called Braunen Mantel (German for “brown coat”), which is a nod to the rebels in the sci-fi TV series Firefly. You’ll also find the wares of other craft brewers like Firestone Walker (Buellton, CA), Founders Brewing (Grand Rapids, MI), Logboat Brewing (Columbia, MO) and others.

The arcade and bar occupies more than 3,000 square feet in an unassuming looking strip mall.  Inside there’s an industrial vibe and seating for about 80.  The space is centered by long, beer hall style tables, and surrounded by the bright, inviting lights of more than 25 video games and a wall of 10 pinball machines.  Customers will find everything from the classic Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and Frogger to Mortal Combat and imported Japanese gaming consoles.

Schowengerdt and Simon are part of an emerging beer making community west of the Missouri River.  St. Charles County has been called a craft beer desert.  A few breweries have begun to fill that void.  Two Plumbers is the newest.  As such, they’re hosting a Marquee event during this year’s St. Charles County Craft Beer Week (April 22-29, 2017).  Join them Friday, April 28th from 8:30 p.m. to midnight for Brewery + Arcade Night.

Two Plumbers Brewery + Arcade is open Tuesday – Friday from 3:00 p.m. to Midnight and Saturdays from noon to 1:30 a.m.  Be advised that this is a craft brewery and arcade, not a restaurant.  So if you want food, you’ll probably want to bring your own.  The owners say they are working to add (locally produced) Dan O’s frozen pizza.  It should be available at the bar in the next few weeks.  Even so, customers are welcome to bring in their own food, or have it delivered to them at the arcade.

Contact Information:

Two Plumbers Brewery + Arcade
Owner: Robert Schowengerdt
Brewmaster: John Simon
2236 First Capitol Drive
St. Charles, MO 63301
Phone: (636) 224-8626

Belleville Craft Brewery to Celebrate New Facility

Belleville Craft Brewery, Belleville, IL

Grand Opening of 4204 Main Street Brewing Co.’s New Digs

Belleville, IL/March 13, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) — Belleville’s favorite little craft brewery is about to get a whole lot bigger.  4204 Main Street Brewing Company at 4204 West Main Street has announced the grand opening of their new, larger brewery, canning plant, and tasting room about 1.5 miles up the road from their original location.  The new facility at 6435 West Main Street will also include banquet hall seating for more than 500 and a catering kitchen.  The grand opening of the new bar and banquet hall will showcase the $3 million renovation of an abandoned store.  It will also showcase their newest draft beer, a Vienna lager.  The public is invited to have a look, and a taste at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, March 25th.

Back in August 2016 we told you about brewery owners Todd and Julia Kennedy’s plans to open a new canning facility and tasting room in the old Mad Pricer grocery store on West Main Street in Belleville.  The Kennedys signed an agreement with developer Adam Hill at that time.  Hill had purchased the run down shopping center and secured $2.49 million in tax incentives from the Belleville City Council to help pay for renovations.  The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Kennedy and his developers don’t expect to use all of the tax incentive once the project is finished.

Once complete, the new facility will expand 4204’s brewing capacity by more than 1600-percent.  Currently, they make about 4,000 barrels of beer each year.  That will jump to about 65,000 barrels starting next month.  The original brew house at 4204 West Main Street will remain operational, and the restaurant with the great patio will stay open.  Their Alton restaurant at 180 E Center Dr will also remain open.  The original 4204 West Main brewhouse will become the laboratory for new brews.  The plan is to try new things out at the original restaurant, and see how people like them.  New beers that become popular at the restaurant will likely become available by can at other sales venues.

Why the drive to put high quality craft beer in a can?  The marketing opportunities are obvious: get your beer into more sales outlets (other restaurants, bars and stores), and sell more beer.  4204 brews are currently available in dozens of locations in Missouri and Illinois.  Beer makers and distributors like canned beer because cans are lighter and cheaper to ship than bottles.  They’re also 100-percent light proof which protects the beer’s flavor (especially important for very hoppy beers, like 4204’s 2 Hop India Pale Ale), and they seal airtight, also ensuring freshness.  Cans chill faster than bottles and they’re 100-percent recyclable.  That sustainability factor is valued by beer makers and consumers alike.

That same philosophy of sustainability permeates the craft beer industry, and it’s behind the Kennedys’ choice to renovate an existing building rather than constructing an entirely new space.  Craft brewers in St. Louis and elsewhere have made it a practice to convert abandoned buildings like the old Mad Pricer store in Belleville into breweries and brewpubs.  Todd Kennedy has said that’s part of the ideology behind craft brewing.

If you can’t make Main Street Brewing Co.’s grand opening, you can still get a look at the new facility at the 5th Annual Belleville Ale Fest on Saturday, April 22.  They’re hosting it this year at the new 6435 West Main facility.  The new digs provide ample space inside and outside, so the festival will go on rain or shine.  As in other years, there will be a selection of 4204’s products to sample, as well as beers from around the country, and those of other local craft breweries, along with live music and food vendors.  Because it will be at the brand new facilities, this year’s guests will be able to watch the beer brewing in progress.

Contact information:

Original Main Street Brewing Company
Owners: Todd and Julia Kennedy
4204 W Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226
Phone: (618) 416-7261

And

Main Street Brewing Company
180 E Center Dr.
Alton, IL 62002
Phone: (618) 465-7260

Soon:

Main Street Brewing Company
Canning Facility, Bar and Banquet Hall
6435 West Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226

St. Louis’ Top 10 Craft Brewpubs

Craft Brewpubs in St. Louis, MO

The Best Craft Brewpubs in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO/March 3, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – St. Louis is a beer town.  We’ve been making and drinking beer since the founding of the city.  Beer making is a part of our community history, and beer drinking is part of our local culture.  So when the microbreweries began to emerge across the country at the end of the 20th century, St. Louis was on board.  As our thirst for these new, specialty beers grew, so did the number of artisan makers brewing something to quench us.  Now there are scores of craft beer makers in the St. Louis area.  Diners will find them in dedicated taprooms, German-inspired beer gardens, and brew pubs across the metro area.

So who does it best?  We once again turned to customer reviews to find out.  In order to get a good sample of opinions, we limited the top 10 to brewpubs with at least 50 reviews.  We found the best are a mix of some of the city’s earliest microbreweries and some of the newest too.  And the best news of all?  They span the region from the metro-east to St. Charles County, so there’s a great artisan beer experience waiting in everyone’s back yard.

Topping the list is The Civil Life Brewing Company at 3714 Holt Ave., in south city’s Tower Grove South neighborhood.  This is a great choice for the craft beer novice, as there’s always an eclectic selection of their artisan beers on draft and the crew is super helpful to those just trying to figure out what they like.  The cozy wood-paneled space is part English pub and part German beer hall.  You’ll find a long bar and large communal table, plus cozier seating upstairs.  Tuesday through Saturday, the menu changes, but always includes apps, and seven to ten sandwiches including selections like roast beef, Cubans, and even a vegetarian sandwich.  On Sundays they serve soup.  Since opening in 2011, The Civil Life has developed a loyal following.  This is truly one of the new-wave of craft brewpubs: there’s no phone number and they only accept cash.

Here is the full list of St. Louis’ Top 10 Craft Brewpubs:

1. The Civil Life Brewing Company (4.59 stars/173 reviews) Tower Grove South, 3714 Holt Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63116, no phone.
2. The Modern Brewery (4.55 stars/51 reviews) Kings Oak, 5231 Manchester Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63110, no phone.
3. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. (4.40/436 reviews) Midtown, 3229 Washington Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 222-0143.
4. The Side Project Cellar (4.39 stars/153 reviews) Maplewood, 7373 Marietta Ave., Maplewood, MO 63143, (314) 224-5211.
5. Heavy Riff Brewing (4.31 stars/168 reviews) Dogtown, 6413 Clayton Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63139, (555) 515-1511.
6. 4 Hands Brewing (4.30 stars/383 reviews) Lasalle, 1220 South 8th Street, Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 436-1559.
7. Earthbound Beer (4.27 stars/81 reviews) Gravois Park, 2710 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, MO 63118, (314) 769-9576.
8. Alpha Brewing Company (4.25 stars/126 reviews) Downtown, 1409 Washington Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 621-2337.
9. Old Bakery Beer Company (4.23 stars/194 reviews) Alton, 400 Landmarks Boulevard, Alton, IL 62002, (618) 463-1470.
10. Exit 6 Pub & Brewery (4.18 stars/61 reviews) Cottleville, 5055 Hwy N, Cottleville, MO 63304, (636) 244-4343.

With so many choices it’s impossible to mention just ten.  There are so many other craft brewers and brewpubs in town that are worth your attention.  So we’re giving honorable mentions to a few that didn’t quite make the Top 10 list.  These places had great scores, but didn’t have quite enough reviews to make the list this time around.  Keep an eye on them, or try a flight, or something.  These artisans are brewing up great things ahead.

Honorable Mentions go to:

Six Mile Bridge (4.49 stars/45 reviews) Maryland Heights, 11841 Dorsett Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043, (314) 942-2211.  One of St. Louis’ newest craft breweries, they turned on the taps in 2015, and they’ve been winning accolades ever since, including winning a 2016 Gold Medal for their Classic Dry Irish Stout.

2nd Shift Brewing (4.38 stars/21 reviews) The Hill, 1601 Sublette Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 669-9013.  This is St. Louis’ newest brew pub—sort of.  They’ve been making beer since 2010 and other pubs have been putting in the glasses of thirsty beer drinkers.  But they just opened their own tasting room on the Hill last November (2016).