Friday, May 21, 2010
First time in St. Louis
Southern Tier Pale Ale....$8.99 / 6pk
Clearing up Craft Beer in a Can
By Mike Sweeney
One of the benefits to doing tours at the Schlafly Tap Room is that I often get to meet a bunch of people that haven’t been exposed to the huge world that is craft beer. It’s also interesting to see some of the reactions that take place when I mention that Schlafly has just release their Summer Lager in a can. Sometimes that reaction is joy, but a lot of times it comes across as a sour look.
It’s at that point that I have to stop the tour and clear up their misconception of canned beer. So, with the addition of more and more canned craft beer coming into the St. Louis area, it maybe it’s time to do it on a larger scale, to explain some of the advantages and disadvantages. First, let’s lay out some of the things canned craft beer is not:
Isn’t canned beer supposed to be cheaper?
At some point in your life, I’m sure you’ve had to purchase a large amount of macro beer for a party. You’ve quickly noticed that buying canned beer is usually much cheaper than buying beer in bottles. Why is this? It’s simply the economics of scale. When you’re brewing over a 100 million barrels of beer each year, you’re going to need hundreds of millions (and possibly even billions) of cans. When you’re buying that many cans, the price decreases.
Local brewers just aren’t going to have the warehouse space to purchase the hundreds of thousands of cans necessary to drop the price and lower the cost for the beer as a whole. Not to mention the fact that neither brewer is canning these beers locally, they’re currently having the beers contract brewed at Steven’s Point Brewery in Wisconsin. That adds additional shipping and contract costs.
Don’t beer cans use BPA?
You’re right, they do. The companies that currently make beer cans are looking into new can liners that don’t contain Bisphenol A, but if BPA is a concern, then you probably should avoid cans for the time being.
Bleh, beer out of a can tastes like metal!
That’s because you’re committing a cardinal sin when it comes to drinking craft beer, you’re drinking it out of the can or bottle. Think back to the times you had a stuffy nose, remember how everything you tasted was a muted version of what you normally taste? That’s because your sense of taste is completely tied into smell.
When you wrap your lips around a bottle or can, you’re creating a seal that keeps the beer’s aroma from reaching your nose. If you can’t smell, you’re not going to fully enjoy the beer as it was intended. As mentioned above, the can or bottle is merely a transportation device to move the beer from the brewery into your glass.
Now, are there going to be times when you can’t pour it into a glass? Sure, which brings us to one of the reasons canned beer is so great:
This is probably the main reason most craft breweries have begun canning beer. Canned beer can go places bottled beer cannot. The park, beach, pool, float trips; basically any place that bottles aren’t allowed, cans can happily live. They’re just about the perfect summer beer vessel.
This also means that you may on occasion have to drink out of the can. Obviously it’s not the preferred method of drinking your beer, but sometimes you don’t have a choice.
Light is probably the biggest enemy of beer. In just a short time, light is the thing that can make that wonderfully hoppy beer you’re drinking turn into something that smells like it came out of the backside of a skunk. This is one of the best places where canned beer excels, because it allows no light to hit your beer as it’s sitting at your favorite retail establishment.
Beer’s other big enemy. Oxygen is a bit of a toss-up as far as cans are concerned. When a brewer purges the bottle with CO2 to remove the oxygen, it pushes all of the oxygen out of a small opening. Cans are a bit more tricky as they have a larger opening which means it’s more difficult to get all of the oxygen out.
But, if most of the oxygen is removed, you’re left with a vessel that is airtight and will keep oxidation to a minimum. Another great aspect of the can.
Cans are lighter than bottles, which means you can ship more at a time, which means you can save extra trips back and forth from the brewery to the distributor. Cans are also easier to recycle and easier to chill down, both huge savings to using energy.
Are cans the ultimate device for transporting beer? That’s really up for you to decide. There are certainly a lot of advantages, but there are some disadvantages as well. Personally, I think they’re pretty swell and I’m always looking forward to more canned craft beer in St. Louis.
Mike Sweeney, Stlhops
Thursday, May 20, 2010
We have known since last year that Sam Adams Boston Beer Co. and Weihenstephaner were creating a new collaboration. Three possible labels got registered -- looks exciting. I am sure more news will come soon about their plans.
Hopefully we will see some here in Missouri since we get both Sam Adams and Weihenstephaner beers already.
Thursday, June 10
7260 Southwest Ave. (at Manchester)
Maplewood, MO 63143
What a difference a glass makes! See for yourself at St. Louis' first ever craft beer and specialty glass tasting event presented by Schlafly Beer and Spiegelau Glass on Thursday, June 10th at 6:30 p.m. at the Schlafly Bottleworks.
Spiegelau Glassware uses fine powdered sand and a platinum purification process to create a fine, scratch resistant premium glass with brilliant clarity and head retention - the ideal vessel for appreciating your favorite beers.
A representative from Spiegelau and Schlafly Beer will guide you through the tasting.
Tickets are $30 and include beer, snacks and your very own 4-piece Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Glassware Set (retail value $49.95). Do not delay, space is very limited.
The Wine and Cheese Place
"Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane. It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil....Cachaça differs from rum in that most rum is made from molasses. Use of molasses allows for the use of the byproduct of sugar production and a smaller still but has the taste affected by heating. Cachaca can be classified as a "rhum agricole" which is rum produced directly from cane juice." -- wikipedia
Can be used in any rum drink or make the classic CAIPIRINHA!
Click here for drink recipes
Cuca Fresca Silver Cachaca....$6.99
Compare to $16.99 at Total Beverage
Authentic Brazilian Rum
Crystal clear. The nose is wildly fruity offering a cool mélange of fruit scents ranging from guava to orange with hints of a tropical influence with accents of blanched almonds. The palate echoes the nose perfectly offering waves of silky soft fruit complimented by wet grass and pure cane juice. The ideal slate for cocktail creativity. — BEVX.com, Beverage Experts
Very smooth and flavorful. Tropical flowers, bananas in cream, and brown spice aromas. A round, silky entry leads to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body of banana cream pie, nuts, and powdered sugar flavors. Finishes with a very long, smooth and pleasant banana bread, sugar cane, and custard like fade. — Beverage Testing Institute
Double Gold Medal Winner
2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Highest Rated Unaged Cachaça & Gold Medal Winner
2007 International Spirits Review
Gold Medal Winner 2007
Beverage Testing Institute
2008 Gold Medal Winner
San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Cuca Fresca Pura Gold....$9.99 / 750ml
Compare to $21.99 at The Wine Specialist
Golden straw green color. Sweet spicy baked banana, suede, earthy mint, and creme brulee aromas follow through to a dryish silky medium-to-full body with nice toasted banana bread and mineral accents. Finishes with a peppery, banana, nutmeg, toasted almond and pepper fade. Nice purity and spice. — Beverage Testing Institute
Gold Medal Winner & Highest Rated Cachaça
2007 International Spirits Review
2007 Gold Medal Winner
Beverage Testing Institute
Silver Medal Winner
2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Monday, May 17, 2010
For their 30th Anniversary, Sierra Nevada is creating some exciting new beers. So exciting, they have created a brand new website just for the occasion.
In stock at Forsyth now!! We have 7 more bottles now!!
no limit!! First come first served
Fritz and Ken is in stock now
Fritz and Ken's Ale....$10.99 / 750ml
Available Mid -March 2010
"Fritz Maytag, owner of San Francisco's Anchor Brewing Company, is regarded as the godfather of the craft brewing movement. Fritz agreed to guest brew this very special ale with us in honor fo our 30th Anniversary. As a nod to the robust black ales that seduced both Fritz and Ken in the early years, we bring you this Pioneers Stout, a rich and roasted ale, perfect for aging, and worthy of yor finest snifter. Enjoy!
Charlie, Fred and Ken's Ale
Available Mid-May 2010
"Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhart are the men who launched a thousand breweries. Their writing on the art of homebrewing and steadfast promotion of beer culture helped propel the craft brewing movement. Charlie and Fred agreed to work with us on this special ale in honor of our 30th Anniversary. This Imperial Helles Lager is a testament to the ever-evolving brewer's art. Bold yet balanced with distinct toasted malt character, moderate sweetness and clean and floral hops. Enjoy!
Jack and Ken's Ale
Available Mid-July 2010
"Jack McAuliffe is the original microbrewer. McAuliffe's tiny New Albion Brewery in Sonoma, California inspired countless brewers to start small-scale breweries of their own. Jack agreed to guest brew this very special ale with us in honor of our 30th anniversary. This American barleywine is a nod to the big ales New Albion served at their legendary sommer solstice parties. It is robust and complex -- brewed with 100% American Cascade Hops.
Our Brewers Reserve: Oak Aged Ale
Available Mid-October 2010
Brewers Reserve is a special ale highlighting our pioneering history and the innovative spirit that has carried us through all these years. It is a marriage of our three most acclaimed ales: Oak Aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and fresh Pale Ale blended together and generously dry hopped. Come join us in celebrating thirty years with this most special brew. Drink it now, or save it for a future anniversary of your own."
Info from their website
Sunday, May 16, 2010
(TWCP is the only place currently showing availability in the U.S. as of 5/16/10)
Hof ten Dormaal - Belgium
Estate bottled beers -- they produce/grow all of their own barley malt and hops on their farm!!
"The tiny Hof ten Dormaal farm brewery is situated in the vally of the Dyle River in Tildonk, Belgium. The new brewery began with the abiding principal of introducing original ales brewed with a strict adherence to Belgian brewing traditions. As part of the painstaking, hand-crafted art of their brewing process, owner/brewmaster Andre Janssens and son Dries use only barley malt and bittering hops that they themselves grow on the farm. The Hof ten Dormaal brewery also uses oil from rapeseed (a close relative of canola oil) produced on the farm as the primary source of energy for the boiling and cooling processes in their brewing, rendering the smal farmhouse a uniquely self sustaining brewery." -- back label
Hof ten Dormall Amber...$6.19 / 375ml
"Hof ten Dormaal Amber is an original Belgiam amber-colored ale brewed strictly via traditional methods. It is bottle-conditioned and uses a top-fermenting house yeast strain. The grain and bittering hops are produced on the Hof ten Dormaal farm.
Hof Ten Dormaal Blond Ale....$6.19 / 375ml
"Hof ten Dormaal Blond is an original farmhouseblond ale brewed strictly via traditional methods. It is bottle-conditioned
and uses a top-fermenting house yeast strain. The grain and bittering hops produced on the Hof ten Dormaal farm." -- label
From this small Dutch brewpub situated on an island in southwestern Holland we bring you the extraordinary creations of brewmaster Kees Bubberman. Prior to running the show at Emelisse, Kees was widely regarded around the Dutch beer geek circuit as the best homebrewer in the country. Running joke was that in any beer competition Kees entered, everyone else was fighting for 2nd prize. He established a well-earned reputation as a first-rate artisanal brewer, and the Emelisse brewpub came calling. Today, he’s turning out some of the very finest stuff Europe has to offer, and though the Emelisse beers are still largely undiscovered except by those in the know across the pond, that is seriously about to change. We’re here to help with that.
Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout....$5.89 / 11.2oz
Style: Imperial Stout, refermentation in bottle
Alcohol Content: 11%
Color: pitch black; creamy, khaki head
Tasting Notes: dark roast, richly complex, berries, black coffee, bitter chocolate