Friday, April 27, 2012

Beer and Spirit Tasting at our BALLWIN Location!

The Wine and Cheese Place
14748 Clayton Rd.
Ballwin, MO 63011

The weather looks warm this year....

(10% chance of rain during the event, hopefully will hold off until after)

This was the scene last year at our "SPRING" Ballwin Tasting on March 28, 2011
We promise no snow this year!!!! (fingers crossed, it is St. Louis)
Plus a couple of years ago, a car flew from the street onto the parking lot flying 5 feet down from the retaining wall like they were Dukes of Hazard.  Always expect something exciting at our Ballwin events.

The tent collapsing under the snow in the parking lot

Beer and Spirit Tasting!
Saturday - April 28th (1-5pm)
Only $5 per person
Reservations are not required!  Come on by and bring your friends!

4 Hands Brewing
4 Hands Single Speed Session
4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA
4 Hands Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown Ale
4 Hands  Reprise Centennial Red
4 Hands Pyrus Saison

Lagunitas IPA
Lagunitas Seasonal
Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin'
Summit Extra Pale Ale
Summit Unchained Series 
Summit Maibock
Charleville Hoptimistic - new 6 packs
Charleville Half Wit
Charleville Tornado Amber
Charleville Maibock
Pyramid Outburst Double IPA
Pyramid Apricot
Pyramid Seasonal
Mactarnahan's Spine Tingler
Sam Adams Griffin's Bow
Sam Adams Cinder Bock
Sam Adams Tasman Red
Sam Adams Dark Depths
Angry Orchard Ciders

Amy from Goose Island


Alaina from Grey Eagle

Widmer Rotator IPA 

Widmer Drifter Pale Ale

Widmer Pitch Black IPA

Schlafly Export IPA
Just added Schlafly AIPA -- bottled 4/27
Schlafly Summer Ale
Schlafly Yakima Wheat

Jack with Major Brands
Firestone Walker Union Jack
Stone Beers
Just added -- Stone Imperial Russian Stout 
Rum Chata
Three Olives Loopy Vodka

Mike Hogan of New Belgium
New Belgium Shift
New Belgium Somersault
New Belgium Fat Tire
New Belgium Ranger IPA

Saison de Lis (Chamomile Saison)

Hommel Bier (Dry-Hopped Belgian Pale)

Black Walnut Dunkel (brewed with Missouri-grown black walnuts!)

Heart of Gold (a Wheat Wine from our "Cellar" series of beers)

Spirits of St. Louis 
Agave Blue America "Tequila"
Regatta Bay Gin
Island Time Rum
JJ Neukomm Mo Malt Whiskey
Midwest Spring Wheat Vodka

Classique Spirits
Dumante Verdenoche Pistachio Liqueur
Boyd  Blair Potato Vodka
Smalls Gin
North Shore Aquavit

William Grant
Stolichnaya “Hot” Jalepeno
Stolichnaya “Sticki” Honey
Milagro Silver Tequila
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

Cathedral Square
Brian Neville, brewmaster 

Missouri Beverage
Cains Dark Mild
Petrus Old Brown Ale
Gulden Draak
Monk's Cafe
 Wittekerke Belgian White
Delirium Tremens

Big O Ginger Liqueur

Purus Vodka

Tallgrass 8-Bit

In stock now at Forsyth -- really

Tallgrass 8-Bit Pale Ale....$7.49 / 4pk 16oz cans
Just like those classic video games we all grew up with, 8-Bit Pale Ale is spectacularly simple at first glance yet remarkably fun and complex when you get into it. Our Hop Rocket infuses the character of Austrailian grown Galaxy Hops into an American Pale Ale, giving a unique tropical, almost melon aroma in a classic American style.

ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 40
Malts: 2 Row, Victory, Vienna & Munich
Hops: Magnum, Centennial, Cascade & Galaxy

Tallgrass Video!

Taste this great Ginger Liqueur

Come taste it today (4/27) from 4-6pm at Forsyth along 
with our beer tasting

The Big O Ginger Liqueur....$29.99 / 750ml

The Premium Ginger Liqueur 
The Big O is the most pleasing liqueur you will ever taste. It truly is artisan-made by people who appreciate fine food, excellent wine, a great liqueur, and good times. It blends the warmth of ginger and exotic spices, the sweetness of tropical sugars, the coolness of citrus, and the liberation of fine, artisan-crafted spirits.
The Big O is silky on the tongue, offering just a hint of a rising heat ― not too much, just a blush ― as the spices begin to reveal themselves, expressing their individual personalities and combined harmony. The tiny bite of alcohol raises your temperature just a bit - increasing your comfort. The combination of flavors then rests at the back of the tongue in a delightful kiss of spices, remembered pleasures.
When we make The Big O, we hand-select the spices we use, choosing the best all-natural botanicals available, so there truly is
Nothing Fake About It.

Perennial Savant Beersel

1 bottle per person - very limited -- 

Must be picked up within 7 days or it goes back on the shelf
1 bottle per person
Just getting an order in is no guarantee, wait for confirmation


Perennial Savant Beersel....

Here is some info via STLHops

“One of the best parts about working for Phil here at Perennial Artisan Ales is that he is really open to letting me experiment and run with crazy ideas. There are a lot of brewers and breweries who would have never let me brew a beer that is 100% Brettanomyces fermented!

Well, late last summer, around the time that Missouri starts harvesting its grapes, I started bugging Phil about brewing a beer that incorporated Missouri grown wine grapes, Brett, and barrels. I thought that this would be a great way in incorporate locally sourced ingredients, into a beer that very few other breweries have attempted. Phil found an opening in our brew schedule and gave me the go ahead!

After 2 weeks of calling almost every winery in Missouri, we found out that St. James Winery had 4 rows of unpicked, late harvest grapes, which were experimental for Missouri and were not going to be used this year. I packed up early one morning, heading to St. James, and hand picked almost 300 lbs of Noiret and Corot Noir grapes.

A Belgian Pale Ale malt bill was written, a 2 day sour mash made things funky and tart from the start, primary fermentation with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis added more rustic, barnyard notes, 4 months of aging in French Oak Cabernet barrels with both the grapes and Brettanomyces rounded everything out, and Savant Beersel was born!”

Perennial’s head brewer Cory King

More random beer news...

Some other releases I have not posted yet....

Great Divide Colette
Avery Karma
Twisted Pine Hoppy Knight Black IPA
Twisted Pine Blonde

also noticed the current batch of Founders Centennial was bottled 4/16/12

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale!

Just noticed that the current batch of Founder's Centennial IPA was bottled 4/16 - nice and fresh!

Order Founders online now
2012 Version just arrived -

Curmudgeon Old Ale....$10.99 / 4pk
Rated 98 percentile on
"Think classic sea fairing ports, local pubs, and weathered old fisherman. This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill, then aged in oak. The result is a strong, rich, malty-delight that’s deceptively smooth and drinkable" -- Founders

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Small Batch beer from AB?

Just saw this label come through?  Have not heard anything about it?  AB trying to enter the craft market?

The only thing I could find was....
"This year, Anheuser plans to launch 19 new products in the U.S., its biggest such push since Belgium's InBev acquired St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in 2008. New offerings include small-batch "craft'' brews, cider and an expanded lineup of malt beverages that take their cues from tequila and tea instead of beer." - The Wall Street Journal

Stone IRS 2012

In stock at Forsyth now - come and get it
Available online  **
(At this point no limit, but we reserve the right to limit if it seems necessary)

Stone Imperial Russian Stout 2012...$5.49 / 22oz
"Brewed in the authentic historical style of an Imperial Russian Stout, this beer is massive. Intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness and alcohol) and heavy on the palate, this brew goes where few can - and fewer dare even try. The style originated from Czarist Russia's demand for ever thicker English stouts. Expect our version of this mysterious brew to pour like Siberian crude and taste even heavier!" -- Stone Brewing

** Remember, you must pick up within 7 days or it will be put back on the shelf.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grow your own mushrooms at home!!

I took one home and after 3 days, it is starting to grow!

In stock at Rock Hill and Forsyth

Back to the Roots Oyster Mushroom Kit....$21.99
  • Grows up to 1.5lbs of Mushrooms from the box
  • Simple and easy -- open, mist and harvest.
  • Mushrooms grow in about 10 days
  • Made from recycled coffee grounds!

This is an amazing product to have on hand.  I grow my own fresh herbs at home and will be taking a box of these home.  When you want to make a quick pasta dish, cut fresh herbs from home, cut some fresh mushrooms from home -- how easy and fresh is that!

Good the environment also...
"In 2011, Back to the Roots is on pace to collect, divert & reuse 1 million lbs of coffee grounds from Peet's Coffee & Tea. We've also begun collecting the waste from Hodo Soy (spent tofo / okara waste); Linden Street Brewery (spent grains & hops) and Numi Tea (spent tea leaves)!

(updated in 2012 they are on a pace to re-use 3.6 millions lbs coffee of grounds)

All this organic waste, when just dumped into the landfill decomposes to produce hundreds of thousands of tons of methane gas in our atmosphere, a greenhouse gas about 25x worse than carbon dioxide for our environment." -- their website 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Odell very limited releases

In stock at Rock Hill and Forsyth!!

no limit now

Very Limited!
Odell Shenanigans Oak Aged Crimson Ale.....$12.99 / 750ml
Our spirited brewers diligently cultivate recipes on our pilot brewing playground. Sometimes, things don’t turn out as planned…they turn out better. Destined for another adventure, this delightful crimson ale is aged in oak with just a touch of Brettanomyces. The subtle Brett tartness balances the rich amber malt with hints of dried fruit and light citrus. Our ode to the happy accident, Shenanigans was just too good not to share. 9.1% Alc. by Vol

Odell Footprint Region Ale....$12.99 / 750ml
There are TEN states that make up what we call our ‘distribution footprint.’ Each state made a unique contribution to FOOTPRINT. This artful ale is our tribute to these states in which our beer is available. The result is a crafty collective of regional flavors:

Colorado - Hops & Barley, Arizona - Prickly Pear, Idaho - Barley & Hops, Kansas - Wheat, Minnesota - Wild Rice, Missouri - Oak Barrels, Nebraska - Corn, New Mexico – Green Chilis, South Dakota – Barley & Honey, Wyoming - Wheat

9.5% Alc. by Vol.

orders place on 4/10/12 will be put pack on the shelf on 4/17/12 if not picked up

More Beer news...

Some random news....

Anchor Summer Beer -- first load of 2012 is here
Bells Oberon - another FRESH Batch - bottled 4/18/12
Ska Modus Hoperandi - FRESH - bottled 4/13/12
Finally back in stock --
Boulevard Dark Truth Stout 4pks
Boulevard Sixth Glass 4pks

Scheldebrowerij Belgian Ales

Scheldebrowerij Oesterstout...$3.79 / 11.2oz
From the Scheldebrouwerij, we bring you the expertly crafted ales of a small Belgian brewery from the Antwerp province very near the Dutch border. The Scheldebrouwerij Oesterstout is a soft yet robust stout. Dark as night, the wort from this fully malted ale is filtered over oyster shells from the Dutch Zeeland province. 

Scheldebrowerij Zeezuiper...$4.49 / 11.2oz
From the Scheldebrouwerij, we bring you the expertly crafted ales of a small Belgian brewery from the Antwerp province very near the Dutch border. The Scheldebrouwerij Zeezuiper is a full-bodied, malty tripel with a touch of spice. Golden-hued with dense, white lacing, the Zeezuiper is lightly sweet with notes of citrus fruit up front with a drying bitterness in the finish.

Hof ten Dormaal White Gold

Hof ten Dormaal White Gold...$6.49 / 375ml 
The name White Gold might imply that you're holding in your hands a Belgian witbier, but in fact this is something quite different. White Gold is a Flemish expression for a specific form of Chicory, better known to most as Belgian Endive, and dates back generations to a time when the Vlaams-Brabant region of Belgium prospered from it's growth. Our White Gold beer is made with the extract of the chicory root. This brings back memories of my childhood growing up in Kampenhout, the heart 0f the chicory growing region in Belgium. White Gold is brewed strictly via traditional methods. The grain and bittering hops are produced on the Dormaal Farm.

A new Canadian beer...

Hopfenstark Ostalgia Blond...$4.99 / 11.5oz 
Rated 96 RateBeer
"Ostalgia is a term coined to describe certain nostalgia for East Germany (Ost in German), facing their lifestyle before Germany is reunited. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the mutation of socialism / communism to capitalism, things change quickly and many East Germans can not adapt. Having no power over the changes taking place in their city, the East Berliners rose up when the time came to replace the green character allowing pedestrians to cross streets at intersections. Victorious from this battle, it is still possible to see the Ampelmann (green man) in the former East Berlin. Such action is born of nostalgia movement of East Germany."

"The purpose of Hopfenstark microbrewery beers is to manufacture quality and tasty, made from carefully selected ingredients. Make a mix of original taste of beer from various regions of the world and today's society, open and eager to discover.

Without falling into caricature tastes, we want to make the nobility to the beer, for some time, is a left-to-account in Quebec. For in reality, a beer should not taste the water ..." -- website

Stillwater - new batch

"You could describe Brian Stillwater of Stillwater Artisanal Ales as a Vagabond, Gypsy Brewer, Lone Ranger, whatever you'd like. But one thing is sure, he's garnering a cult following because of his unconventional brewing method and his completely uncompromised brews.
He parallels his brewing method from that of his music days as a globetrotting DJ. The breweries he uses around the world are his studios and he is a visiting artist. Wherever his beer is made takes on a little flavor of the location it's brewed in and he uses whatever ingredients he feels are appropriate to achieve his goal. He does not set any limits on the beer he crafts which is undoubtedly the reason it is so so good. " -- Stillwater Blog

In stock now!! 
The beers....

First timer for us...
Stillwater / Brewers Art - D├ębutante...$9.99 / 750ml
Rated 95 on RateBeer

"It’s my pleasure to present a collaboration with The Brewer’s Art. A Baltimore institution that helped to pioneer the Belgian beer movement in the States. Brewed with a combination of Spelt & Rye, accented with a blend of Heather, Honeysuckle, and Hyssop. The result is a rustic farmhouse ale displaying earthy tones & floral characteristics while maintaining intricate balance." -- Stillwater Blog

Stillwater Artisanal Existent....$10.99 / 750ml

Rated 95 on RateBeer
"an existentialist commentary on a brewer imposing his own view on the beer universe. "
"...picture schwarzbier / ipa / saison melange." -- Brian from Stillwater
"Existent represents the philosophy behind Stillwater Artisanal. We strive to define ourselves through our passion and sincerity while accepting that not all aspects of life are readily explainable. To manifest this ideology we present an ale of intrigue. Deep & dark though deceptively dry, braced by a firm yet smooth bitterness and accented with an earthy hop and mild roast aroma. This is an ale for you to define..
’and if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’ –Nietzsche"
Stillwater Blog

Stillwater Stateside Saison....$9.99 / 750ml
Rated 97 on RateBeer
"Stateside Saison pays homage to old world tradition while celebrating new world innovation. Naturally brewed with the finest European malts & fresh aromatic hops from the United States & New Zealand. It’s then fermented using a classic farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned to enhance stability. The outcome is a beer of unique design and exquisite taste, showcasing some of the best attributes of modern-day craft brewing."
Product info: Stateside Saison
Style: Saison, refermentation in bottle
Alcohol Content: 6.8%/vol

Stillwater Cellar Door...$9.99 / 750ml
Rated 97 on RateBeer
"over the ages the term 'cellar door' has numerously been referred to as the most beautiful term in the English language. upon setting out to create the first summer addition to the Stateside line up of ales; the feeling that almost instantly came to me was that of beauty & cleansing. many summer offerings tend to lack the complexity of their bigger, colder season counterparts; so my goal was to craft an ale of extreme balance with a delicate complexity that allows for contemplation while also providing quaffable refreshment. starting with a base of German wheat & pale malts this crisp slightly hazy foundation was then accented with a blend of Sterling & Citra hops providing a intricate blend of herbal grass & tangerine citrus flavors and aroma. to pull this all together and to complete the 'cleansing' aspect of my vision i gently finished the ale off with a touch of white sage, lending a mild earthy spice character to the blend. of course let's not forget our house saison yeast that brought all the elements together leaving a dry yet intricate finish" -- Stillwater Blog.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Results of Beer vs. Wine!

I asked both Evan Benn (Beer Man) and Aaron Zwicker (Wine Man) to give me their opinion and report on the results of the Beer vs. Wine Smackdown

First up -- Beer Man's Take -- Evan Benn of  Hip Hops
"I'll happily claim victory in our Beer vs. Wine Smackdown, but I'll also humbly admit that it was too close for comfort. Even I voted for wine in two out of the four rounds, and most of our guests were split, too. The final breakdown: Wine won Round 1 (by a landslide), beer took Rounds 2 and 3, and Round 4 was a dead tie.

Round 1: Orzo salad with tomatoes, basil and feta. I tried to "out-wine" Aaron by serving a beer aged in used chardonnay barrels, Nebraska Apricot Au Poivre. I thought the creamy, oaky elements from the wood aging would complement the pasta and feta. And I figured the beer's subtle apricot and black pepper would be icing on the cake to take this round. Instead, Aaron's straightforward sauvignon blanc, with its bright, grassy flavors, proved to be a better match. Bad start for beer. Onward and upward.

Round 2: Duck confit, sour cherry jam, Baetje goat cheese. Aaron snubbed his nose when I described New Belgium Cocoa Mole to the group: ancho, chipotle and guajillo peppers, plus cocoa. "I prefer beer-flavored beers," he said. As I'd hoped, this beer was absolutely perfect with this dish -- the smoky chipotle played off the duck meat, and the beer's cocoa tempered the sour tang of the cherry jam. Aaron reluctantly acknowledged that, while he'd rather prefer to drink his Cotes du Rhones over the beer on its own, Cocoa Mole was a better pairing with this food. Beer ties it up.

Round 3: Jones Heritage beer brats. Was Aaron setting himself up for disaster here, or did he seriously think he could find a wine that would out-pair beer with beer brats? Using the adage "What grows together goes together," I choose a Southern Missouri beer -- Charleville Hoptimistic IPA -- to go with these brats made from Southern Missouri hogs. The beer's juicy, citrusy flavors were as assertive as I'd hoped, but, as Aaron astutely pointed out, they were almost too similar to the big beer character of the brats. I scored this one in favor of Aaron's cab franc-syrah-merlot blend, which was both jammy and acidic, bringing out the best of the brats, and vice versa. I was lucky guests voted in favor of the beer here. It was close.

Round 4: Cheese plate. The funky, barnyardy elements of Green Flash Rayon Vert, a Belgian-style pale ale fermented with wild Brettanomyces yeast, are absolutely perfect with so many farmhouse-style cheeses. It was an ideal match with the Roarin' 40s blue cheese on the plate. Aaron probably could have won this round outright if he had selected a dry sparkling wine, but I guess he figured that'd be too easy. So he went with a red wine that contained 2 percent white viognier grapes. Nice wine. I thought beer won this by a mile, but our guests' split votes disagreed.

Aaron and his wines were admirable competitors. His food choices -- and cooking -- were impressives. As soon as he says the word, I'm ready for a rematch."
-Evan S. Benn

Second up - Wine Man's Take - Aaron Zwicker - The Wine and Cheese Place Forsyth

"Heading into my first Beer vs. Wine event I knew I had my work cut our for me, sure I was making/choosing the food and lets be honest wine does pair better with food but I was up against Evan Benn and the ever growing popularity of beer in general and craft brews in particular. The results were illuminating, beer did win, but wine faired a lot better than expected and for that I credit the open mindedness of both the audience and my competition.  Judging by the faces I recognized and the number of people following Evan on twitter this was a “beer” crowd for sure.  But, it did became clear that everyone was there to taste the food, the wine, the beer and truly decide which made the most sense for themselves rather than which seemed the more popular or obvious pairing.

Throughout the tasting I was constantly reminded that I was there not only as a presenter but also as a participant and in so much for the first time able to formalize the idea that beer was not just for drinking while making dinner but in fact a complex match for dinner itself. But did that mean I was a convert, did that mean I also felt beer would/should win the “smackdown”? No I enjoyed the wine more than the beer and as Evan will tell you I was constantly looking for a “beer flavored beer”, but like everyone else I as happy to challenge my prejudice and taste the beer and wine with the food and do my best to decide which I truly felt made the best pair."

-Aaron Zwicker

90 Points and only $11

2009 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley...$10.99
 Vibrant, refreshing and tight, showing currant and cherry flavors that are nicely shaded with gentle hints of wet, loamy earth and spice. Drink now through 2014. 4,946 cases made. –HS
Rated 90/100 The Wine Spectator