A new crop of St. Louis breweries burst onto the scene near the end of the 20th century, as the increasing demand for craft beers and microbrews took flight. Just as it was in the 1800s, a number of enterprising beer-lovers began brewing and selling a variety of beers, and a new age of brewing was born. Beer aficionados can sip and sample their way through St. Louis’ new age of microbrews and specialty beers at a number of area locales.
The St. Louis Brewery & Tap Room (2100 Locust Street, 314-241-2337, www.schlafly.com) began operations in 1991 at the corner of 21st and Locust streets on the western edge of downtown. The first new brewery in more than 50 years started making and selling a line of Schlafly beers named after its founder, Tom Schlafly. What began as a simple brewpub with limited distribution to a few local restaurants has continued to grow and evolve into a popular local beer-maker that now features a second brewery, Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, 314-241-2337, www.schlafly.com) in nearby Maplewood, and a distribution network that includes more than 1,200 restaurants, bars, grocery and convenience stores across the region.
The award-winning specialty beers at Morgan Street Brewery (721 North Second Street, 314-231-9970, www.morganstreetbrewery.com) are handcrafted on-site to produce their own distinctive colors and flavors. The brewing equipment (specially designed for the building) produces many styles, such as the Honey Wheat and Steam Lager that are available year around. Some beers will be on tap from time to time to compliment the changing St. Louis seasons. MSB features a number of specialty brews, including Honey Wheat, Morgan Street Vienna, Golden Pilsner, Dark Wheat, Red Lager, Oatmeal Stout, Irish Stout, Cobblestone Steam Lager, and seasonal beers including Maibock, Altbier, Doppelbock, Oktoberfest, Winter Lager, and Krystäl. New Morgan Street Signature Beers pop up throughout the year, and there’s a “Brewski Sampler” available that features four different styles.
Lafayette Square’s Square One Brewery (1727 Park Avenue, 314-231-2537, www.squareonebrewery.com) housed in an old Lafayette Square tavern that was home to an Anheuser-Busch tavern a century ago, serves up dozens of different varieties of house-crafted beer that includes the staples of every microbrewery — a rich stout, a clean-tasting IPA and a tart weizen. The food is casual hearty pub fare that goes well with the full-bodied flavor of a pint: chili, beer-cheese soup, bratwurst, plus beer-battered this, that and the other.
Six Row Brewing Company (3690 Forest Park Avenue, 314-531-5600, www.sixrowbrewco.com) has revived a piece of St. Louis’ brewing history by producing its line of quality ales at the old Falstaff Brewery. Six Row’s beer list includes such options as a Double IPA, Kolsch Extra Pale Ale, the Wee Heavy (Strong Scotch Ale) and the Whale. The accidental wheat/pale ale, made from a motley compilation of 10 malts, was originally created as a machinery test batch. The Old Plant No. 1 Pub features contemporary American cuisine with a twist alongside Six Row’s craft beers and a selection of beverages from other craft breweries and wineries.
Trailhead Brewing Company (921 South Riverside Drive, St. Charles, MO; 636-946-2739, www.trailheadbrewing.com) offers a variety of pilsners, stouts and ales, all of which are made on-site. Located in the middle of Missouri Wine Country, the Augusta Brewing Company & Beer Garden (5521 Water Street, 636-482-BEER; www.augustabrewing.com) is an attractive stop along the KATY Trail bike path in Augusta, Missouri. The brewery offers a number of specialty beers, including the Augusta Blonde Ale, Tannhauser, Hyde Park Stout, Augusta Hefewizen, Scotch Ale, and Barley Wine – considered the Port Wine of the brewing world.
4 Hands Brewing Company (1220 S. 8th Street, St Louis MO; 314-436-1559, www.4handsbrewery.com) will provide the craft beer enthusiast with a handcrafted portfolio inspired by the American Craft movement as well as Traditional Belgian and French style Farmhouse ales.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (3229 Washington Ave St. Louis, MO 63103; 314-222-0143, www.urbanchestnut.com) is a unconventional-minded yet tradition-oriented brewer of craft beer. They like to call their unique brewing philosophy “Beer Divergency” —a ‘new world meets ol world’ brewing approach wherein UCBC contributes to the ‘revolution’ of craft beer through artisanal creations of modern American beers, and pays ‘reverence’ to the heritage of beer with classically-crafted offerings of timeless, European beer styles.
The Civil Life Brewing Company (3714 Holt Ave St. Louis, MO 63116 | thecivillifebrewingcompany.com) is Tower Grove South’s hidden destination for beer geeks as well as those new to craft beer. The cozy wood-paneled space has a long bar, a communal table and an upstairs with smaller tables and private snugs. The space is part English pub and part German beer hall. Civil Life specializes in malt-driven session beers, with almost every selection falling between four and six percent alcohol. The beer and food have won this spot a loyal following of regulars, especially from the neighborhood.
The Dubliner (1025 Washington Avenue)
An authentic European gastropub that serves up equally authentic Irish whiskies, fine wines and an assortment of brews. In addition to the obligatory Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s, draft beers include Dubliner’s Amber Ale, Delirium, Stella Artois, Magners Cider, and Blue Moon. The “Taste of Dublin” menu features concoctions such as the Snakebite (Harp and Cider), Black and a Dash (Guinness and Black Currant), Black Velvet (Guinness and Champagne), and the Poor Man’s Black Velvet (Guinness and Cider).
Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar (1004 Locust Street),
This unique tap house and wine bar has something for beer and wine drinkers of every stripe – and price range. They won Best Beer List in Sauce Magazine Readers Choice Awards serving 200+ beers, 55 on tap, 100+ wines, 20+ by the glass.
John D. McGurks (1200 Russell)
This authentic Irish bar offers beer lovers a variety of options, including McEwan’s Scotch Ale Lindeman’s Framboise, Duvel Belhaven Wee Heavy, Youngs Dirty Dick’s, Lemp Lager, Pilsner Urquell, Paulaner Munich Lager, Woodchuck Cider, and Wexford Irish Cream Ale.
A Celtic pub offering a selection of brews ranging from domestic draught to premium imports and international favorites such as Smithwicks, Tennants, Fullers ESB, Warsteiner, Chimay, and Felinfoel Double Dragon. There are three locations, including Soulard (1732 Ninth Street), Webster Groves (17 Moody), and the Central West End (4747 McPherson Avenue).
Cicero’s Restaurant & Entertainment Plex (6691 Delmar Boulevard)
Offers one of the area’s largest – if not the largest – selection of bottled and draught beer, including more than 80 domestics and over 100 imports. Countries represented on Cicero’s “beers of the world map” range from the usual suspects – Ireland, Germany, Scotland and England to faraway lands such as Greece, Slovakia, China, and Lithuania. The pub also hosts weekly Beer School classes on Wednesday nights.
Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Boulevard)
This friendly neighborhood tavern has 60 bottled beers and 18 draught taps, along with a wide selection of microbrews and imports from around the world. Plus, the bar offers special “guest beers” each week.
Three Kings Public House (6307 Delmar Boulevard)
Voted Best New Bar for 2011 by the Riverfront Times serves up laudable selection of twenty craft and locally brewed beers on tap, an outside dining area with a fountain and fans, an indoor stage for entertainment.