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St. Louis beer tour, Part 2: Morgan Street fail(s), and a decent Downtown sports bar

January 13, 2011 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Favorite Bars, Travelin'

Read all entries from the St. Louis beer tour:
Part 1: Schlafly Tap Room || Part 2: Morgan Street fail(s), and a decent Downtown sports bar || Part 3: Six Row Brewing Company || Part 4: Straub’s (Bringing home some beer) || Part 5: Anheuser-Busch 

So, it’s about 8 p.m. on a Monday night in St. Louis and — as told in Part 1 of this series — I’ve just had a tasty meal and a pair of great beers at the Schlafly Tap Room. I’d like to make one more stop before calling it a night, so we head to the Morgan Street Brewery, the closest St. Louis brewery to my hotel Downtown that features a slew of beers crafted on site, including a Honey Wheat and a Cobblestone Steam Lager.

Here’s where things go wrong.

Fail #1: I got a Garmin for Christmas and immediately found myself relying on this GPS device to find my way around St. Louis. It had generally been reliable — until now. The exit off the interstate to get to Laclede’s Landing was closed, unbeknownst to Garmin, and we end up across the bridge in Illinois, briefly lost and definitely frustrated. We turn around and get back on track, make it to Laclede’s Landing, rumble over the cobblestones, and pay $5 to park.

Morgan Street Brewery in St. LouisFail #2: We walk up to the Morgan Street Brewery. I snap a few exterior photos. I can almost taste the malty goodness. We walk up to the door. And … it’s locked. Yep, Monday night, around 8:30, and the place is closed. I had just checked the website earlier in the day, and the place was supposed to be open from 4 p.m. to 2:3o a.m. No sign on the door. No sign of life inside. Nothing. Big ‘ol waste of time. And $5 poorer.

OK, so we head back to the hotel, the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, a pretty nice place and the closest you can possibly stay to the Arch, and try to salvage the ending to this night.

We had earlier noticed a bar in the hotel, the Brewhouse Saint Louis Historical Sports Bar, so we make a beeline there as soon as we get back to the Hyatt.

I was pleasantly surprised.Brewhouse Saint Louis Historical Sports Bar

The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons were on the TVs, all 18 of them, and the game is close. I get a copy of the beer list, and life is good.

The menu had a mix of St. Louis beers, from Budweiser to Schlafly to O’Fallon, as well as craft beers from across the country.

My brother had been to St. Louis recently and brought back some O’Fallon Hemp Hop Rye, which was decent. That’s what Sara ordered. Instead, I got the O’Fallon 5-Day IPA, an American-style India Pale Ale that’s dry-hopped for “five extra days” with 11 lbs. of Cascade whole hops per batch, as well as some Glacier hops. It had a very piny hop flavor and was nicely balanced by the sweet malts. It was a good beer, and I ended up getting another on my last night in St. Louis at a cool place called 1111 Mississippi.

"Your Beer Here" napkin

For my last beer at the Brewhouse, I decided to try something from Colorado. I ordered the Titan IPA from Great Divide, which was the first beer I’d tried from this Denver brewing company. It’s a heavily hopped IPA, with both piny and citrus taste and aroma, and a 7.1% ABV. I liked it, but ultimately preferred the O’Fallon.

I didn’t have any food at the Brewhouse, but it features some typical pub grub — nachos, wings, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers — as well as bangers and mash, smoked beef brisket and fish ‘n chips. It all looked pretty good.

The place also sells some cool T-shirts that say “Brew Me,” which I pondered purchasing, but passed on.

The Brewhouse has a nice laid-back vibe, and I’d definitely recommend it to people staying in Downtown St. Louis who are in need a dose of beer and sports.

Coming next week: Part 3 takes me to another brewpub in St. Louis, and I sample every beer in the house.

St. Louis beer scene more than just Bud these days, Washington Post says

November 20, 2010 By: mike Category: Beer learnin', Craft beer, Travelin'

Anheuser-Busch Brewery

Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis

The first time I traveled to St. Louis as a man of 21 years, I drove into the city, exited Interstate 55 and headed straight for the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

There was some Cardinals baseball involved in the trip, as well as some live music and general merriment, but the tour of Anheuser-Busch and the free Budwesier beer were the highlight.

Well, in the years since then, my taste in beer has changed, and the beer scene in St. Louis has changed, as well.

As the Washington Post reported Friday in a nice travel story, St. Louis beer isn’t just about Anheuser-Busch anymore.

Ever since the American beer giant was sold to a Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate to become Anheuser-Busch InBev, “St. Louisans are becoming more adventurous with their beer budget,” writes Kristen Hinman

Some have hopes for a back-to-the-future recasting of the early 20th century, when German immigrant-owned brewpubs and beer gardens dotted the city.”

Hinman went on a brewpub crawl, visiting HandleBarSix Row Brewing Co. and Square One Brewery. Also mentioned in the story are Stable brewpub and Morgan Street Brewery.

That’s a lot of brew pubs. And of course St. Louis also has the Schlalfly Tap Room, which was the first brewpub in Missouri. Schlafly’s Dry-Hopped APA is one of my favorites.

Looks like I need to head back soon.