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A trip to Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis

September 24, 2012 By: Nate Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Travelin'

Perennial Artisan Ales

While headed up to St. Louis for other reasons, I managed to hijack the trip for a few hours for a stop at the Perennial Artisan Ales tap room. We discovered the brewery last fall and I had been waiting for a return trip ever since. It wasn’t too difficult to convince my hungry and thirsty traveling companions that we should stop by for a quick bite and beverage. That “quick” bite happily turned into a three-hour visit!

Located in an old Coca-Cola plant on the south side of St. Louis, Perennial opened in September of 2011 and has been going strong ever since.

The business end of the Perennial bar

The business end of the Perennial bar.

We were able to try all the beers they had on draft in the tap room: Hommel Bier (a dry-hopped Belgian pale ale), Saison de Lis (a Saison brewed with Chamomile Flowers), Peach Berliner-Weisse (brewed with local peaches) and Brewers IPA #3 (a “session” IPA at 4.2%).

The full spectrum

Left to right: Hommel Bier, Saison de Lis, Peach Berliner Weisse and Brewer’s IPA.

In addition to the great brews, Perennial is also turning out some great, local eats from its small kitchen.

Perennial Food

Pretzels and Pork Rillettes help work up a thirst.

More Perennial food

Sausage and cheese plate, all from local purveyors.

Unfortunately, we were unable to try any of Perennial’s barrel-aged beers as the brewery was between batches at the time. But having tried a couple in the past, I can attest to their quality. And they should be good as brewmaster Phil Wymore has plenty of experience from his time working the barrel-aging program at Goose Island. Hopefully, there should be a few ready the next time we make it up to St. Louis.

Their fermenters runneth over...

Barrels aging in the brewery. Shall we say a “vigorous” fermentation?

With so many new craft breweries opening up in St. Louis it would take awhile to sample them all. However, I would recommend making Perennial one of your first stops next time you’re in St. Louis. With great beer and food and a cool, laid-back atmosphere, it is one of the nicer taprooms I’ve visited. Homebrewers especially will enjoy Perennial’s dedication to brewing beers that don’t fit into traditional categories.

Perennial Bottles

Oh yeah, you can get them to go, too!


Schlafly’s James Ottolini wins Brewers Association award for innovation

May 04, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer

James Ottolini - SchlaflyJames Ottolini, brewmaster at The Saint Louis Brewery Inc. and Head of Brewing Operations at Schlafly Beer since 1992, won an achievement award for innovation in brewing this week from the Brewers Association.

Ottolini won the prestigious Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing, awarded at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego.

Here’s more from the Brewers Association press release:

Described by a fellow brewer as an artist, a scientist and an inventor, James Ottolini of the St. Louis Brewery, Inc. is the recipient of the 2012 Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing. The list of his creative brewing solutions ranges from redesigned milling processes to reduce brewers’ exposure to dust to extensive research on dry-hopping, which has been said to result in “beer with bold floral characteristics, but a soft, inviting quaffability.”

Others winners were Doug and Wynne Odell and Doug’s sister, Corkie Odell, of Odell Brewing Co., recipients of the Brewers Association Recognition Award; and Tom McCormick, full-time executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association, who won the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award recipient.

The Brewers Association is a trade association representing small and independent brewers.

‘Schlafly Titanium,’ the ultimate craft beer white whale

April 03, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Funny

There’s an auction on eBay under way for “Schlafly Titanium,” a beer so rare, only one bottle will ever be produced.

Here’s more about the beer from Schlafly Beer, St. Louis’ leading craft brewery:

Fermentation was carried out with a wild “space yeast”, harvested from ancient residue recently unearthed at a meteor crash site. Schlafly Titanium is dry-hopped 7 times with our proprietary hybrid of Galaxy, Amarillo, Simcoe and Citra hops, resulting in a beer with a theoretical count of over 10,000 IBU’s.

In addition to the choicest raw materials, Schlafly Titanium is also brewed with a host of other premium ingredients. This process is so exhausting, so extravagant, so expensive, that it yields but one single bottle of Schlafly Titanium.

Only one bottle of Schlafly Titanium will ever be made available to the public. This is truly the Ultimate Craft Beer White Whale.

By now I hope you’ve figured out that Schlafly Titanium is a joke and the video is a parody commercial for April Fool’s Day.

But what IS real is the auction.

Schlafly is auctioning off the actual, EMPTY bottle seen in the Schlafly Titanium commercial, handmade specifically for the April Fool’s joke. The winner of the auction gets the bottle, as well as a $50 gift certificate that can be used at either The Schlafly Tap Room or Schlafly Bottleworks in St. Louis. The gift certificate is good for dining, as well, at Schlafly’s retail shop.

All proceeds go to the Gateway Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Inc.

The auction ends Sunday. As of this morning, the current bid was $355.

Schlafly logo

In expansion, St. Louis’ Schlafly Beer to start brewing in Nashville at Blackstone Brewery

July 20, 2011 By: mike Category: Beer in the news, Breweries, Craft beer

Schlafly & Blackstone

Schlafly and Blackstone breweries are forming "an alliance," says Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman.

A decade ago, in the land of Anheuser-Busch, Schlafly Beer made just 9,383 U.S. barrels of craft beer.

In that same year, 2001, the St. Louis brewery took its first significant step to expand, buying an old grocery store in Maplewood, Mo., that would later open as the Schlafly Bottleworks in 2003.

With the increased capacity, Schlafly began to expand production. In 2010, it brewed about 35,000 barrels of beer, and is on pace to brew over 40,000 this year. Schlafly distributes in Kansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.

Schlafly is now quickly approaching capacity again. With that in mind, Schlafly has struck a deal to begin brewing beer in Nashville.

As part of a long-term agreement, Schlafly beer will be brewed at Blackstone Brewery’s new production brewery starting later this year. That’s according to a recent blog post from Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman.

This agreement will allow for continued growth of Schlafly in Tennessee and the surrounding areas as well as free up some much needed capacity at Schlafly Bottleworks in St. Louis.” [source]

According to Kopman’s blog post, the deal came about through an old friend. Dave Miller was the first Head Brewer at The Schlafly Tap Room in 1991. Miller later moved to Nashville to be Head Brewery at Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery. Miller, along with Kent Taylor and Stephanie Weins, owners at Blackstone, started planning a few years ago to build a new production brewery in addition to their brewpub. As a result, they sought advice from the folks at Schlafly about starting a production brewery in Nashville.

We got together in both Nashville and St. Louis and realized that we could form an alliance that would benefit both of us. We’re now happy to announce that we have a long term agreement with Kent and Stephanie to access some of their capacity in order to produce some Schlafly Beer at their new Brewery in Nashville beginning later this year,” Kopman wrote. “… The exact timing still depends on the go-ahead from our Quality Team.”

Details of the arrangement were not disclosed in the post.

So what do you guys think about the expansion plans? Leave a comment below.