The Saint Louis Brewery – Schlafly
They’ve been in St. Louis for 24 years, and I believe that the presenter, Mike Harbin, said that they are now the largest locally owned brewery in Missouri (now that Boulevard has been bought by Duvel.) The brewery favors simple descriptive names where form follows function . . . which is not to say that the brewery sticks to simple styles, as shown by Tasmanian IPA and Bière de Garde.
The Tap Room, their brewery building (one of two sites) has been there much longer than 24 years, since 1904 in fact. Having survived a century, multiple fires, and a mysterious visit to Manhattan, it has both the brewery and a restaurant that I would like to visit. Let’s have some beer!
A lager in the Helles style, very clear straw with a brief 1/4″ white head. Light lace remains. There’s an aroma of crisp malt and light spice hops, German hops. The light body comes with dry crackery malt with subtle stone fruit. Those German hops come back on the very dry finish. Presenter described it as his lawnmower beer, at it certainly is a good crisp summer beer.
This pours gold with a generous, barely off-white head. Thoroughly hoppy nose of lemon and herbs that I can smell two feet away, then I get malt and fruit like toast and marmalade. On the palette the hops turn piney with orange peel and malt underneath. The flavor then delivers waves of hops and malt and a peanut brittle sweetness just in the background. Almost chewable body as the waves continue giving rewarding complexity. The citrus hops really arrive on the finish, quite bitter but with dried fruit, sneaky sweetness and returning malt.
Opaque dark brown in the glass with a hint of redwood under a moderate nut-brown head. This dissipates after a minute or two, but still heavily laces glass. Dark coffee leads the nose with lots of heavily roasty malt and a chocolate-like sweetness. The flavor emphasizes chocolate malt and good coffee, but not sweetness. This is a dry stout not a milk or sweet stout. It’s after dinner coffee not morning coffee. Good coffee lingers on the dry finish. No bitterness and the smallest hint of sweetness comes back on the end.
I’m looking forward to sampling more of their 70-odd annual beers!