Perennial Artisan Ales Homefront IPA

If you have not been outside for a few days, I must inform you that it is still very much summer. Luckily, one of my favorite breweries, Perennial Artisan Ales, has recently released the an excellent summer beer, the Homefront IPA. The Homefront IPA is a brewing project intended to raise money and awareness for Operation Homefront. This effort started in 2011 with Fremont and Center of the Universe Breweries. Since then Cigar City, Perennial Artisan Ales, SlyFox, St. Arnold’s and 21st Amendment breweries have joined in to create this tasty IPA brewed with oranges and aged on Louisville Slugger bats. The proceeds go to Operation Homefront. So, hydrate yourself then run to your nearest craft beer retailer and grab one of these unique beers or order one online from The Wine and Cheese Place. This beer is very good and I will write up a review once I drink my bottle. For more information on the project check out Hops for Heroes.

2nd Shift Brewing (Review)

I finally had the opportunity to try some of 2nd Shift Brewing‘s beers. Springfield has really been missing out! 2nd Shift is one of several new breweries located in Saint Louis, Missouri. I have mentioned this before but Saint Louis is really making a strong case for itself to be included amongst the great craft brewing centers in the United States, such as Portland, Denver, San Diego, and Ashville. There is simply a ton of stuff going on in the Saint Louis beer world, outside of the Budweiser kingdom! I am specifically referring to new and exciting breweries such as Perennial, Six Row, 2nd Shift, as well as, other, more established but excellent producers such as Schlafly and O’Fallon. I must also mention the existence of some very good quality liquor stores and beer bars. I have already written about Perennial Artisan Ales (and still cannot say enough good things about) and finally had the opportunity to try some of 2nd Shift’s offerings yesterday. All of the beers I tried were elegantly packaged in 750ml bombers and delicious. First, I tried the El Gato Grande IPA, which was filled with citrusy hops and very easy to drink. Then the Unicorn Killer 1 and 2 saisons, both of which were delicious, I believe the first one was a little lighter on the spices and reminded me of Boulevard’s Tank 7 (please do not hate me too much if I am off on that analysis, I am going by memory and it has been a long week) compared to the equally delicious but much more spicy second version. To finish it all off, I tasted the Cat Spit Stout, which may be one of the most sessionable stouts I have encountered and an imperial stout (the name escapes me) that was filled with chocolaty goodness. All in all I was very impressed and I can not wait to see 2nd Shift on shelves in Springfield, Missouri as well as a visit during an epic beer trip to Saint Louis that will happen (and considering how many college buddies I have that live there and it’s proximity to Springfield is long over due)… Someday…

List of Missouri Breweries/Brewpubs

Spring is a great time for beer related travel. Whether live in Missouri and are looking for short trip or find yourself in Missouri and want some good local beers, I hope this list helps. I am sure I have missed some important breweries or brewpubs, therefore, please feel free to inform me of anything I left out and I will update this list accordingly. Feel free to mention your favorite Missouri Breweries/Brew Pubs as well.

Kansas City Area

-75th Street Brewery

- Boulevard Brewing *This is the largest craft brewery in Missouri and the 12th best selling craft brewery in the United States

- McCoy’s Public House

- Weston Brewing Company (Note: Flying Monkey Brewery also operates out of the Weston Brewing Company)

- Granite City Food & Brewery (Note, there are two in the Kansas City area, one is on the Kansas City in Olathe the other is in the Zona Rosa Shopping Center in the Northland)

- Gordon Biersch

- Doodle Brewing Company

Saint Louis Area

- Morgan Street Brewery

- Saint Louis Brewery (better known as Schlafly) *This is one of the largest craft breweries in the state, also owns a great restaurant called Schlafly Bottleworks.

- O’Fallon Brewery

- Anheuser-Busch Inc. *The largest brewer in the world.

- Perennial Artisan Ales

- Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

- Square One Brewery

- Kirkwood Station Brewing Company

- The Civil Life Brewing Company

- Griesedieck Brothers Brewery Co.

- Trailhead Brewing Company

- Six Row Brewing Company

- 4 Hands Brewing Company

- Amalgamated Brewing Co.: The Stable (The website does not currently work.)

- Cathedral Square Brewery

- Buffalo Brewing Company

- Ferguson Brewing Co.

- Granite City Food & Brewery

Springfield Area

- Springfield Brewing Company

- Mother’s Brewing Company

- Little Yeoman Brewery (in Cabool)

- Charlie’s Steak, Ribs & Ale

Southeast Missouri

- Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co. (Ste. Genevieve)

- Buckner Brewing (Cape Girardeau)

- Charleville Winery and Microbrewery (Ste. Genevieve)

Central and Other Parts of Missouri

- Piney River Brewing Company (Piney River Area)

- Tin Mill Brewery (Hermann)

- Horseshoe Bend Brewing Company (Ozarks)

- 5th Street Brewpub (Sedalia)

- Native Stone Winery & Bull Rock Brewery (Jefferson City)

- Prison Brews (Jefferson City)

- Flat Branch Pub and Brewing (Columbia)

- Broadway Brewery & Restaurant (Columbia)

- Augusta Brewing Co. (Augusta)


Springfield, Missouri 2011 State of Beer Review

2011 has been an excellent year for beer in Springfield. I could make this article very long and still fail to mention many important Ozark beer developments. Do not worry, I have no interest in boring anyone with such things. I am merely gonna mention some of the largest beer related events of 2011 in the region.

By far the largest and most exciting development in the area was the introduction of Mother’s Brewing Company. Mother’s started out last spring and has, so far impressed me tremendously. They have a beautiful facility in downtown Springfield. On top of the aesthetics, they are making some great beer and charging very reasonable prices. I expect a lot of great things from them in 2012. Another brewery that deserves mention is Horseshoe Bend Brewing Company near the Lake of the Ozarks. Horseshoe bend has just completed a “croudsourcing” fundraising campaign in order to facilitate more production. I have not had their beer and do not suspect it will make it to Springfield in the near future, but am very glad to see their enthusiasm and desire to create good beer for the Ozarks. I wish them the best of luck in the future. I can not fail to mention that the Springfield Brewing Company recently changed ownership. Their brew master is now the owner and I see great things coming out of this. I was recently given a bottle of the Full Nelson, which is a Nelson Sauvin wheat wine and I was very impressed.

This year has also been a good year for both on and off premise beer consumption in Springfield. In 2011, Missouri saw the introduction of Green Flash Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Company which are both excellent breweries from San Diego. Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Nectar Ales, (which is one of my favorite breweries) from Paso Robles California, entered the Missouri market last spring as well. Very recently an excellent new brewery out of St. Louis, Perennial Artisan Ales, arrived on Springfield shelves. While those are certainly not all of the beers new to Missouri, in 2011, they some of the most acclaimed. With the introduction of those five breweries, Missouri’s already strong portfolio of available beers improved dramatically. Deschutes Brewery is supposed to come to Missouri early in 2012 and can not wait to see what else!

The selection on store shelves has greatly improved in 2011. I have also noticed a drastically improved tap selection at many bars. The Brown Derby Craft Beer Fest and Oktoberfest both went on and expanded in 2011. The Springfield Food and Wine Celebration added beer in 2011. Beer dinners and sit down tastings have been on the rise. The beer community in general is growing. Overall 2011 has been an excellent year for beer in Springfield and 2012 looks to be even better. Keep up the great work Springfield!

Perennial Abraxas (Review)

Perennial Artisan Ales is a new brewery in Saint Louis that started in late 2010 or early 2011. Boy, are they making a splash! I thought 20 dollars for a bottle of beer from a brewery that is less than a year old was pretty audacious. Then, I tried the Abraxas and my feelings instantly reversed. The Abraxas was phenomenal. It pours an thick oily black with a robust mocha head. The nose contained a soft roasty aroma with hints of pepper and anise. On the pallet was where the real magic happened. This beer is delicious, there is a strong anise component that is balanced perfectly by a lot of bitter chocolate. It has a lot of other things going on including some cinnamon sweetness. I did not taste a lot of chilis, but that could be due to the fact that I am constantly eating dangerously spicy foods. The Abraxas is extremely well crafted and finishes really smoothly and creamy. It is an absolute marvel, get it before the rest of the beer community catches on!

On a side note, I am proudly from Kansas City and a little biased. However, the Saint Louis brewing community has a lot going on. I think Schlafly is an excellent brewery. I like O’Fallon’s seasonals (I know that some of these, were and may still be brewed in Wisconsin) and the 5 Day IPA. With, Perennial as well as several other new breweries that are under development, some great beer bars and liquor stores such as The Wine and Cheese Place and Friar Tuck’s, Saint Louis has the makings of becoming an even greater beer city. It does not seem right to talk about St Louis beer and not mention Budweiser. So there, I mentioned it.