Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drew's Favorites Volume 2

Ahh...Flossmoor Station, how I want a Pullman Brown, Killer Kapowski or is it Kowalski? whatever, I want one of those Baltic Porters, no, better make it a case. Or two. Flossmoor Station from outside of Chicago has not only put out two of my favorite dark beers brewed in the midwest, but the even produce and amazing series of American IPAs and a very nice American Wheat, a style I will defend from other beer geeks for all of my days.
Pullman Brown is a work of art, and a true show of complexity for another style brushed aside by many in the search of the latest and greatest. Nutty, toasty malt, toffee sweetness, a bit of chocolate and layering of earthy hops tied together with their fruity house ale yeast makes for a brown of startling depth. The use of toasted oats and molasses really puts it over the top.
The Baltic Porter is classic representation of one of my favorite styles. Loads of malt in all its fat glory adorned with dark, dried fruits, figs and raisins all dusted in cocoa powder and coffee. Clean, devastatingly smooth and strong enough to make you a little sleepy.
Vishnu's Vice and Lady Columbia were both excllent bottled IPAs I had the pleasure of consuming, and the Wooden Hell Barleywine was no slouch, either.
Even though Matt Van Wyk has left Flossmoor Behind to head out Oregon way, Bryan Shimkos has stepped into his boots (not literally...eww) and will take Flossmoor into the future. I wish him the best of luck!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Mighty Current

We are standing on the edge of history. Not moon landing, or Archduke assasination history, but we are one the brink of one of those little shifts that can change the course of things, like the way the weather in Clearwater County, Minnesota alters how the Mississippi-Missouri River confluence laps on our banks, and flows down towards the delta.
This is not passive history, however, it is active history, and the river of which I speak isn't filled with muddy water, but glorious craft beer. While the river of craft beer has picked up greatly in volume and quality in the St. Louis area over the past few years, it have certainly not crested.
A new tributary is about to surge into the current, St. Louis Craft Beer Week. SLCBW is already part of a larger body, the mighty which has been pouring into the current for over 20 months now and has decidedly changed how craft beer flows through St. Louis.
What exactly, will it bring? Well right now, all we can do is look at the events slated for this year, see how they fare and make forcasts for next year.
This year's lineup looks something like this:

Saturday May 30th
Beer and Brats Festival - Westport Plaza
B33r and Brats - 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar
Wine-Beer-BBQ - Wine & Cheese Place Ballwin

Sunday May 31st
Homebrew With Drew (that's me) - Mattingly Brewing Company
I'll be firing up the old homebrewing kettles and making a Dampfbier, a Bavarian peasants' beer, low in gravity (initial sugar content and, therefore, alchol), all barley malt, lightly hopped and fermented with yeast borrowed from a Weissbier (Schlafly, in this case) brewery. It will be served at the June 17th Peek.
It starts at 9am and if you want to brew email me drew at mattinglybrewing dot com

Monday June 1st
Craft Beer Dinner - The Shaved Duck
Meet a Griesedieck - The Royale
Boulevard Tank 7 Sampling - International Tap House

Tuesday June 2nd
Beer and Cheese Matching - Wine & Cheese Place Clayton
Founders Draught Release Party - The Stable
Tenacious Trivia: Beer Edition - Newstead Tower Public House
Bell's Beer Dinner - Renaissance St. Louis Airport
Sam Adams Beer Tasting - Lukas Liquor

Wednesday June 3rd
Bell's Brewery Beer School - Cicero's
Peek-a-Brew Pale Ryeder Edition - Mattingly Brewing Company
Boulevard Two Jokers Wit and Smokestack Tasting - Lukas Liquor
Beer and Cheese Tasting - Schlafly Taproom
Sam Adams Beer Tasting - Randall's Wine & Spirits
Meet the Brewery (Founders) - International Tap House

Thursday June 4th
Craft/Beer - The Royale
Beer Tasting for Wine Lovers - Wine & Cheese Place Clayton
History of Craft Beer - Schlafly Bottleworks
O'Fallon Brewery Garden Party - Missouri Botanical Gardens

Friday June 5th
Beer Tasting - Wine & Cheese Place Clayton
St. Louis Brewers' Heritage Festival - Forset Park
Ss. Peter & Paul Craft Beer Fest - Alton Sportmen's Club

Saturday June 6th
St. Louis Brewers' Heritage Festival - Forst Park

Details on all the events can be found at

That's an amazing week!
I will be at both Mattingly events and will do my best to attend the Founders' Release Party and Trivia events on Tuesday night, the History of Craft Beer and O'Fallon Garden Party on Thursday and as much of the St. Louis Brewers' Heritage Festival as I can fit it around my brewing schedule for that weekend.
I encourage everyone to make it out to these events, especially the Mattingly events, but if cannot attend those, please go to what you can and support this venture. St. Louis Craft Beer Week has some incredible potential. Can St. Louis become the next Denver, San Diego or Portland? If we can demonstrate that we are up their level, then we will be at their level. So raise a pint and make it happen!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Homebrewing Spirit Lives on at MBC

Craft Beer. noun.
If a homebrewer (current or former) gets to decide what the beer tastes like, it's craft beer.
- Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing, p. 2

Lately it occurs to me that things have been very homebrew-esque around the cellar at Mattingly Brewing Company. Since the release of the mighty Dead Flowers Double IPA we have seen a Dubbel spiced with Star Anise, Cinnimon, Ginger and Orange peel, a Brandy Oak Aged Dubbel, and a Chipotle Porter. It looks a awful lot like the kind of homebrew lineup I have been known to turn out. The cellar has seen more that Drew-brand homebrewed insanity in the last few days. In the near future we'll see the release of the Black Sands Coconut Porter, Black Thoughts Cocoa Porter aged on toasted (by me) coconut and Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs, resectively. But, dear beer ethusiasts, that is not all. I have also kegged off Black Past Historical Porter, Black Sky Stout Porter taken back to the 1800s. To create this 'Original' Porter, I added a bit of our Abominator Smoked Doppelbock, charred American White Oak (charred by yours truely) and the funky, yeasty dregs from a bottle of George Gale's Prize Old Ale (I'm enjoying the remainder of this bottle of the 2005 Vintage as I type), this will aged and develop or 'stale' in the parlance of the 1800s, the release date is TBA (read: When its good and ready, damnit!).
Oh, by the way, I've brewed up some Abominator Smoked Doppelbock, too! It was actually the first brew on the system, my test batch. The crazy system we have suprisingly is very efficient at getting every last bit of malty goodness out the mash, so the Smoked Bock quickly became a Samiclaus strength Doppelbock...woohoo! It has been patiently aging in our cellar, and will continue to until winter rears its ugly head and we beat back the bitter cold with a massive, smoky, sweet, caramelly, warming lager.
There are other projects maturing down here, like the Biere from Mars, the Biere de Mars inoculated (what a great word) with Brettanomyces from my favorite source for those little buggers, Orval. To be released in the fall.
Since I have finally kegged off the Abominator, I'll have some empty homebrew fermenters, which means its time to brew into them. Perhaps something like Black Forest Maple Extra Stout?
But you don't have to wait for everything exciting, in fact, for one, the wait is almost over. On June 3rd, be ready for the ride of the Pale Ryeder Palm Sugar Rye Tripel.