Monday, December 13, 2010

Dashing through the snow with beer throughout the day

We spent this past weekend in St Louis for another homebrew competition. This time, it was St Louis Brews’ annual “Happy Holiday” competition. Judging was held Wednesday & Friday at the Schlafly Taproom, while Saturday’s sessions were at the relatively new Hill Brewing Company (soon to become Ferguson Brewing Company). We tried a few beers at Hill: Classic American Pilsner, Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Porter, and Chocolate Stout.  

If you’re interested in checking out a pre-prohibition pils, theirs is a good one to try. It’s a style that isn’t very easy to find, but is interesting, moderately complex, flavorful, and refreshing. It’s made with barley and flaked corn, so there’s a decent amount of sweetness, but it’s balanced by hop flavor and bitterness and kept light in body by the corn.

In the KC area, if you’re lucky, you’ll find John Barleycorn at Free State. And if you’re in Nebraska, a trek over to Lucky Bucket will land you yet another Pre-Prohibition pils simply called the Lucky Bucket Lager. There aren’t many around, but this is a style that seems to be gaining some interest with craft brewers; keep your eye out for it.

On our way back to KC, we stopped for brunch at Broadway Brewing. We’re probably some of the last craft beer people in KC to go to Broadway, but I’m glad we finally did. There was a live band playing folk music in the back corner, which was perfect ambiance for the cold, snowy day. Broadway's known for focusing on local ingredients, and their menu is a welcome change from your standard pub fare; I had a chorizo & roasted red pepper quiche and Mr Wort Hog enjoyed some lamb hash. On tap was an APA, a Rye Pale Ale, a winter strong ale, and something else that escapes me. 

While we were there, they put on their cream ale – replacing the He’Brew Vertical Jewbelation, a blend of the past 7 years of Jewbelations, aged in Sazerac rye barrels. In fact, they had all seven Jewbelations on tap in addition to the Vertical Jewbelation! I was a bit disappointed to find out that these were kegs of *re-brewed* Jewbelations - instead of kegs that had been tucked away for years - but quickly forgot my disappointment in my glass of the Vertical Jewbelation. 

If you want any of them on tap, you’ll need to drive to Columbia or Omaha, as those are the closest cities with one of the 88 “chosen” bars. Or, find a gift pack (which has all the beers, an empty bottle as the shamash, and a glass) and drink your way to your own beer menorah!


  1. Were you guys judging or competing? In either case, how'd it go?

  2. Just judging this time - we meant to enter, but missed the deadline. :(

    We had a really nice time, and the quality of judges there was great. I really enjoyed judging with the folks there.


Tasting Notes