(Don't forget that STL Hops posts beer lists
for quite a few local establishments.)Ayinger Weizenbock
(Brauerei Aying, Germany): Long considered one of the greats, Ayinger makes definitive German beers, so anything new from them should be snapped up immediately. Ayinger has brewed a rare style of beer that combines the fruity refreshment of a traditional weissbier with the malty, warming heft of a bock. Super drinkable. Look for the 17-ounce bottle with the happy goat on the label.
Founders Breakfast Stout
(Founders Brewing, Michigan): So-named probably due to its subtitle, Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Stout. This stuff absolutely begs to be made into a milkshake and served with pancakes. Or, better yet, just add friends. Ridiculously rich and flavorful -- and over 8% alcohol. I dare you to find a more comforting partner throughout the cold months. On tap and in 12-ounce bottles.
Schlafly Hop Harvest
(The Saint Louis Brewery, St. Louis): This year, many American breweries are putting out pale ales that have been hopped with fresh, whole-leaf hops straight from the fields. (After the hop shortage of a few years ago, I guess they're all going a little crazy.) What this practice does is imbue the beer with a greener, grassier, stinkier hop character that is just about the freshest-tasting beer experience you can have. Look for beers labeled Fresh Hop, Wet Hop or Hop Harvest from any local craft brewery or from nationals like Sierra Nevada. Schlafly's version is all citrusy and peachy and absolutely delicious. Draught only.
If you've been paying attention over the past few years, you know how the beer selection in the St. Louis area has ballooned. (Seventeen breweries!) With so much out there, it can get a little overwhelming at times. Here are a few Must-Trys and New-&-Excitings to seek: