Just when you thought you've tried every beer there is in St. Louis, Alpha Brewing Company (1409 Washington Avenue; 314-651-093) opened its doors on Wednesday, April 10, and gave you ten additional craft brews to add to your tick list. Tucked away just off bustling Washington Avenue, the brewery and tasting room is a quiet refuge for those who just love beer. Come during the idle hours of the day, and owner/head brewer Derrick Langeneckert is happy to talk beer with you for as long as you let him.
Langeneckert's decision to open the brewery comes from his love of beer, and his passion is evident in everything from the menu to the artisan taps.
Each beer listed on the menu has its own accompanying paragraph in ode to the ingredients choices, as well as a few words on the brew's flavor profile. Langeneckert sees the recent "foodie" movement carrying over to beer, and he aims to inform his drinkers as much as possible on what they're drinking. The resurgence in the popularity of craft beers has people pulling away from the national chain beers such as Budweiser and Michelob, instead cozying up to local concoctions with ingredients like prickly-pear cactus and bull testicles. While you won't find any of these ingredients at Alpha, you will find a range of "aggressive" ales, with bold, punchy flavors that go down smooth.
"You know that if you get into craft beer, there's no going back," Langeneckert warns. "You don't say, 'Oh yeah, I like IPAs, but I usually drink Bud Light. Like, no one says that. You never hear someone say, 'Yeah, I'm an ex-craft beer drinker.'"
Once you go craft, you never go back.
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