Welcome to "Draft Pick," a column by Gut Check contributor and craft-beer aficionado Richard Haegele. Each week, Richard will profile the most exciting new draft being poured in St. Louis, how it was made and where you can find it.
In February of 2006, Square One Brewery (1727 Park Avenue; 314-231-2537) (the distillery would come later) opened its doors at the corner of 18th and Park in a historic building that has been a bar or restaurant since 1883. They only produce beer for on-site consumption at their bar and dining room, so you won't find them anywhere else around town except for an occasional beer festival.
To celebrate their eighth anniversary, Square One recently put on a small party and brewed up a special beer they named "Ochofabuloso." Never ones to turn down a party, Gut Check scooted on down to Square One to try the beers and ask what's up with these crazy names.
The "Ochofabuloso" is billed it as a dark, American IPA brewed with a combination of eight different malted and unmalted grains. They also released two barrel-aged beers for the event -- a barley wine and their seventh anniversary beer, "Septangential." Both beers were aged for twelve months in Kentucky bourbon barrels.
"Every year we have this release party," explained their head brewer, John Witte, "and at the end of it, the brewing and spirit sides get together to pick a name for the next year's anniversary beer. We've usually had a few drinks by that time, so the names can be a little out there."
Gut Check settled down to experience the "Ochofabuloso." We received our snifter filled with a rich, dark mahogany colored beer. After one whiff, we immediately fell in love with this hoppy beast. The aroma is full of piney and floral notes that will make any hop head's mouth water. The beer hits your tongue with a swirl of malt, caramel and earthy spice to bring it all together. It is truly a delight. Get down to Square One Brewery and Distillery to try it soon.
Box Score Beer: Ochofabuloso Brewery: Square One Brewery and Distillery ABV: 9.0 percent IBUs: 89
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