Monday, March 3, 2014

Your Pick for St. Louis' Most Underrated Craft Beer Is...

Posted By on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Custom taps at Heavy Riff. | Zach Garrison
  • Custom taps at Heavy Riff. | Zach Garrison

Last week's poll was our biggest ever. St. Louis has more than enough craft beer to go around, but we know some breweries get more love than others -- hence our question. One of the freshmen won the title of STL's most underrated craft beer, despite the fact that it has only been open for a few months. We talked to them about getting so much love and what's next on the agenda.

See also: The Six Best Craft Beer Makers in St. Louis

Your pick for St. Louis' most underrated craft beer is Heavy Riff Brewing Company (6413 Clayton Avenue) with 54.22 percent of the vote. The brewery opened in September 2013 and released its first beer, the "Velvet Underbrown," a few weeks later.

"I've heard from people who don't like dark beers that they like it. It just has that easy taste profile," Heavy Riff co-owner Justin Saffell tells Gut Check. "I could see how a brown ale could be underrated, because it doesn't get the recognition of say, a Belgian-style beer. It's an underrated style."

Saffell is pleasantly surprised to have won the readers' poll, because 2nd Shift, Civil Life and Crown Valley aren't underrated in his mind -- they're great.

"It's really nice to be recognized, especially with those other breweries, because those guys are making great beer all year round," he says. "Hopefully people are still coming in our doors and it continues to get better."

Look out for the release of two new brews at Heavy Riff next week: a pale ale called "American Slang" and an Irish red called "Raglan Irish Red." They'll be on draft at Heavy Riff, and Saffrell says "American Slang" will probably join "Velvet Underbrown" on draft at Seamus McDaniel's.

"We really appreciate all the support so far. [Customers] have really made us feel like we belong here in the beer community, and the rest of Dogtown made us feel welcome," Saffell says. "We're just chugging along -- hopefully people will come out for St. Patrick's Day!"

Continue for the full report.

Here are the results of last week's readers' poll:

Heavy Riff Brewing Company (6413 Clayton Avenue): 54.22 percent Civil Life Brewing Company (3714 Holt Avenue): 38.35 percent 2nd Shift Brewing Company (1401 Olive Road, New Haven; 573-237-3421): 4.19 percent Crown Valley Brewing (13326 State Route F, Ste. Genevieve; 573-756-9463): 1.35 percent Other: 1.89 percent

The most popular write-in was Exit 6 Pub and Brewery (5505 State Highway N, St. Charles; 636-244-4343). Original poll here.

We'll be back next week with another edition of Underrated/Overrated -- got an opinion about which food group we should tackle next? Tell us in the comments.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.


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