Friday, May 23, 2014

8 Craft Brewery Destinations Worth a Mini Road Trip

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 5:00 AM

The grounds at Charleville Brewing Company. | Tait Russell
  • The grounds at Charleville Brewing Company. | Tait Russell

All week long we're rolling out content from our Summer Guide 2014. In it you'll find all the best ways to enjoy the season in and around St. Louis. Click here to read the rest of the guide or pick it up in print at the red Riverfront Times box nearest you.

While the craft-beer culture has blossomed in St. Louis city, we're not alone: New breweries are opening up across the bistate region all the time. Though many of them are a bit too far away for a spur-of-the-moment visit, with a little planning it's easy to make a day out of it. Build a playlist, grab a beer stein and hit the open road — these destinations are so lovely that even the designated driver will be happy he volunteered.

See also: 7 Outdoor Dinners You Can't Miss This Summer

Destination: Ste. Genevieve

Crown Valley Brewery - COURTESY CROWN VALLEY
  • Courtesy Crown Valley
  • Crown Valley Brewery

Crown Valley Brewing: Ste. Genevieve has long been known for its wineries, and that's how Crown Valley (23589 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve; 866-207-9463 or got its start before expanding into brewing in 2008. Its core beers include the "Big Bison Ale" and "Gunslinger Double India Pale Ale." In addition to wine and beer, a visit to Crown Country also features a distillery, an antique mall, a tiger sanctuary and more.

"Hairy Cow Wee Heavy" on the bottling line at Charleville. | Tait Russell
  • "Hairy Cow Wee Heavy" on the bottling line at Charleville. | Tait Russell

Charleville Brewing Company: Charleville (16937 Boyd Road, Ste. Genevieve; 573-756-4537 or also began as a winery, and today it's known for beers like the "Hoptimistic IPA" and "Half-Wit Wheat." Be sure to call ahead to find out what's currently available from its seasonal brews, such as "Box of Chocolate" or the "Ale Mucho Hoppo." For those looking to make an overnight trip, Charleville has a refurbished 1860s log cabin on the vineyard that serves as a two-room bed and breakfast. One insider tip: GPS directions to this destination are unreliable. Co-owner Joal Russell advises that would-be visitors use the directions on CBC's website instead.

Destination: New Haven

2nd Shift Brewing: Located within the grounds of Cedar Creek Conference Center in New Haven, 2nd Shift Brewing (1401 Olive Road, New Haven; 573-237-3421 or makes many highly regarded beers, including "Art of Neurosis," "Katy" and "Hibiscus Wit." The tasting room is run by Cedar Creek, which offers lots of amenities, including a salt-water swimming pool, a golf course and hiking trails. The brewery is happy to give tours to anybody who calls ahead. Look forward to 2nd Shift's annual beer festival; this year it's held on Saturday, July 5.

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