12 St. Louis Tap Rooms You Should Be Drinking at This Weekend

Craft brewing has taken off in a big way in St. Louis, to the point that new breweries (and their accompanying tap rooms) seem to come online almost monthly. So what's a discerning beer lover to do? How about visit as many as possible? Not all of the dozen we're highlighting here have daily hours, and not all offer food. But each offers a unique experience -- and each one will keep you hydrated even in the heat of summer. —Doyle Murphy, Cheryl Baehr and Sarah Fenske See also: 10 Fun Things to Do in St. Louis This Summer for $15 or Less See also: Are You a True St. Louisan? (QUIZ)

Craft brewing has taken off in a big way in St. Louis, to the point that new breweries (and their accompanying tap rooms) seem to come online almost monthly. So what's a discerning beer lover to do? How about visit as many as possible?

Not all of the dozen we're highlighting here have daily hours, and not all offer food. But each offers a unique experience -- and each one will keep you hydrated even in the heat of summer.

—Doyle Murphy, Cheryl Baehr and Sarah Fenske

See also: 10 Fun Things to Do in St. Louis This Summer for $15 or Less

See also: Are You a True St. Louisan? (QUIZ)

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Perennial Artisan Ales
8125 Michigan Ave.; 314-631-7300
Perennial has taken over the backside of an old Coca-Cola factory and turned it into a beer oasis in the Patch neighborhood of deep south city. A wide patio (and plenty of parking) greet visitors to the big brick complex. Inside, the tasting room is a shaped like an L. On your left is long wood-plank bar with an attractive, etched-glass mirror back. Tufted aqua-green bar stools add to the stylish retro feel, and a mix of table (along with dart boards) await guests who venture past the room's elbow. Food is made in-house, and while the menu changes, you can expect shareable small-plate options and a couple of sandwiches with most of their ingredients from local sources. And if you're not a beer drinker — or not exclusively a beer drinker — Perennial offers wine and a solid lineup of whiskeys. Unfortunately, this can't be your every-day spot: The tasting room is only open Wednesday through Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Steve Truesdell

Perennial Artisan Ales


8125 Michigan Ave.; 314-631-7300
Perennial has taken over the backside of an old Coca-Cola factory and turned it into a beer oasis in the Patch neighborhood of deep south city. A wide patio (and plenty of parking) greet visitors to the big brick complex. Inside, the tasting room is a shaped like an L. On your left is long wood-plank bar with an attractive, etched-glass mirror back. Tufted aqua-green bar stools add to the stylish retro feel, and a mix of table (along with dart boards) await guests who venture past the room's elbow. Food is made in-house, and while the menu changes, you can expect shareable small-plate options and a couple of sandwiches with most of their ingredients from local sources. And if you're not a beer drinker — or not exclusively a beer drinker — Perennial offers wine and a solid lineup of whiskeys. Unfortunately, this can't be your every-day spot: The tasting room is only open Wednesday through Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Steve Truesdell
4 Hands Brewing Company
1220 South 8th Street, 314-436-1559
This place is a playroom for adults. On offer are beer, skee-ball and nachos; might as well hang out. Located just south of downtown in the LaSalle Park neighborhood, 4 Hands provides two floors for thirsty customers, with the main beer hall in the upstairs of the brewery's old brick building, a huge open room with enormous tables and plenty of space for big groups. Brick walls, exposed ductwork and tall, glass block windows give it that classic St. Louis warehouse feel. Projectors beam sporting events onto the wall behind a long, metal-topped bar. 4 Hands is also close to Busch Stadium, so expect spillover crowds stopping in before and after Cards games. The building has its own parking lot, which makes visiting that much easier. Along with the brisket nachos, you can get some top-class eats. South city favorites Peacemaker and Sidney Street handle the food.
Photo courtesy of Jon Gitchoff

4 Hands Brewing Company


1220 South 8th Street, 314-436-1559
This place is a playroom for adults. On offer are beer, skee-ball and nachos; might as well hang out. Located just south of downtown in the LaSalle Park neighborhood, 4 Hands provides two floors for thirsty customers, with the main beer hall in the upstairs of the brewery's old brick building, a huge open room with enormous tables and plenty of space for big groups. Brick walls, exposed ductwork and tall, glass block windows give it that classic St. Louis warehouse feel. Projectors beam sporting events onto the wall behind a long, metal-topped bar. 4 Hands is also close to Busch Stadium, so expect spillover crowds stopping in before and after Cards games. The building has its own parking lot, which makes visiting that much easier. Along with the brisket nachos, you can get some top-class eats. South city favorites Peacemaker and Sidney Street handle the food.

Photo courtesy of Jon Gitchoff
Modern Brewery
5231 Manchester Avenue
Co-founders Beamer Eisele and Ronnie Fink are working on a move to a huge new home in Old Webster, one that would have Modern Brewery working in connection with Olive + Oak (and, one presumes, feeding off its overflow traffic). But until that happens, you can grab a beer at the brewery's tap room near Saint Louis University High School in the King's Oak neighborhood. The warehouse-style space offers few frills, just some seats (mostly bar stools and picnic tables), cornhole and excellent beer. The tap room is open Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 11 p.m., and while there's no kitchen here, you'll often find a food truck lingering outside.
Photo courtesy of nicmeetsworld / Instagram

Modern Brewery


5231 Manchester Avenue
Co-founders Beamer Eisele and Ronnie Fink are working on a move to a huge new home in Old Webster, one that would have Modern Brewery working in connection with Olive + Oak (and, one presumes, feeding off its overflow traffic). But until that happens, you can grab a beer at the brewery's tap room near Saint Louis University High School in the King's Oak neighborhood. The warehouse-style space offers few frills, just some seats (mostly bar stools and picnic tables), cornhole and excellent beer. The tap room is open Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 11 p.m., and while there's no kitchen here, you'll often find a food truck lingering outside.

Photo courtesy of nicmeetsworld / Instagram
2nd Shift Brewing
1601 Sublette Avenue, 314-669-9013
2nd Shift's tasting room sits in a warehouse, and not one of those century-old, industrial chic spots that are lit with Edison bulbs and used as the backdrop for wedding photos. Think corrugated metal siding and concrete floors in the style of an airplane hangar or auto parts distribution center. It sits behind the sliding gate of a chain link fence on a bland, blue-collar district on the edge of the Hill. And yet, the place has its charms, recognizable to anyone who has ever filled a pint from the Kegerator in his buddy's garage ... only the beer at 2nd Shift is probably better. The food — Guerrilla Street has its own spot here — is definitely better. Function follows form at 2nd Shift, and that's refreshing in an era where brewers seem to spend as much time thinking about their Instagram accounts as their beer. During good weather, grab yourself a pint, walk outside as the motion light clicks on and look out across a culvert on a working city.
Photo courtesy of 2nd Shift

2nd Shift Brewing


1601 Sublette Avenue, 314-669-9013
2nd Shift's tasting room sits in a warehouse, and not one of those century-old, industrial chic spots that are lit with Edison bulbs and used as the backdrop for wedding photos. Think corrugated metal siding and concrete floors in the style of an airplane hangar or auto parts distribution center. It sits behind the sliding gate of a chain link fence on a bland, blue-collar district on the edge of the Hill. And yet, the place has its charms, recognizable to anyone who has ever filled a pint from the Kegerator in his buddy's garage ... only the beer at 2nd Shift is probably better. The food — Guerrilla Street has its own spot here — is definitely better. Function follows form at 2nd Shift, and that's refreshing in an era where brewers seem to spend as much time thinking about their Instagram accounts as their beer. During good weather, grab yourself a pint, walk outside as the motion light clicks on and look out across a culvert on a working city.

Photo courtesy of 2nd Shift
Alpha Brewing Company
4310 Fyler Avenue, 314-621-2337
Alpha's new home in Tower Grove South is about as attractive as they come. Inside the former home of James Shaw & Son Marble & Tile Contractors (do not be confused by the former tenant's still-intact sign; you are in the right place), a moderately sized hall lies beneath a framework of pitched beams like the overturned hull of a ship. A U-shaped bar has seating along the prongs, and a white-on-black mural featuring a diver in an old-school drysuit fills the back wall. Order some tostones, empanadas or maybe the jibarito sandwich from the side window of the Alphateria, the Latin-themed kitchen run by Mandy Estrella of Plantain Girl. Alpha's tap room offers open tables, bar seating, a couch and, if you're looking for a little more privacy, booths walled in by tall wood-and-glass partitions. The patio was partially finished on our last visit, but already made for a perfectly pleasant warm-weather hangout.
Photo courtesy of Spencer Pernikoff

Alpha Brewing Company


4310 Fyler Avenue, 314-621-2337
Alpha's new home in Tower Grove South is about as attractive as they come. Inside the former home of James Shaw & Son Marble & Tile Contractors (do not be confused by the former tenant's still-intact sign; you are in the right place), a moderately sized hall lies beneath a framework of pitched beams like the overturned hull of a ship. A U-shaped bar has seating along the prongs, and a white-on-black mural featuring a diver in an old-school drysuit fills the back wall. Order some tostones, empanadas or maybe the jibarito sandwich from the side window of the Alphateria, the Latin-themed kitchen run by Mandy Estrella of Plantain Girl. Alpha's tap room offers open tables, bar seating, a couch and, if you're looking for a little more privacy, booths walled in by tall wood-and-glass partitions. The patio was partially finished on our last visit, but already made for a perfectly pleasant warm-weather hangout.

Photo courtesy of Spencer Pernikoff
Civil Life Brewing Co.
3714 Holt Ave.; no phone
Civil Life is the neighborhood pub of breweries. Its location on a two-block street at the southern tip of Tower Grove South is convenient for locals who tend to walk and bike over, even as newcomers might easily zip past the turn off Chippewa. Still, everyone who finds their way here gets a warm welcome, led by a staff whose friendliness goes far beyond mere civility. The bar itself spans the length of the slim tap room, facing long communal tables. An upstairs loft offers more seating, including private booths. The food menu is a small, well-made offering of sandwiches, unless you come on a Sunday. Then you'll find tacos during warm weather months and soups when it is cold. The focus here is doing a small number of things well. The result is a cozy, well-managed place where, if you're not a growler-toting local already, you might find yourself checking real estate listings on one of the brick bungalows nearby.
Photo courtesy of Pete Dulin

Civil Life Brewing Co.


3714 Holt Ave.; no phone
Civil Life is the neighborhood pub of breweries. Its location on a two-block street at the southern tip of Tower Grove South is convenient for locals who tend to walk and bike over, even as newcomers might easily zip past the turn off Chippewa. Still, everyone who finds their way here gets a warm welcome, led by a staff whose friendliness goes far beyond mere civility. The bar itself spans the length of the slim tap room, facing long communal tables. An upstairs loft offers more seating, including private booths. The food menu is a small, well-made offering of sandwiches, unless you come on a Sunday. Then you'll find tacos during warm weather months and soups when it is cold. The focus here is doing a small number of things well. The result is a cozy, well-managed place where, if you're not a growler-toting local already, you might find yourself checking real estate listings on one of the brick bungalows nearby.

Photo courtesy of Pete Dulin
Earthbound Beer
2724 Cherokee St.; 314-769-9576
Four years ago, three business partners who had never owned a brewery opened Earthbound Beer in a storefront not much bigger than a closet you’d find inside a McMansion. They didn’t let the small size or lack of experience deter them, but instead embraced it, fashioning Earthbound into a counter-culture, experimental brew house, pushing the limits of what can be done with beer. Their success was meteoric, and not long after they opened, they realized they needed a bigger space. Cue Earthbound’s massive new brewery and tasting room, which opened a few doors down from the original, a renovation of historic proportions that has made this funky brewery one of the coolest places in town to grab a beverage. Located in the old Cherokee Street Brewing Company stock house, the 8,000-square-foot space harkens back to the city’s pre-Prohibition status as a beer powerhouse and features everything from a suspended mezzanine to a lower level comprised of the building’s original beer caves. It’s a thrilling setting, at once historic and modern. It's also serving some terrific food, with a food concept called Mothership courtesy of Chris Bork of Vista Ramen. And did we mention the beer? Sip on a cardamom pepper tea blonde inside this beautiful space and you’ll see nothing earth-bound about this brewery; it’s out of this world.
Photo courtesy of Sara Graham

Earthbound Beer


2724 Cherokee St.; 314-769-9576
Four years ago, three business partners who had never owned a brewery opened Earthbound Beer in a storefront not much bigger than a closet you’d find inside a McMansion. They didn’t let the small size or lack of experience deter them, but instead embraced it, fashioning Earthbound into a counter-culture, experimental brew house, pushing the limits of what can be done with beer. Their success was meteoric, and not long after they opened, they realized they needed a bigger space. Cue Earthbound’s massive new brewery and tasting room, which opened a few doors down from the original, a renovation of historic proportions that has made this funky brewery one of the coolest places in town to grab a beverage. Located in the old Cherokee Street Brewing Company stock house, the 8,000-square-foot space harkens back to the city’s pre-Prohibition status as a beer powerhouse and features everything from a suspended mezzanine to a lower level comprised of the building’s original beer caves. It’s a thrilling setting, at once historic and modern. It's also serving some terrific food, with a food concept called Mothership courtesy of Chris Bork of Vista Ramen. And did we mention the beer? Sip on a cardamom pepper tea blonde inside this beautiful space and you’ll see nothing earth-bound about this brewery; it’s out of this world.

Photo courtesy of Sara Graham
Schlafly Tap Room
2100 Locust Street, 314-241-2337
Schlafly's Downtown West outpost is the statesman of local beer halls. Yes, it feels a bit like a gift shop when you first enter the building, but you will be in the hands of professionals at the bar. The main room (another, more intimate setup is on the other side of the building) is mostly restaurant, with a view of the brewing works through a glass wall. The bar is a straightforward, L-shaped affair with worn elbow rails. The centerpiece is a green-tiled back bar with a Schlafly crest at its center. It gives the place enough gravity without being overly precious. The whole place has a certain aged respectability earned by one of the giants of the city's local brewing scene, yet it still manages to be friendly and un-stuffy. It's a solid, comfortable tap room that fits perfectly with Schlafly lineup of beers.
Photo courtesy of ___ladydanger / Instagram

Schlafly Tap Room


2100 Locust Street, 314-241-2337
Schlafly's Downtown West outpost is the statesman of local beer halls. Yes, it feels a bit like a gift shop when you first enter the building, but you will be in the hands of professionals at the bar. The main room (another, more intimate setup is on the other side of the building) is mostly restaurant, with a view of the brewing works through a glass wall. The bar is a straightforward, L-shaped affair with worn elbow rails. The centerpiece is a green-tiled back bar with a Schlafly crest at its center. It gives the place enough gravity without being overly precious. The whole place has a certain aged respectability earned by one of the giants of the city's local brewing scene, yet it still manages to be friendly and un-stuffy. It's a solid, comfortable tap room that fits perfectly with Schlafly lineup of beers.

Photo courtesy of ___ladydanger / Instagram
Side Project Brewing
7458 Manchester Rd.; 314-224-5211
At this point, it’s safe to say that there is no longer anything “side” about Corey King’s Side Project Brewing. What started as a way to stoke his internal creative fire while working as head brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales has turned into one of the city’s most renowned breweries, revered for barrel-aged brews that harken back to King’s passion for wine. Side Project is not just well-known in St. Louis; King has garnered a national reputation for his exceptional beer and special releases, which draw throngs of devotees to the Maplewood brewery. Not that it takes a special release to prompt a visit. The large, light-filled room, staffed by beer nerds who will politely hold your hand through even the most esoteric of tastings, seems less a brewpub and more like beer church. Head to the back, where you can crack open a bottle of Saison du Fermier while overlooking the fermentation tanks, and it’s like sitting at the altar. Just don’t come hungry. There is no food served at the brewery and no outside food or drink allowed inside — not that you would want for anything else at this must-visit spot.
Photo courtesy of bighearttea / Instagram

Side Project Brewing


7458 Manchester Rd.; 314-224-5211
At this point, it’s safe to say that there is no longer anything “side” about Corey King’s Side Project Brewing. What started as a way to stoke his internal creative fire while working as head brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales has turned into one of the city’s most renowned breweries, revered for barrel-aged brews that harken back to King’s passion for wine. Side Project is not just well-known in St. Louis; King has garnered a national reputation for his exceptional beer and special releases, which draw throngs of devotees to the Maplewood brewery. Not that it takes a special release to prompt a visit. The large, light-filled room, staffed by beer nerds who will politely hold your hand through even the most esoteric of tastings, seems less a brewpub and more like beer church. Head to the back, where you can crack open a bottle of Saison du Fermier while overlooking the fermentation tanks, and it’s like sitting at the altar. Just don’t come hungry. There is no food served at the brewery and no outside food or drink allowed inside — not that you would want for anything else at this must-visit spot.

Photo courtesy of bighearttea / Instagram
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
ADDRESS
The huge patio at Urban Chestnut's Midtown location is a gem, with rows of picnic tables to enjoy pints and pretzels or sandwiches from a cabana-like hut. Lots of visitors, understandably, breeze through the main building and go straight out to this broad courtyard biergarten. But the inside tap room is underappreciated as its own venue. Simply furnished with heavy library tables and banged-up wooden chairs, the space is an unfussy mix of brick, timber and concrete, brightened by huge panels of windows. The bar is small with maybe a half-dozen seats. If you are looking for a booming beer hall, try Urban's sprawling spot on Manchester in the Grove. The original in Midtown is more of a place to meet up with a couple of friends, a place to drink and talk without having to shout to be heard.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Silverberg

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.


ADDRESS
The huge patio at Urban Chestnut's Midtown location is a gem, with rows of picnic tables to enjoy pints and pretzels or sandwiches from a cabana-like hut. Lots of visitors, understandably, breeze through the main building and go straight out to this broad courtyard biergarten. But the inside tap room is underappreciated as its own venue. Simply furnished with heavy library tables and banged-up wooden chairs, the space is an unfussy mix of brick, timber and concrete, brightened by huge panels of windows. The bar is small with maybe a half-dozen seats. If you are looking for a booming beer hall, try Urban's sprawling spot on Manchester in the Grove. The original in Midtown is more of a place to meet up with a couple of friends, a place to drink and talk without having to shout to be heard.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Silverberg