It was another epic Brew Fest weekend in St. Louis yesterday. The annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival took place downtown at Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium. Brew Fest has always been a tradition for us to gather under a large tent, usually in some sort of ridiculous weather (i.e. excessive heat, pouring rain), and taste beers from a number of St. Louis area breweries, including ones as big as Anheuser-Busch and as small as the new 4 Hands Brewery.
It has also always been a good excuse to invite my two girlfriends and their hubbies into town for a reunion. This year’s official reunion took place in Las Vegas, but we saw no reason to miss another opportunity to reunite for Brew Fest. We missed last year’s festival because the hubs and I were in the midst of remodeling our kitchen. But this year, there was no excuse. And even though we were missing a few key players from years past (our friends Megan, Michael and Scott), it was still a great time.
This year, since I’ve become such a sophisticated beer drinker (not), I decided to keep track of the brews I tasted. Now I didn’t go as far to write tasting notes because a) we were sharing one pen at a table of 10 people, and b) the weather was so hot, it was hard to breathe let alone string together a series of words about a beer I would have preferred to drink versus write about. So here’s a rundown of the ones I tried.
- 4 Hands Berliner Weisse
- Anheuser-Busch Shandy
- Ferguson Single Hop IPA: Willamette
- Kirkwood Station Blackberry Wheat Ale
- Square One Bavarian Weizen
- Square One American Double Pale Ale
- Square One Single Hop IPA: Taurus
- Urban Chestnut Chestnut Ale
- Urban Chestnut Single Hop IPA: Strisselpalt
Hands down, my favorite brew of the night was the 4 Hands Berliner Weisse, a sour beer that I found simply delish. I haven’t tasted many other sour beers. In fact, the only other one I’ve tried is Bell’s Oarsman, which I also give two thumbs up. Now I’m going to have to find out if 4 Hands sells Berliner Weisse by the growler. Because I think it was that good.
Of course, no Brew Fest is complete without ridiculously long lines and an insane heat wave. We arrived about 20 minutes late and had to wait about 30 minutes to get our tickets at will call and then get through the check-in line. Maybe it was because we arrived so late this year that it felt like this was the most crowded Brew Fest we’ve been to. But despite the huge crowds, long lines and sweaty conditions, Brew Fest is just one of those events that’s hard to decline. After four years in attendance, us Brew Fest veterans will surely be back in 2013.