The Wine and Cheese Place will host a blind IPA tasting and Boulevard Beer tasting, but will put even more emphasis on beer and food. On Monday, it will host a free beer and cheese tasting event with Grand Teton Brewing at its Clayton location (7435 Forsyth Boulevard). On Tuesday, the store will offer a Beer and Food Pairing ($25 per person, reservations required) at Provisions Gourmet Market in Creve Coeur (11615 Olive Boulevard).
"Beer used to be just a small department in the back of our store where we carried all the basics," says Paul Hayden, manager of the Clayton location. "Now it has turned into a major department of over 1,000 beers. It used to be a department that people would pick a beer because they were already here shopping for wine or cheese. Now people will come specifically for the beer department."
Hayden hopes that people who aren't yet craft-beer converts will discover how big the beer world is. "So many people say, 'I don't like beer,' because all they have had is Bud/Miller/Coors -- macros. We have converted a lot of wine drinkers into craft-beer drinkers. They discovered that beer has the same complexity you can get out of a wine."
Sweeney also encourages new craft beer drinkers. "Start talking to other craft-beer drinkers. I think you'll find, for the most part, that craft-beer drinkers are some of the nicest and most enthusiastic people in the world. There is nothing they love doing more than talking about and drinking beer. These events will provide plenty of opportunities to meet some other beer lovers."