by Nancy Stiles
It's the most wonderful time of the year -- no, not Christmas. St. Louis Craft Beer Week begins this Saturday, July 26, and is sponsoring events all over town until August 3. It can be hard to whittle it down to something manageable (more power to you if you're trying to hit every single one), so we've picked the ones we think are can't-miss.
Saturday: B33R and Brats at 33 Wine Bar (1913 Park Avenue; 314-231-9463)
The week kicks off, as usual, at 33 Wine Bar from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's got a great beer list, but this year there will be a special cask of Katy Barrel 15 from 2nd Shift Brewery, which was barrel-aged for two years instead of the normal three months. Enjoy brats from 33 and Mac's Local Buys. It's free, but you've got to buy your own beer and brats.
Midwest Belgian Beer Festival at the MOTO Museum (3441 Olive Street; 314-533-3091)
Perennial Artisan Ales takes the lead in this celebration of Belgian beer. More than 40 breweries will be serving America's finest Belgian-style brews. Completely Sauced and chef Brian Moxley will provide food available for purchase. Tickets were rumored to be sold out, but it looks like you can still get them here for $50. Check out the full list of beers here. From 1 to 5 p.m.
Sunday: Huevos con Cerveza Beer Brunch at Milagro Modern Mexican (20 Allen Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-962-4300)
Just when we thought brunch couldn't get any better, Milagro goes and adds beer. Beermosas start 10 a.m., followed by a four-course Mexican-inspired brunch with pairings from local breweries. Tickets are $50 each, available here.
Sunday Funkday at International Tap House Soulard (1711 South Ninth Street; 314-621-4333 )
Get funky at iTap with unusual and sour beers set to funky jams. This week it'll be the 4 Hands Pomegranate Prussia, Perennial Anniversari, 2013 Perennial Beersal, Gueze Tilquin, bottles of Love Child, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, HaandBryggeriet Haandbakk and Evil Twin Femme Fetal Yuzu. From 1 to 7 p.m. Admission is free and beer is available for purchase.
Monday: Herbst Memorial Symposium at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-241-2337)
This year's discussion will be about women and craft beer. The panel and moderators haven't been announced yet, but as Femme Ferment taught us, ladies love beer, too. From 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free, but there's food and drink for purchase.
Loser Live Action Game Show at the Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois Avenue; 314-352-5226)
The Heavy Anchor hosts the live action game show every month, but this time it's a special craft-beer edition. It starts off with trivia and a round of "Don't Forget the Lyrics," followed by the video game portion, complete with pizza rolls. Then contestants must demonstrate their ability to "draw superheroes into real-life scenarios" and a local sketch group performs a fanfic version of a popular sitcom. Did you get all that? The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.
Tuesday: Between the Barrels at Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 Michigan Avenue; 314-631-7300)
Beer-geek favorite Perennial is tapping some popular brews plus some new releases, including three from brewer Cory King's Side Project. Look for the 2013 Perennial Anniversaria, Perennial Barrel-aged Sump Kyoto and the 2014 barrel-aged Abraxas, Side Project Blueberry Flanders, plus three new barrel-aged Perennial beers and two more Side Project beers. Tickets for individual pours go on sale at 3 p.m. (there's a per-person limit this year) and tap times are at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.
Tacos, Beer and Craft Cocktails at Mission Taco Joint (6235 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-5430)
Femme Ferment and the Tilfords are hosting a night of beer and tacos in the Loop. Enjoy special craft cocktails, 2nd Shift beers and special "pink" tacos. Part of the proceeds from the pink tacos will go to breast cancer research. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free, with food and drink for purchase.
Wednesday: 4 Hands Volume #2 Release at 4 Hands Brewing Company (1220 South Eighth Street; 314-436-1559)
One of many special releases this week, 4 Hands is release the second in its Wood Series. The Wood Series focuses on high-gravity ales aged in American spirit barrels. This one, Volume #2, is a bourbon barrel-aged Old Ale. Volume #2 will be available starting at 3 p.m. on draft and in bottles. Admission is free.
Thursday: Sour Tap Takeover at Hair of the Dog (1212 Washington Avenue; )
Sour beers are hard to find, so Hair of the Dog will have 'em all lined up for your pleasure. Unfortunately neither Hair of the Dog nor St. Louis Craft Beer Week have announced what beers will be making an appearance, but it'll be worth a trip downtown regardless. The takeover starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Friday: Tap Room Remix at Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 Michigan Avenue; 314-631-7300)
Things are getting crazy at Perennial for the annual tap remix. Enjoy your favorite Perennial brews with a twist. There will be the Woodside with blueberries, lemon zest and brettanomyces, Saison de Radler, the World-Famous Tommel (Double Dry-hopped Hommel), Pecan Pie Imperial Stout, IPA #9 with mango, plus two cocktails made with Perennial. Try the Kyoto White Russian (BA Sump Kyoto, vodka and cream) or the Goserita on the Rocks (Goserita, Triple Sec and tequila). The remix starts at 9 p.m. Admission is free, with food and drink available for purchase.
Saturday: Kegs and Eggs IV @ Quincy Street Bistro (6931 Gravois Avenue; 314-353-1588)
Chef Rick Lewis is back for the fourth edition of Kegs and Eggs, the breakfast where each entree comes with a craft beer. Choose from breakfast poutine with house-made fries, cheese curds, crumbled sausage and stout gravy topped with a sunny-side-up egg; a chicken and biscuit sandwich with a fried egg, Creole mayo and watermelon pickles; a sourdough pancake with smoked peach compote, powdered sugar, whipped cream and a sunny-side-up egg or heirloom tomato bread pudding with a poached egg, herbed hollandaise sauce and a fried green tomato. Breakfast starts at 9 a.m. Admission is free, and entrees start at $12.
Firkin Fest at International Tap House Soulard (1711 South Ninth Street; 314-621-4333)
The fourth annual festival is always a highlight of Craft Beer Week. Local, national and maybe even international cask-aged beers will be tapped every hour beginning at noon. Firkin is the word used to describe a cask, for you neophytes. Admission is free, with food and drink for purchase.
Goose Island Tap Takeover at Three Kings Public House (6307 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-721-3355)
Three Kings is hosting several tap takeovers throughout the week, but we recommend this one from our Chicago brethren. Goose Island will feature special brews as well as offering four-ounce samples of Gillian, Halia, Lolita, and Juilet. The takeover starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free, with food and drink for purchase.
Sunday: Schurcipefones Festival at Rooster South Grand (3150 South Grand; 314-447-2247)
This is the craft beer festival to end all craft beer festivals. Close out Craft Beer Week with Schlafly, Charleville, Urban Chestnut, Civil Life, Perennial, 4 Hands, New Belgium, 2nd Shift, Deschutes and Tallgrass. Everybody will be bringing special brews, and your ticket gets you unlimited samples. There will also be games and prizes, a silent auction, food from the Fifth Wheel and more. Proceeds benefit Circus Flora Clowns on Call. From noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 here or $35 at the door.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
Follow Nancy Stiles on Twitter: