by Nancy Stiles
It's practically spring, but you wouldn't know it from these St. Louis temperatures. Warm up with the annual Centennial Beer Festival, or help raise money for cystic fibrosis at FestivAle. St. Patrick's Day is a few weeks away, but you can celebrate your Welsh heritage at Llywelyns for St. David's Day. Continue on for our food-related recommendations.
Friday (Feb. 27):
The festival kicked off Thursday night with a brewmaster dinner, but the fun's not over yet. Tonight's tasting includes a homebrewers competition. On Saturday (which sold out last year) there are both afternoon and evening tastings. You can add a VIP experience for an extra $20 on Saturday in the Malt House Cellar with "access to the VIP rooms serving rare and limited release beers, cellared and vintage selections, special tasting glass and customized menu of food pairings." Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. The first two tastings are $34.50 per person and the Saturday night tasting is $39.50. Tickets available here.
Party with great views of the city at the Hilton's rooftop bar. There will be craft cocktails, boozy snow cones, hot chocolate, s'mores stations, fire pits, ice bar and luge and a live performance from Kate Voegele and Leroy Sanchez. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Make reservations here.
Chef Liz Schuster of Tenacious Eats is hosting a five-course tasting menu created around wines from Atlantic Wine Imports. You'll start with Crostini de Figeto, chicken-liver pate, capers, shallots, butter, onion and anchovy served on warm housemade Tuscan bread paired with Giacomelli Pianacce Vermentino. The second course is Zuppa Toscana, spicy housemade Italian sausage, bacon, cannelini beans, baby potatoes, fresh kale, garlic, chicken stock, heavy cream, fresh bread and soft boiled egg paired with 2012 Cantine Bellosguardo Chianti. Next is papperdelle, housemade semolina papperdelle pasta, onion, pomodoro tomato, fresh oregano, artichoke hearts, garlic and house made wild boar Tuscan sausage paired with 2009 Scopone Brunello di Montaclcino. The fourth course is bistecca alla Florentina and Cipolle Ripiene, slow wood-grilled T-bone steak with fresh rosemary, Vom Fass olive oil, garlic, served with sweet onions stuffed with smoked scamorza affumicata and fontina cheeses and fennel roasted cauliflower florets paired with I Gusti & Zanza Dulcamara. The dessert course is cantucci, almond flour, ground almonds, star anise, maple syrup, confectioner's sugar, egg and Vin Santo wine reduction paired with 2006 Argyros Vin Santo. Tickets are $65 per person. Stop by Vom Fass or call 314-932-5262 for reservations.
Saturday (Feb. 28):
This annual festival raises money for the St. Louis chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Participating breweries include 4 Hands, Charleville, Civil Life, Earthbound Beer, Ferguson Brewing Company, Griesedieck Brothers, Kirkwood Station, the Modern Brewery, Morgan Street, O'Fallon Brewery, Old Bakery Beer, Oskar Blues Brewery, Perennial Artisan Ales, Recess Brewing, Ridgebrook Brewery, Santa Fe Brewing Company, Schlafly, Six Row, Square One Brewery and Distillery, Templar Brewing and Urban Chestnut. There will be food from Bissinger's Chocolate, Pi Pizzeria, Kaldi's Coffee, the Handle Bar and Strange Donuts. From 8 to 10:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $50 in advance and $65 at the door and include unlimited beer tastings, food samples and live entertainment. VIP tickets are $75 in advance and include a special VIP session from 7 to 8 p.m. with food and beer pairings plus VIP parking. You can buy tickets online here.
Steve's Hot Dogs and Schlafly are teaming up with the Tick Tock Tavern for its second annual pairing night. You'll get four half dogs paired with a flight of Schlafly beer. From 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 each, available here.
Sunday (Mar. 1):
Celebrate Welsh holiday St. David's Day at any of Llywelyn's area locations. St. David is the patron saint of Wales. Try Welsh-style ales from Schlafly and the Civil Life, plus traditional Welsh dishes. Llywelyn's will be serving the national dish of Wales, Welsh cawl, which is lamb, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, onions and leeks; rarebit and cawl, a half serving of Welsh rarebit and half a cup of Welsh cawl; or try the Welsh chicken and leek pie, seasoned chicken, ham, leeks and cream baked in a flaky pie crust. From 11 a.m. to midnight.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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