If St. Louis had a body, its veins would pump beer. For years this was the city that brought the King of Beers to the World. But even as those crafty Belgians have seized Anheuser-Busch, the beer scene here is stronger than ever — with a thousand points of light taking the place of what used to be one big star.
While we always love revisiting our city's rich history of German breweries
and its exploding contemporary craft beer scene
, it's worth pausing a moment to appreciate the people who consume them. Thus, we present to you a not-at-all-scientific breakdown of the dedicated beer guzzlers in St. Louis. From the basement brewers who take drinking to an scientific level to that mustachioed hunk guzzling IPAs in the corner of the punk show, you're all insufferable — and we never want to stop drinking with you.
1. The Bud-Boy
His uncle worked for A-B back when employees got a monthly case allowance and were allowed to drink on the forklift. Wears a lot of vintage (read: falling apart) Budweiser promotional clothing. Gets misty-eyed when anyone hums "Hear Comes the King." Will fight you if you claim that Budman is a rip-off of Duffman. Favorite beer: "Gimme a Bud!"
2. The Craftwork
Urban lumberjack on the weekends, your office's accountant during the week. Plans his trips around craft breweries. Has at least two empty growlers in his trunk, just in case he goes by a brewpub. Plans his errand runs around the brewpubs. Has a Keggerator, that lucky sonofabitch
. Had to get his tattoo covered up when Goose Island was purchased by Anheuser-Busch. Favorite beer: "Let me get my tasting notes and my laptop. I have some great pictures from my trip to Colorado last summer. I hit 17 breweries in four days..." or maybe just 4 Hands' Divided Sky Rye IPA.
See also: The Nine Types of St. Louis Drunks
3. Professor von Import
This elitist blends into normal society until you try to plan an office happy hour, when he insists on going someplace with a huge import list. Once paid $23 for a single bottle of Norrebrro Bryghus' Old Odense Ale. Paid even more for a bottle of Haandbryggeriet Norse Porter. Will tell you without being asked that McEwan's Scotch Ale is the best beer in the world, but it was better when the Fountain Brewery produced it. Has similarly lofty and arcane theories about German, English, Slovak, Czech and Austrian beers. Has never even tasted Budweiser, and is stubbornly proud of that non-achievement. Favorite beer: "It depends on the season. I like heavies in the winter, a steady diet of lagers in the summer, with Marzens in the fall Maibocks in the spring. And I mean the real stuff, not these American imitations." If forced to drink local, will grudgingly cop to the superiority of Side Project's Derivation.
4. The Complicated Mustache
Probably younger than 30, but not necessarily. Has a fucking ridiculous mustache in either case. Works in tech, or maybe a coffee shop (but only the kind where they roast their own beans, thankyouverymuch). Mocks you roundly when you ask him the alcohol percentage of that beer he's drinking ("Are you asking me about the GRAVITY in a roundabout way, you cretin?"). Rolls his R when saying "Reinheitsgebot." Sneers slightly when pronouncing "Gose." Cums like a broken fire hydrant if you correctly guess the SRM of his IPA, but only if you use the Degrees Lovibond measurement. Favorite beer: Civil Life's Belgian Dubbel ale.
5. The Hipster
For this guy, it's not about taste, it's about obscurity. He prides himself on the wild card choice. He was into Pliny the Elder, but only until the masses started journeying to Santa Rosa. Now it's like whatever dude; how about a Schlitz? There's no rhyme or reason beyond being ahead of the curve and managing to shit on your choice as eye-rollingly basic. And if that feels like a full-time job, good thing, because he doesn't have one. He likes to keep things flexible ... more time for his fixed-gear bicycle repair work. Favorite Beer: Earthbound's Chicory Lavender Gruit — or at least it was, until everyone else started drinking it.
6. Michael Jackson Jr.
(not that one, the beer hunter Michael Jackson
This guy is the OG of craft beer. Has all seven editions of Michael Jackson's Pocket Guide to Beer
. Carries the 2001 edition one with him everywhere. Can find any reason to shoehorn a quote from Little Book of Beer
into daily life, but always credits Jackson with a smile and a nod when doing so. When ordering a round for the table, he insists on "deferring to the Master" and following the advice laid out in Ultimate Beer
. Generally harmless, but occasionally tiresome. If you want to make things easy on yourself, just ask him to order for you. Favorite Beer: Whatever Florian Kuplent just had.
7. The Super-Amateur, Entirely Aspirational Home Brewer
Used to love to go out drinking, but now he's stuck at home with the wifey and his first kid, so, hey! Wife got him a home-brewing kit for Christmas, and he's earnestly tinkering in the garage .... at least until kid No. 2 comes along. Is his beer any good? Not yet, but he still dreams that someday, he could be just like those lucky bastards who opened Urban Chestnut. Favorite beer: Perennial's Abraxas
8. The Girl
Yes, there are women who love craft beer. And since gals who grew up in less enlightened eras were all too often mansplained away from the stuff, this one is under 30 and finds the endless cosmopolitans on Sex and the City
as quaint as women in the '90s found the highballs in Peyton Place
. She's more likely to be out drinking at a friend's patio on Cherokee than clubbing on Wash Ave. And while she hasn't a clue which Kardashian is dating Jordan Clarkson, she knows all about your ABVs and ABWs — the only difference between her and the dudes on this list is she doesn't feel obligated to prove it every time she has your ear. Favorite beer: A Biere de Garde from Schlafly.
See also: The 9 Types of St. Louis Drunks