What you need to know: There are two breweries that make beer in St. Louis that you can purchase in Washington, DC. This is the brewery that makes good beer. They also had the good sense and sneakiness to trademark “The St. Louis Brewery” before that other brewery could get their hands on it. Because one of the founders (thanks, Tom Schlafly) went to Georgetown and likes DC so much, he keeps coming back, bringing beer with him, which is very nice of him because Schlafly doesn’t send much beer to the East Coast. Schlafly has been in St. Louis for 20 years and does a lot of nice things for the community, because beer people are good people. They brewed approximately 45,000 barrels of beer in 2011.
Notes: You may notice a trend of breweries bringing American IPAs hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe to SAVOR. Schalfly is continuing that trend with their summer seasonal (yes, an IPA is a seasonal for them). There’s also some Centennial, so expect a nice, citrusy IPA, and compare it to others with a similar hop bill.
Notes: Not a lot of breweries are bringing lower alcohol by volume beers to SAVOR, so get to this one before your palette is destroyed. Kolsches are ales, but are lagered, and thus are a hybrid between the two types of beer. This Kolsch beat out the German producers to take gold at the 2010 World Beer Cup. I don’t know if the Germans walked out, Judgement of Paris-style, but it’s fun to picture that happening. Personally, I’ll add that this is, pound-for-pound (like Roy Jones, Jr.), the best beer being made in America. Ignore the low ratings from folks who are upset that it’s not continuously hopped for 3 days straight or aged in a yak bladder, or both. It’s remarkably well-attenuated, balanced, and crisp. Kolsch is a difficult style to get right, and Schlafly has mastered it. This should be your first stop once inside the National Building Museum for SAVOR.
Overall it may be a bit of a letdown to see Schlafly not bringing the extremes and rarities, but there’s another beer festival for that, and it’s in Boston. Stop by, compare their IPA to similar ones from other breweries, talk about the Hoyas, and please have the Kolsch early in the evening.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.