Friday, July 22, 2011

Show Me the Brews.

I'm a Missouri guy, but this isn't a Missouri blog. It's a big world, after all. But several times in the coming weeks you're going to have to indulge me. We're getting ready for a trip home in August and I've got a fat steaming pile of research to do. The notebook spills over into the blog. You know how it goes.

So today my theme is the Cave State. (Ah, now there's an idea: Some Missouri micro needs to start cave-aging their beers, a la Grottenbier. Or Kellerbier.)

Brew in the Lou: For weeks I've been meaning to tell you more about Evan Benn's new book. So here goes: It's not so much a guidebook as a primer on the local beer history and current beer scene. It's exactly what a beer geek would want to read if she were moving to St. Louis and wanted the lay of the land. It's not a reference so much as a collection of feature articles that focus on different themes--from the city's natural beer caves (hello? anyone listening?) to food pairings to future breweries. For sheer usefulness, my two favorite pages are 152 and 153, which include contact details for every present and near-future brewery in the metro area. Evan's writing is lively, there are lots of gorgeous photos, and the book will make you thirsty.

My biggest knock against it: No index. Being able to look up local breweries or beers by name would have added a lot of utility.

St. Loser beer enthusiasts ought to own it. Geeks coming for a visit ought to give it some serious thought. It can be had for 20 duckets from the Post-Dispatch. (Full disclosure: I received a free copy to review.)

St. Louis Craft Beer Week runs from July 30 to August 7, which means that I am going to miss the whole damn thing by exactly one day. That might be why newly christened St. Loser Stan Hieronymous told me, and I quote, "There will be no beer in St. Louis when you get here." So I would like to formally discourage all of you from attending any of these events, and suggest that maybe you should stay home and drink water. Awful hot out there.

Will radio kill the banking computer technician star? My brother Ben Stange is so geeky about beer that he makes me look like a Miller Lite. Down in Springfield, Mo., he's launching a radio show called Beer Buzz, sponsored by Mother's Brewing Company. It'll air at 4 p.m. this Sunday, and every Sunday until he is told to stop, on a couple of local stations and online at

Topic of the first show is hops. His first guest? None other than the aforementioned Mr. Hieronymous. Should be fun.

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