BEER ME!!! It is summer, and it is hot; therefore, STL beer drinking is in full force. Sitting around a pool or a sprinkler in a St. Louis summer is something all natives know about. That’s what inspired me to write about navigating some local beer scenes this strange summer.
Summer and beer go hand in hand for a St. Louisan. If you agree, you also know that fall and beer, winter and beer, and of course spring and beer do too. For now, I’m are going to focus on summer, but the local businesses I highlight throughout this blog are top-notch all year round.
For me, a fresh smooth beer has been hitting the spot after a long day of being stressed to the max over life. Plus, my mom knows I’m home so she can call 24/7. It’s a good idea to have a beer on hand in these types of situations. Getting out of a phone call when you spend most of your time at home is not an easy task. Love you mom 😉
This summer has been hotter than the dickens (thank you for that term Grandma), so I’m confident you have found a cold drink prior to reading this. My hope is to bring you new avenues to enjoy a fresh one while supporting some local businesses at the same time.
Unfortunately, we all know this summer is different than any other due to safety concerns. I also wanted to outline a few ways to safely support some of your favorite beer outlets.
Yes, as a health nut, I could point out much safer ways to confront stress, but for today I will just say cheers <<>>
As I eluded to earlier, St Louis is known for its beer. It is a large part of our culture. For decades our city has been know for our large and small beer vendors. The book St. Louis Brews, Second Edition: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City is a great way to look back on the history of brewing in STL. It highlights the evolution of beer from Anheuser- Bush to over 100 breweries that have paved the way to the local brews you know and love today.
***Scroll to bottom of the link to buy it through a local St. Louis site: http://stlbeer.org/history/ ***
BOOK ABOUT BEER. What a perfect way to enjoy a little history. Don’t steal my lesson plan all you soon to be homeschoolers. I will talk more about where I found it later in this post so keep reading.
Best St. Louis Brewery
Narrow Gauge… can I get a whoop whoop.
First, Narrow Gauge is located in Florissant, MO. I may be a little bias because my family members are part owners, but the beer speaks for itself.
I am not claiming to be a beer connoisseur, but the beer is seriously good. If you were one of the lucky ones to get your hands on this last batch of Peanut Butter Stout, you know exactly what I mean.
I love all of their beers, but the Meersalz- Red Current and OJ Run take me to a beautiful sandy beach with my feet in the sand. It’s a great escape (even if the reality is I’m resting my feet in a blow-up pool contaminated by my disgusting 2-year-old’s pee). I guess that is better than a Lake of the Ozarks pool party, but to each their own.
Check out the Narrow Gauge site for available beer. They offer a wide variety of to-go 4packs – https://www.narrowgaugestl.com
Due to COVID, they are not open in the tasting room. Currently, they are open for curve side pick-up 11 am- 6 pm- 7 days a week. Hours and beers are frequently changing, so follow them on Instagram ( https://www.instagram.com/narrowgaugebeer/ ) or check out their site listed above for the latest updates.
You can place your order online from your own couch. When you are ready to pick up, just shoot a message to the staff via textline when you arrive. Details are in the confirmation email. ID is checked through a closed window, then your beer is set on the outside table. You can even leave a tip via the website. This allows no contact for your comfort and safety.
If you are in the mood to dine in, Cugino’s is open inside and out. You can eat in the bar or hang out in the newly expanded patio area. Tables have been spaced per county guidelines and all staff members wear a mask.
The stuffed meatballs are a 100% a must. Pair that with a Narrow Gauge beer on tap, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you are a wing fan, then go with the honey hot. Divide the food up before you start eating and I promise you will avoid an inevitable fight over the last few bites. You’re welcome.
For the non-beer drinker that still needs a little something-something to shake off the days’ stress, I suggest the Margarita. You can even get one to go and drink it when you land on your back porch at home. All of the mixed drinks are completely worth it.
They also offer to-go food so you can grab your food and your beer on your way home to finally watch the Cards and Blues. Oh, how I have missed them.
Want to Brewery Hop?
Brew hop STL is a company that brings you on a tour of different St. Louis breweries. They provide public and private tours. What a clever gift for the beer drinker in your life. Check them out on https://www.brewhopstl.com for all the details.
The tours are on Saturdays and you can book one of the different timeframes online. Each tour brings you to four different breweries and includes one full beer pour at each stop. You can sip on your favorite beers while learning about the breweries history.
Between stops, you can bring your favorite lite snack and nonalcoholic drink. Be sure to check their website for changes in rules and all the specifics. They will surely change at some point.
Due to Covid-19, they are limiting the group sizes and ask all to wear masks. If you don’t feel comfortable going with strangers, you can get a group of your friends to book an open time frame up, or request a private tour.
Think of this as the perfect opportunity to throw a small private birthday party, especially since large gatherings are limited at this time. Just a thought for the quarantine birthdays that still want to celebrate.
Beer Nerd at Heart?
If you want to stay informed with current St. Louis Beer events, stlbeer.org is the place to be. This website is perfect for expanding your knowledge of current breweries, the history of breweries, and the future of brewing.
St. Louis has years of engaging beer history that I think is extremely interesting for even a casual drinker to learn about. The book I mentioned earlier is discussed on this site. I found it while researching for this blog post, and I’m so glad I did.
If you are a home brewer, the site includes a list of home-brew clubs. On the flip side, if you are like me and don’t have an extra second to add in a new hobby, this site is still for you.
They offer a list of all St. Louis breweries, map of their location, and even have the option to filter the map to include your specific needs. THEY ALLOW YOU TO FIND DOG-FRIENDLY BREWERIES IN ONE CLICK. I was extremely excited about that.
Again, the mom in me is going to encourage you to drink responsibly. If you are letting loose there is no judgment here, just have an Uber and a barf bag ready to get you home safely. If you aren’t a regular on public transportation, and you accidentally take two shots of tequila, this site even has an easy link to Uber, the Metro, and a cab line. Super easy.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I inspired you to help these unique local businesses that make St. Louis so special. Buy local when you can. This is such an important time to support our neighbors.
On that note, I am off to sip on my Old Town Pils while I watch my son jump off the couch.