Schlafly, Niche ready to re-release ‘Chestnut Mild Ale’

For the third straight December, winter beer lovers can expect a re-issue of the seasonal Chestnut Mild Ale, a collaboration between Schlafly Brewing and James Beard winner Gerard Craft and his Niche restaurant.  This year’s release will include a special beer dinner on Wednesday, December 16th.

After the success of last year’s release, the two acclaimed St. Louis teams worked together again to brew the seasonal beer. The Niche chefs not only helped in the brewing process, but the teams at all four of Chef Craft’s restaurants roasted and peeled the over 200 pounds of local chestnuts.

Suzie Craft, Dan Kopman, and Chef Gerard Craft going over the final recipe on brew day back on 2013. Courtesy Schlafly Brewing
Suzie Craft, Dan Kopman, and Chef Gerard Craft going over the final recipe on brew day back on 2013. Courtesy Schlafly Brewing

Schlafly Beer Co-founder Dan Kopman sourced the local chestnuts from the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, the national leader in developing specialty crops for alternative income sources for family farms such as black walnuts, northern pecans, chestnuts, and more. While most other chestnut beers use a powder or dried variation, the freshly roasted Missouri chestnuts add a superior flavor to the Mild Chestnut Ale.

The partnership showcases both groups’ commitment to sourcing the best quality ingredients. Schlafly utilizes only non-artificial, non-chemical ingredients for their beers, and Niche underwent a progressive initiative in 2015 to source almost 100% exclusively from Missouri, as well as a bit of Illinois and Kansas, all within 150 miles of the restaurant.

While most other chestnut beers use a powder or dried variation, the freshly roasted Missouri chestnuts add a superior flavor to the Mild Chestnut Ale.
While most other chestnut beers use a powder or dried variation, the freshly roasted Missouri chestnuts add a superior flavor to the Mild Chestnut Ale.

Executive Chef Nate Hereford explains, “The team at Schlafly Beer really spearheaded the craft brewing movement here in St. Louis, and we always learn so much in this process. The collaboration also inspires our team to think about local ingredients in a different way. We’re proud to highlight local chestnuts on the plate, but it’s even more gratifying to offer our guests an exclusive beer as well and know we were part of the process.”

The four-course Chestnut Mild Beer Dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. for $50 (not inclusive of the price of the beer) on Wednesday, December 16. Executive Chef Nate Hereford’s menu will feature the following:

Parsnip Soup with chestnut cake, elderberry and sage
Whetstone Farms Duck Confit with sunchokes, fig leaf, ginger and raw chestnut
Suckling Pig with wheatberries, fennel and caramelized chestnut
Chestnut Tart with brown butter gastric and apple sorbet

unnamed (2)The Chestnut Mild Ale will be available at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St., St. Louis, MO) and Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, MO) as well as Brasserie by Niche (4580 Laclede Avenue St. Louis, MO 63108) and Pastaria (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton, Missouri, 63105) and other select St. Louis restaurants for a limited time.

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