From my first taste of Hibiscus Wit many moons ago while having lunch at Salt & Smoke in University City, I was hooked on the beer coming out of the New Haven, Missouri brewery known as 2nd Shift.
So, when the news broke early this past summer that 2nd Shift was relocating its brewing operations to St. Louis, I could not wait for my first taste of locally produced Katy and Hibiscus Wit, plus many more.
That day finally arrived on December 4th.
The new 2nd Shift Brewing is located at 1601 Sublette Ave inside a 18,000-square-foot brewing operation that features a new tasting room. The former warehouse sits on the northwest side of the famed Hill neighborhood in South St. Louis, not too far from the exploding Grove neighborhood.
Inside, the tasting room and brewing operation are separated by 25 foot high barrel racks. The room is generously filled with plenty of comfortable tables and long picnic benches along the barrel wall. I am guessing that between 150 and 200 can fit nicely.
The bar is located along the back wall and features both bottles for consumption on premises as well as more than a dozen taps, all with blue “2” pool balls as draft pulls. On draft, you’ll find a rotating menu of 2nd Shift beers, as well as pours from other St. Louis staples, 4 Hands Brewing Co., Perennial Artisan Ales, Urban Chestnut, and Civil Life.
Here’s a look around.
What we drank
On this opening Sunday, the tap list featured six 2nd shift beers, Katy Brett, Unicorn Killer Saison, Weiss & Virtue Hefeweizen, Hibiscus Wit Bier, Katy Brett Beer with Peaches, and Katy Brett with Blackberries.
We opened with our fave, the Hibiscus Wit. It was probably in my head, but that first glass tasted bolder and fresher than ever before. Some folks think the Wit is too floral, but I disagree. This one of the finest beers I’ve ever had, and I consider it one of 2nd Shifts flagship beers.
Next up we tried the Weiss & Virtue Hefeweizen off 2nd Shift’s seasonal menu. Described as a Bavarian inspired weiss beer for the wicked & virtuous beer lover, I was not fully prepared for this one. In my experience with Hefeweizen’s I was expecting a much fruitier and hoppier beer, but instead, this one was, to me, quite sour. I’m getting more comfortable with sour beers, but I am still not able to consume many in one session.
To finish out our first visit, we went with another flagship off the tap list, the Katy Brett. This one gets aged for 3 months in oak barrels with Brettanomyces Lambicus, a cool yeast that gives this beer a wonderfully pretty aroma. Katy drinks a bit fruity and while I want to say it feels sour, I’m going to say it’s tart instead. It’s very drinkable.
2nd Shift will prove to be an amazing addition to the local beer scene.
— Drink314 (@Drink314) December 3, 2016