16 amazing STL beers that I loved in 2017

2017 was a banner year for good St. Louis beer, and I say this based on how much of it I drank.  Between festivals and brewery visits, my Untappd account topped 200 different beers in 2017.  Is that a lot of beer? It is for me, but who is really counting.

Within that 200+ was a high percentage of beer brewed locally.  I thought I’d give myself a review and see if I could narrow it down to beers that really made a huge impression on me.

Before you read, please take note of a few points below:

    • Your list will differ from ours. That’s ok. No one is wrong.
    • The list is chronological from earliest to latest.
    • While I drink a lot of beer, I have not had every beer made in St. Louis this year. Not even close.  Reasons are usually cost and demand. I can’t afford a lot of the best beer in town, but I’m good with it. 
    • These beers are our favorites. We’re not saying they are the end-all-be-all best in Chicago. You will have something different. That’s ok. No one is wrong.

I invite you to share your favorite five beers from St. Louis this year. Either comment below or email us at drink314.net@gmail.com

Liquid Spiritual Delight | 2nd Shift Brewing Company

Like any good year, I began 2017 in style at Urban Chestnut’s Wolpertinger Festival, where I had my first taste of what is now one of my all-time favorites.  2nd Shifts LSD series is one of their most popular.  They continue to push this LSD in different directions, but this always has a home in my beer fridge.

Juice Nuk’m | Schwerpunkt Brewing Co.

Juice Nuk’m was my first introduction to Schwerpunkt Brewing beer as well as the new trend of New England Style IPAs.  My experience left me wanting more from these guys.  I’m not sure about their plans for the future but I hope they’re still on.  This beer lived up to its name – more juice, less bitter. Lot’s of citrus cuts through.

Peanut Butter Porter | Main and Mill Brewing Company

Not my first peanut butter beer, but if I was ever to list them all, it would be near the top. This was Main & Mill’s debut of the beer, and you had to be in line because it disappeared quickly. It was like drinking a peanut butter cup in a glass.

Big Year Brown | Civil Life Brewing

I’ve always been an American Brown Ale fan, and this was one was one I missed when it came out. Luckily my friends Missy and Will growlered me some.  This beer is thick, bold and hearty and damn fine. For as heavy as it drank, it really was quite sessionable.

Snapper | Logboat Brewing Company

If memory serves it was the Centennial Beer Festival in St. Louis and I walked away after sampling “Snapper” thinking it was one of the finest IPA’s I’d had in a long time.  I made a mental note to remember that something very exciting was going on in Columbia, Missouri with this new brewery “LongBoat.”  Soon, I was bringing home “Snapper” as my go-to IPA as well as its American cousin “Lookout”. 

Brew Cocky | 2nd Shift Brewing

I’ve discussed, in previous posts, my “hopline,” which is the line on my tongue where a beer crosses over and becomes just too hoppy.  Brew Cocky pushes pretty close, but not over.

Raspberry Hefeweizen | Schlafly 

My friend Stephen Hale told me that this one beer is really representative of Schlafly’s uses of real ingredients and innovative processes.   Right off the pop-of-the-top, a sweet, fruity aroma cascades to your nose, pleasantly and not overwhelming. On the first sip, the raspberry is right there and really balances (there’s that word again) this beer to one that you will like after mowing the lawn.

Little Big Hop With Blood Orange | 2nd Shift Brewing Company

One of the highlights of my St. Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival was the Saint Louis Hop Shop Rare Tasting tent.  This rare tasting capitalized on my love of blood orange.  Regrettably, I got one tasting shot of this, as the line was quite long.  If anyone is listening, this would be one I’d like to see come back.

Ophelia’s Wit | Third Wheel Brewing Company

This summer, we saw an influx of new brewery openings, but few more were as highly anticipated as the debut of Third Wheel Brewing and Abbey Spencer. But, the same week they were to open, Third Wheel poured their wares at the Heritage Festival.  This was my first sip of their brew and a big reason, why I continue to be a big fan.

LSD with coffee and vanilla | 2nd Shift Brewing 

One of the highlights of any great beer festival is the VIP tent.  Yes, you pay to be there, but a good beer festival makes it worth the money. This year the VIP tent at the Heritage Festival included several hourly tappings that were not available on the boardwalk. LSD or Liquid Spiritual Delight with coffee and vanilla is a delicious variant off of the Imperial Stout and one of my favorites at 2nd Shift.

Red Hot Riplet GoseEarthbound Beer

Every city has those things, that folks from out of town just don’t understand. St. Louis has a long list, and now there is a new entry – This Gose, was created by the mad scientists at Earthbound, utilizing the taste profile of our town’s favorite chip, the Red Hot Riplet.  Served in the rare tasting tent, it was the beer I was most anticipating, and I’m proud to say, I got the first pour. If a beer that tastes like a hot, barbecue potato chip doesn’t interest you, then let me just say, “It’s a St. Louis Thing.”

Urban UnderDog | Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

Summer’s are for lagers and St. Louis now has a new go-to lager that doesn’t end include the word Lite. While the beer itself is a solid lager, it was more about when I drank these that made it stand out.  Perfect summer nights.

Hoptimistic IPA | Charleville Brewing Company

Not everyone is blessed to be able to send their kids to camp for 8 glorious weeks.  We do it so we can drink more beer. I drank this one, just 45 minutes after the kids took off.  When it comes to IPA’s I look for balance and this one has it down.

On Cue | 4 Hands Brewing Company

4 Hands has so many good beers, locals might find this choice surprising. Never been a huge cucumber guy, but on the day my son and I rode our bikes to the taproom to try this beer, I decided veggies can be cool.  A sour, but as noted, very swigable.  I bought a few bottles and brought them home and later found out that my wife also found this delightful. Hope it’s back next summer.

Southside Stout | Excel Brewing Company

Backyard beers are a very big deal for me.  I often judge beers on the criteria of whether I would drink them after mowing the lawn or watching a ballgame in the backyard.  So it was surprising to find a stout make my summer drinking list.

Abraxas | Perennial Brewing Company

This is the beer that St. Louis beer lovers line up for. I’ve never lined up, but I do understand why.  After the initial release, I like to keep my eyes open for when a few lucky bars and restaurants get a keg. This year I found it at Louie’s in Clayton. This beer is terrific.  Enough said.