The St. Louis Beer to Drink Now
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Introducing the 'Sticke It to the Man' brew
Courtesy of O'Fallon Brewery
Following the many craft breweries, and innovative craft beers, to pop up in St. Louis, O'Fallon Brewery has added a new beer to the lineup that we're excited for: the "Sticke It to the Man" brew.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch shares that the beer is a "Sticke (pronounced SHTICK-uh) Alt beer, which is a darker, hoppier version of the traditional Dusseldorf Alt style." The German brew, the first of the Brewer's Stash collection of high-gravity, limited-edition beers, will only be in stores from May to August. “Our new ‘Brewer’s Stash’ series, and Sticke It to the Man in particular, are really targeted at beer drinkers who are looking to discover big, bold, special beers,” said Brian Owens, O’Fallon Brewery’s brewmaster to the Post-Dispatch. “Technically it’s a Sticke Alt which is pretty unusual style. The beer has a medium to full body, notes of caramel and toasted, nutty malt complemented with floral German Noble hops."
Beer History: German-American Brewers Before Prohibition
While ostensibly German-style lagers dominate the bulk of the American beer landscape now, German brewers were a relatively late addition to the scene, arriving in large numbers only in the mid-19th century. But the successes of this often tight-knit community bred resentment and xenophobia from those whose forebears had arrived in the US in earlier waves of immigration—and that ill will helped to bring about Prohibition. But before we rush straight to 1920, a brief review is in order.
Many historians attribute the first lager beer brewed in America to John Wagner, a Bavarian immigrant who set up shop in Philadelphia in 1840, though some of that notice is probably due to the chain of events he helped kick off—Maureen Ogle points out in her excellent Ambitious Brew that two German immigrants were brewing lager on a small scale in 1838 in Virginia. But back to Wagner—he brought lager yeast with him on his voyage to America it has been proposed that faster ships introduced around this time allowed the more fragile bottom-fermenting yeast to survive the trip, though it's also worth mentioning that there simply were not large numbers of immigrants from lager-drinking parts of the world until this era.
Wagner sold some of his yeast to George Manger, who was the first to produce lager on a commercial scale, albeit a small one. Magner's former employer, Charles Wolf, and a co-worker, Charles Engel (a fellow German), established the first large-scale American lager brewery in 1844 Wolf's earlier business, a sugar refinery, was destroyed by fire during anti-Catholic riots aimed at new Irish and German settlers earlier that year, and the new business was aimed almost solely at the growing German immigrant community that was growing up in the neighborhood.
But the beer's popularity quickly exploded—within a few years, the brewery was one of the largest in the country, even shipping beer as far afield as New Orleans. After the unrest of 1848, waves of German immigrants began arriving, and many experienced lager brewers gravitated toward the established business, which now branded itself, 'Die Erste Lagerbier Brauerei in Amerika'. Soon this 'first' lager brewery was joined by many others, creating Philadelphia's Brewerytown neighborhood.
By 1857, lager was outselling ale, and even established breweries took notice—when it rebuilt after a fire, Yuengling (founded in 1828, also by a German immigrant) ensured that its new brewery would be capable of producing lagers—it had been largely making ales and porters prior to that. An accidental survival of a pre-Prohibition German-American brewery can still be seen today: Bube's Brewery, in rural Pennsylvania, is now a microbrewery, but the original 19th century cellars and equipment are slowly being restored.
After 1848, new German immigrants began to look beyond the eastern seaboard, and began settling in large numbers in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee while many German brewers continued to ply their trade locally in their new cities, some looked to expand their reach. Philip and Jacob Best, brothers from Mettenheim, founded the Best Brewery in and Milwaukee. With an emphasis on quality, they were hugely (and rapidly) successful, and began buying other local breweries and shipping their beer to other cities, including Chicago and St. Louis. Philip Best would later sell his stake in the operation to Frederick Pabst, though he still became the subject of a truly awful poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox—one of 19th century America's most popular, although perhaps not terribly accomplished, poets—that hints at the fear many 'native' Americans (as they unironically styled themselves) were beginning to have as the influx of German immigrants continued.
As German-American communities grew, their 'foreign' ways became a further source of hysteria—and their lager-drinking tradition was directly targeted. One of the first major touchpoints came in 1855: the Know Nothing movement (also known as the Native American or simply American Party) was successful in getting their anti-immigration, anti-Catholic message across and won elections in cities such as Chicago and Cincinnati. Their platform included the restriction of political office to Protestants of English or Scottish ancestry, banning languages other than English, requiring Bible readings in public schools and, most important for our purposes here, restricting certain types of alcohol. When Know-Nothing mayor Levi Boone took the reins in Chicago, he aimed to curb the German beer-drinking culture by raising the cost of a liquor license by 600%, and revived a law banning beer sales on Sundays. German-American tavern and beer-garden owners opened as usual, and the police were sent in to arrest drinkers (many of whom were entire families enjoying their usual Sunday afternoon biergarten outing). As the trial date approached, neighborhoods protested, eventually leading to what became known as the Chicago Lager Beer Riot. Ethnic tensions simmered on and off for much of the century, but the association of German heritage with brewing became a key weapon in the temperance movement's arsenal in the early 20th century as war broke out in Europe.
By this point, most of America's largest breweries were owned by families of German descent—but most were 2nd and 3rd generation Americans. Nevertheless, their German names made them the perfect scapegoats that Wayne Wheeler of the Anti-Saloon League had been seeking. Once the US had joined the First World War, it was open season on these breweries: they were 'owned by enemy aliens'—the Anti-Saloon League even characterized Milwaukee's brewers as 'the worst of all our German enemies.' A lack of support for Prohibition suddenly became unpatriotic—and by 1920, it was the law of the land.
While some brewers were able to survive, many of the neighborhoods and German cultural centers that had grown up around them did not—Cincinnati's Over the Rhine neighborhood was just one of many across the country that lost its main economic and cultural engines as a result, and it could be argued that the beer brewed after Prohibition ended was also a pale imitation of what had come before.
While it is true that many German-American brewers used corn from the start in their lagers—something that would have been unheard of in their native land—the resulting beers were not the light, relatively flavorless drinks so abhorred by today's beer connoisseur. They tended to be darker (although still notably lighter than the contemporary ales and porters) and maltier than their modern counterparts others were a bit more like Bohemian pilsners, as 'German' brewers often included immigrants from what is now the Czech Republic. Yes, corn was cheaper and easier to obtain than barley, but before Prohibition, a full-flavored, well-hopped drink was still the goal. And for those who assume that beer snobbery is a modern invention, think again—The American Magazine was already deciding which American-made lagers were 'real' and which were simply unworthy imitations as early as 1882.
German-American brewers may have ruffled feathers for some segments of society, but the rest knew that a good drink trumped politics.
The Olympic Club in Seattle, Wash., claimed provenance beginning in 1904 with a story that the visiting tenor Enrico Caruso ordered it off the menu so often during his tour there that no crab was left in the pantry.
Two slightly later origin stories, both dated 1914, place its invention at Solari’s restaurant in San Francisco or by Louis Davenport, owner of the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash.
No matter its beginnings, the salad called Crab Louie always is to end up including lettuce, crabmeat, halved hard-cooked eggs, cold poached asparagus spears and tomato, all slathered with Louie (sometimes Louis) sauce, a sort of savory Thousand Island salad dressing.
When researching the origins of Crab Louie, I thought often of my mother’s recipe for her “Sauce Louis” which gave me my first definition of the color pink. And some of my first kitchen tears: I remember grating the onion half on the small holes of the box grater to come up with the requisite two tablespoons of “onion juice.”
Make a big casserole of Chicken Divan right now, in the middle of this so-alone time. (Getty Images)
Being Belgian, she constructed a faux-Crab Louis salad on which to slather her Sauce Louis that was centered around shrimp rather than crab. (With celery instead of asparagus and the whole Lilly Pulitzer, pink-and-green thing topped with some black olives.)
Sauce Louis occasioned research on the origins of Chicken Divan, another favorite of my mom and as comfortable a food as we kids can remember. This is really retro food, folks. But make a big casserole of Chicken Divan right now, in the middle of this so-alone time.
Where Chicken Divan got its name, very few seem to be certain. Fact-checking doesn’t make sense when one source, for example, proffers the idea that this simplest, gooiest, most down-home of home cookings is named after the “divan,” or the French word for an Arab sultan’s chambers, hence “a great hall or meeting place,” hence the “reclining couch” therein. Pish posh.
The original recipe may likely have sprung from the hands of a home cook, a Mrs. Fletcher, who won a recipe-writing contest held in 1955 by the Divan Parisien Restaurant at the Chatham Hotel in New York City. Prize money: $5. (About $50 dollars today. Still, woo-hoo.)
Anyway, for all of the 1950s and 1960s, Chicken Divan was a runaway buffet blowout at parties and family gatherings all over the United States. This, I know.
It also was one of my mother’s great soothings to those in need of comfort and care. I remember schlepping casseroles of it over to nearly any mom of our acquaintance who had just come home from the hospital with a new child. Because we were Roman Catholic, this seemed to occur weekly.
Makes a bit less than 2 cups. From Madeleine St. John.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup chile sauce (NOT ketchup)
- 2 tablespoons grated onion juice
- 1 cup whipping cream, whipped into soft peaks
- A few drops of lemon juice, to taste
Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate until serving time.
Totally Retro Chicken Divan
I’ve constructed my mother’s recipe as best as I can remember, having watched it being made dozens of times. In alternatives to the classic recipe, she did not make a base of béchamel or Mornay sauce, nor use only grated “Parmesan” cheese. In classic 1950s fashion, she used cream of mushroom soup and grated cheddar cheese.
Also as a turn on the classic recipe, she added cooked rice to stretch it and give it more heft. It’s best if the broccoli and rice are prepared just underdone because they will spend some additional time cooking. Makes 1 large casserole serves 6-8.
- 4 cups cooked broccoli florets (steamed fresh or cooked frozen)
- 4 cups cooked boneless chicken breast, large dice or shredded
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (the orange kind)
Lavishly butter a 9吉 baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together the broccoli, chicken and rice. Heat the mushroom soup with the mayonnaise and sour cream, stirring, until you make of it a sauce.
Put the chicken, broccoli and rice mixture in the baking dish and pour over it the sauce, nudging the sauce down into the other ingredients. Coat the top evenly with the shredded cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble.
Budweiser Releases New Brew Based on an Anheuser-Busch Recipe Once Halted by Prohibition
Budweiser is giving beer lovers the chance to experience and taste history with the release of its limited-edition 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager. The recipe behind Repeal Reserve dates back to the pre-Prohibition era when Adolphus Busch created and brewed a special Amber Lager for his friends and local community to enjoy. Due to the onset of Prohibition in 1920, the beer didn’t have a chance to be distributed widely outside the St. Louis area… until now. Beginning today, Budweiser is releasing this historically inspired recipe nationwide to celebrate the Repeal of Prohibition.
The Prohibition era marks a defining moment for the Great American Lager, as the brand, and the country, faced 13 years without a drop of beer. Budweiser’s limited-edition 1933 Repeal Reserve is brewed to recognize and raise a cold one to America’s determination through Prohibition.
"We are excited to mark the upcoming holiday season and the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with this new brew based on a forgotten recipe,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser. “While Budweiser Repeal Reserve is a great tasting Amber Lager, it also tells the story of an important part of our history and gives reason for celebration."
The amber lager consists of a light, hoppy aroma and a rich caramel-malt taste. As a nod to the pre-Prohibition era, Repeal Reserve boasts a higher ABV than original Budweiser – 6.1% vs. 5%. And, inspired by the earlier style of beers, new Repeal Reserve comes packaged in a vintage Budweiser stubby bottle.
As part of the launch, the brand is bringing the Prohibition era to life by unveiling a fleet of antique cars in partnership with Lyft, Budweiser’s preferred safe rides partner. On Wednesday, October 25, New Yorkers (21+) will have a chance to score the Bud Vintage Mode for a ride in an authentic, vintage car to experience the 1930’s first-hand, between the hours of 3-7 pm EST by visiting www.lyft.com/BudVintageMode. During the specialized ride, passengers will cruise through the famous streets of New York, passing landmarks and neighborhoods that were integral to Prohibition, while learning about the newly released beer.
“When Budweiser told us they wanted to offer a fleet of vintage cars to launch Repeal Reserve, we knew Lyft was the perfect option to celebrate the new recipe in a stylish and unexpected way,” said Melissa Waters, vice president of marketing, Lyft. “We encourage everyone to make the right choice to drink responsibly and keep our roads safe, and that’s why we continue to team up with Budweiser, a brand that shares the same commitment.”
From New York and beyond, fans can experience a taste of history with Budweiser as part of Repeal Reserve’s full marketing campaign inclusive of new TV commercials, digital content and Clydesdales appearances. Budweiser is also partnering with Drizly to deliver a taste of history to beer drinkers across the country with a special code for $5.00 off their first purchase of 1933 Repeal Reserve, using the code Prohibition.
Out-of-this-World Drinks for the Moon Landing Anniversary
One small sip to commemorate 50 years since Apollo 11.
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins boldly went where no man had ever gone before. Fifty years later, restaurants and bars are celebrating Apollo 11’s momentous achievement with out-of-this-world treats. Here’s where to get them, and how to host your own extraterrestrial event.
Portland, Oregon’s Bacchus Bar’s lead bartender Nathan Elliott is a self-proclaimed space nerd. Lunar Glow (above $11), his riff on a gin fizz, shakes Malfy Gin, Empress Gin, blood orange liqueur, lemon juice and egg white, all over grapefruit soda and garnished with dashes of bitters to form the shape of a crescent moon. "This cocktail invokes the feeling of staring at the moon in a summer sky," Elliott says. "Bonus, it’s also a subtle play on the drink the astronauts enjoyed upon arriving back from the moon dubbed the Moonwalk."
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's moon landing, Nashville’s Union Station Hotel is planning a series of events and promotions this weekending, including a Moon Pie welcome amenity at check-in, a guided discussion and visual presentation about space exploration and, of course, a themed cocktail. Get inspired beforehand by grabbing The Ice Moon ($15) at Carter’s restaurant. Created by restaurant manager Jacqueline Schutt, the lunar libation is inspired by natural satellites made primarily from ice, and includes cucumber-infused vodka, aloe liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup and chilled down with a large ice sphere that looks just like the giant white rock orbiting the earth.
Local St. Louis craft brewery Schlafly Beer’s Lunar Lager is a sampler pack of four exclusive lagers ($13.99) brewed especially for the anniversary. Lift-Off Lager is an unfiltered German lager whose golden hazy appearance is meant to mimic what the sky looked like that July morning in 1969 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida Apollo’s Orbit Black Lager appears as dark as the view outside Apollo 11’s window Moon Walk Dunkel, a dark and malty German lager, references Armstrong and Aldrin’s stroll that day and The Eagle Has Landed American Lager is named for a quote that’s now an inextricable part of the American experience. Packaging highlights a few memorable moments from the voyage and include fonts from 1960s-era albums and the sans-serif font so popular back then in science fiction comic books and shows. In addition, the square shape around the corners of bottle labels evoke a television set — the method through which most Americans witnessed the moon landing — with colors taken from 1969 Ford and GM automotive paint chips.
WITH CARRYOUT DINING ON THE RISE, MORE RESTAURANTS ARE OPENING WINDOWS.
The pickup window was conceived to launch a sister concept, Wing Runner, but all of its barbecue faves, including the Tripe Pig (snoot, rib tips, and house-made hotwurst) are available as well.
Not much has changed over the years at the Route 66 staple, known for its famous smashed burgers. So after the pandemic prevented customers from gathering around its 16 stools, it was particularly noteworthy that the tiny restaurant added a pickup window.
At this punny house of chicken, order the broasted Cheep & Cheddar from the Bawk Up Window, or request curbside pickup in front of the coop.
These days, the coffee window is pulling double duty, with Italian-inspired fare and pies from the adjacent O+O Pizza.
A whopping 30 taco varieties, including the popular Who You Call’n Shrimp taco, with margarita slaw, are dispensed from a side window. (Or think outside the bubble and reserve one of Club Taco’s four igloos.)
During patio season, order superior pizza and pasta at the side window, take about 10 steps, and chow down at one of the nicest (and best-hidden) European courtyards in town.
Wiedemann Beer is Back with a New Recipe and New Location in Saint Bernard
Wiedemann's new brewery is located in a converted funeral home in Saint Bernard Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Wiedemann’s beer came back from the dead inside a former Saint Bernard funeral home.
The Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co. trademark was acquired by Jon and Betsy Newberry in 2012 when Jon, a journalist who covered local beer news, became intrigued at the prospect of bringing back the beer that was synonymous with Cincinnati family gatherings.
Jon saw that the Wiedemann brand, which had been operating out of Newport, Ky., had gone into bankruptcy the last company to own it was Pittsburgh Brewing, who dropped their trademark rights for the brand. The Newport facility closed in 1983.
Jon asked a lawyer what he needed to do to get the Wiedemann trademark and learned he could apply for it, which cost $250. So he did. And he got it.
“He started brewing with Listermann on a contract basis and did small batches. From there it snowballed,” Betsy says. She and Jon are sitting at a table in the sunny front room of the brewery. Jon drinks his Royal Amber Ale while Betsy sips a “half & half” of Royal Amber and Blonde Ale.
“It is Jon’s idea, his vision, but he couldn’t do it alone while working full-time,” she continues. “I started doing things here and there while I had time to help him, but one thing led to another and it’s now full-time. It’s been six years and we’re finally open thanks to a wonderful, wonderful crew helping us get the building renovated.” The Tap Room Burger Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The taproom makes great use of the bottom floor of the elegant building, originally the Imwalle Memorial Funeral Home. Vintage Wiedemann signs wash the inner rooms with that comforting barroom glow only attainable from neon luminescence.
Regarding the vintage signs, Jon says they’re easy to come by, but not cheap. “The more publicity our brand gets, the higher the prices go,” he says. “I think there’s people in Newport who still have basements full of this stuff.”
“We’ve had so much interest and support from people around the country, we get calls and emails with stories about growing up with Wiedemann, that their parents and grandparents drank it at family gatherings,” Betsy says. “There are tons of people so loyal to the brand it brings back good memories. It’s a nostalgic thing.”
The original Wiedemann recipes did not come with the trademark acquisition, meaning the new owners had to come up with their own approach to the iconic beers.
“Royal Amber Ale is the first Wiedemann recipe our brewmaster came up with,” Jon says. “I really wasn’t all that interested in the old recipes because people’s taste in beer has changed so much in the past 15 or 20 years. It’s a whole new ballgame and I didn’t want to just bring back the old Wiedemann.
“It’s completely different, our recipe. The ingredients are much better, I’m not sure how they made it and what they put into it, although I drank plenty of the old stuff, no complaints there. I’d like to think that what we’ve got now is much more authentic to what George Wiedemann would have been making back around 1870.” Wiedemann has created new recipes for some old favorites Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Wiedemann’s Bohemian Special Brew, the beer older drinkers associate with the Wiedemann brand, was still in the tanks at the time of our interview, so much of our conversation revolved around the Royal Amber Ale, a smooth beer that drinks sweet thanks to roasted malt, but finishes with a pleasant dryness that makes the beer incredibly crushable.
“The beer people have been demanding we bring back is Royal Amber, they’d say it was the best beer they remember having,” Jon says. “So, we needed to bring it back, but we didn’t have the old recipe for Royal Amber. Also, it was a lager, which takes considerably longer to make than an ale, so I told my brewmaster that we need to come up with a really good Royal Amber recipe. …So I said to come up with a really good, smooth ale recipe that’s really drinkable. He came up with this and knocked it out of the park.”
Wiedemann’s brewmaster is Steve Shaw from Cellar Dweller at Valley Vineyards in Morrow. Approximately 2,000 barrels of beer are planned for production in the first 12 months of operation, including a variety of styles like lager, stout, ale and more. The brewery will self-distribute and a canning line is set to be installed in the former embalming room.
In addition to beer, the taproom boasts a full food menu, offering fried barroom appetizers, hot sandwiches, burgers and basic salads.
Falstaff, Anheuser-Busch's Rival
Falstaff's roots in St. Louis date back to 1838, and it acquired its Shakesperean name in 1903. The brand survived Prohibition and did battle with Anheuser-Busch to be top dog in St. Louis. In the 1960s, Falstaff was the third-largest beer brand in the U.S., and a fixture at ballparks and backyard barbecues. Falstaff hit peak production in 1965, then did a very unfortunate thing. It acquired the Rhode Island-based Narragansett brand, and ended up the target of an antitrust lawsuit brought by the government of the Ocean State. The case went to the Supreme Court, and even though Falstaff was victorious, the brand never recovered financially. Falstaff endured a long, steady decline throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s, and stopped producing altogether in 2005.
Most origin stories are wrong
The creation of the egg-based cocktail is often attributed to celebrity bartender "Professor" Jerry Thomas of St. Louis, who included the cocktail in his 1862 edition of "How to Mix Drinks" (reprinted and available as "The Bartenders Guide") and blatantly took credit for the tipple. However, there&rsquos myriad evidence provided in cocktail historian David Wondrich&rsquos book "Imbibe!" suggesting that the cocktail existed prior to Thomas&rsquo birth and is likely to have found its origins in England during the early 1820s.
The drink is often credited to English author Pierce Egan who penned a play by the same name Wondrich suggests the name can be credited indirectly to him as well. "To go Tom and Jerrying was to go out on the town," he writes. "A Tom and Jerry was also a low dive. And, in this case, a festive but lethal sort of drink."
Nonetheless, "Professor" Thomas definitely did his part to make the cocktail a noteworthy element in U.S. cocktail history. In fact, thanks largely to his flamboyant promotion, the drink became a winter staple at countless 19th century saloons throughout America, experiencing a resurgence among the party set in the 1950s before fading into relative obscurity.
Of course, hearty, loyal Midwesterners continued to be devotees of the cocktail, particularly those who lived in Northern climes like Minnesota and Wisconsin. In fact, it&rsquos primarily at our behest that the cocktail lives on, providing warmth and comfort during the coldest months of the year. So drinking it around the holidays contributes avidly to its survival.
3. Bourbon Is Best
If you love rye whiskey in your sour, go for it. But there’s something about the softer, vanilla and caramel notes of bourbon that does the drink right. “With rye, there’s more spice,” says McCoy. “Bourbon has sweeter honey-toned notes, and I think two ounces of that with three-fourths of an ounce citrus and three-fourths of an ounce sweet is the perfect combo.” If you do want to add some of that punchy, savory rye spice, he recommends using equal parts rye and bourbon.
Shaken Rattled and Cold
Deep Eddy® Strawberry Texas Lemonade - Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka, Cointreau, fresh sour, strawberry puree & SPRITE®.
Premium Long Island Iced Tea - El Jimador® Blanco Tequila, BACARDI® Superior Rum, Bombay® Gin, SVEKDA® Vodka & Patrón Citrónge.