On Tap: Big Brew Debuts, Go To Beer School At Cicero's, Local Coffee & Beer Infusions

By Molly Rippinger
In Food

Dark, rich brews are perfect for sipping during colder weather, so this week be sure to try the newly released beers from The Civil Life or Charleville Brewery while also keeping your eyes peeled for an upcoming seasonal Schlafly release. Also, expand your education at Cicero’s Beer School and remember to mark your calendars for the Brew & Brew fundraiser.

Image courtesy of Charleville Brewing Company

Image courtesy of Charleville Brewing Company

The Civil Life Brewing Company
Staying warm this winter just got a little easier thanks to the new line of higher-alcohol beers being rolled out by Civil Life. Just last week the first of the three brews, Big Year Brown, was released at Civil Life’s taproom in Tower Grove South. Big Year Brown pours a dark hazel with a fairly thick, beige head and has notes of caramel and nuttiness on the nose. Despite having a 6.5 percent ABV, the flavors of roasted malt remain nuanced in the full-bodied ale. The next release will be the Big American Stout in mid-Feburary, followed by Gordian Knot Boc in late March. Check out their website for a full listing of where to find Big Year Brown. 3714 Holt Ave., Tower Grove South.

Charleville Microbrewery
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Charleville has released their dreamy and decadent Box of Chocolate. This Belgian quadrupel has a deep brown appearance in the glass with a tan head and smells quite strongly of chocolate and roasted malt. The first sip will reveal an intense chocolate flavor that’s layered with some hints of raisin and balanced by yeasty undertones. With a 10.5 percent alcohol content, one of the 22-ounce bottles should have you warmed up in no time. Available at area liquor stores and specialty shops. 16937 Boyd Rd., Ste. Genevieve, 573.756.4537. 

Schlafly
Another seasonal release to keep tabs on is the American IPA made by Schlafly that’s set to debut on Jan. 31. This patriotic ale is made from a unique blend of American hops, which provide an interesting balance of flavors. Amber in color, the IPA has a white head that lingers while enjoying the citrusy aroma. Hops dominate the flavor of the beer, but the bitterness expected with an IPA is nicely rounded out with a few sweet, malty notes. Available regionally once released. 2100 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.241.2337.

Cicero’s Beer School
Having a thirst for knowledge takes on a whole new meaning at Cicero’s in the Loop. Since 2006, beer drinkers have been brushing up on styles, techniques and terminology during the weekly semester sessions. Every Wednesday night, a new industry expert leads a unique discussion and coaches the beer school class through four or five samples. Studiousness is rewarded with beer-themed prizes that are handed out for correct answers during a quiz in the last 15 minutes of class. Also, attend 12 out of the 15 sessions in the semester and you’ll become an official, card-carrying graduate of Cicero’s, where you can receive $1 discounts off all beer. Cicero’s Beer School is free and the two classes are from 5:30–6:30pm and 7-8pm every Wednesday through April 23. 6691 Delmar Blvd., The Delmar Loop, 314.862.0009.

Brew & Brew
Brewers of all kinds will be teaming up on Feb. 22 to showcase local products and fundraise for Whole Planet Foundation. Inside the Whole Foods Market in Town & Country guests at Brew & Brew will have the opportunity to sample coffee-infused beers from Schlafly and Kaldi’s Coffee4 Hands Brewing Company and Goshen Coffee; and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company along with Kuva Coffee. Samples of Kakao Chocolate will also be shared during the afternoon event. Call to purchase tickets in advance for $7 or pay $9 at the door. 1160 Town & Country Crossings, Town & Country, 636.527.1160.

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