Spirits: Beyond the Tap
Beer cocktails are all abuzz at local bars.
Once, beer was a pretty common cocktail ingredient. Over time it was relegated to the sidelines, seen by many as a mere chaser or an alternative to spirits. With the resurgence of classic cocktails, however, beer is again taking its rightful place in the bartender’s toolbox. Here’s a look at three beer-based cocktails on tap in St. Louis.
Carry The One
This wintertime libation, currently on the menu at Sanctuaria, came about as a result of barkeep Joel Clark pondering one of his favorite combos: drinking a pint of Guinness with a whiskey on the side for company. This creation consists of rye whiskey, maple syrup and coffee, shaken with ice, then topped with stout (any will do, we’re told). A cheesy holiday recipe in a waiting-room magazine gave Clark the idea of coating the rim of the glass with crushed almonds. Deep, rich and complex, this libation makes for perfect sipping at the bar or hearthside (4198 Manchester Ave., The Grove, 314.535.9700).
Square One Brewery owner Steve Neukomm says although the Beermosa isn’t the only cocktail in town sporting the name, his crew produced the first in St. Louis in 2007. The concept of this drink—replacing the champagne in that Sunday brunch favorite, the Mimosa, with beer—is not exactly intuitive at first glance. But one taste and it’s clear the combination of fresh OJ with Square One’s Spicy Blonde brew Bavarian (Weizen is sometimes used) makes perfect sense. The juice pairs perfectly with the Blonde’s notes of lemongrass and ginger (1727 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.231.2537).
Like so many beer cocktails, this brew-based concoction originated in the UK and is most commonly made by combining beer with lemonade or varieties of citrus soda. Sure, it’s refreshing, but it can lack a certain depth. The Shandy poured at Saint Louis Brewhouse ups the flavor ante on this traditional drink by pairing Schlafly’s flagship Pale Ale with Bermuda import Barritt’s Ginger Beer (not ginger ale, mind you) and a touch of fresh lemon. The combination of hops, spice and citrus adds much more complexity to this classic (315 Chestnut St., Downtown, 314.259.3270).
“The Beermosa” at Square One Brewery
“The Shandy” at Saint Louis Brewhouse
Photo credit: Photos by Jonathan Pollack