Summer of Beer & Whiskey

The insiders guide to STLs hottest beer and whiskey destinations.

 

Whiskey Rules

From the rarest finds to coolest cocktail specials, nobody does whiskey better than these local hotspots.

33 WINE BAR There’s more to love than just vino at 33 Wine Bar, where guests can also find a wide selection of top-shelf whiskeys. Come summertime, take your snifter of single malt to the gorgeous patio. 1913 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.231.9463. Hot Tip: Grab a glass of the high-proof Stagg Jr. Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey with notes of oak, vanilla and cinnamon.

ANNIE GUNN’S Age is a thing of beauty when it comes to whiskey, and Annie Gunn’s stellar selection of mature varieties proves it. Sip on a smooth Elijah Craig 20-Year bourbon or 18-year single malt Macallan to know things only get better with time. 16806 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, 636.532.7684. Hot Tip: Elijah Craig 20-Year bourbon

ATOMIC COWBOY This top late-night hangout in The Grove has whiskey options for all drinkers. While various vintages of Glenlivet keep refined palates happy, the more adventurous can ditch the menu and call out their favorite whiskey cocktails at the bar. Hot Tip: Try the Sunday special – a shot of Fireball Whiskey served with a Stag chaser.

BILLY G’S There are plenty of whiskey bottles to keep you company while watching the big game. Those stuck in a whiskey rut should also consider the cocktails, which are easy sippers especially during the summertime. 131 W. Argonne Drive, Kirkwood, 314.984.8000. Summer Sipper: Blackberry Smash Lemonade

BLIND TIGER Embrace the bold flavors of whiskey with the commanding “Chancellor” at Blind Tiger. Speyside scotch, Presidential Tawny, dry vermouth and orange bitters are mixed and finished with a flamed orange-twist garnish. 7376 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.646.8822. Hot Tip: Look for whiskey classes in the coming months.

BLOOD & SAND Whiskeys take center stage at this members-only spot, which boasts one of STL’s best bar programs. Try their handcrafted riffs on the classic scotch cocktail for which they are named, like Blood & Famine with Jameson Irish Whiskey. 1500 St. Charles St., Downtown, 314.241.7263. ? Hot Tip: Ask for a Bartender’s Choice and they’ll create a unique whiskey cocktail and record the recipe for your next visit.

BRENNAN’S Scotch is serious business at Brennan’s, where bottles are inverted on mounted spigots for easy access in the cigar lounge. Pick your favorite single malt and a premium cigar, some of which are infused with liquors, for an evening enjoying the finer things. 4659 Maryland Ave., Central West End, 314. 361.9444. Hot Tip: Book a private scotch and cigar tasting.

BRIDGE Experience the best of both worlds at Bridge, where it’s possible to sip on a scotch, bourbon or rye followed by a beer that was aged in a barrel from the same whiskey producer. 1004 Locust St., Downtown, 314.241.8141. Hot Tip: Satisfy two cravings with the Schlafly oatmeal stout ice cream topped with a whiskey caramel sauce.

CHARLES P. STANLEY CIGAR CLUB Cigars and scotches are much-loved traditions at Charles P. Stanley, a cigar company with St. Louis roots dating back to 1876. Today, patrons come to the Downtown lounge to mingle with a fine single malt, cigar in hand. 1000 Washington Ave., Downtown, 314.436.3500. ? Hot Tip: Guests are welcome to bring food in from neighboring restaurants.

CHASER’S LOUNGE Nestled between the lobby and pool of the Chase Park Plaza, Chaser’s Lounge and its top-shelf whiskeys should not be overlooked. Enjoy a fine bourbon, single-malt scotch or rye to the sounds of the lounge’s soft piano. 212 N. Kingshighway Blvd., Central West End, 314.633.3000. Hot Tip: It’s an ideal spot for people-watching as passersby explore the hotel.

CIGAR CLUB AT THE RITZ Members enjoy access to a menu of more than 100 whiskeys. Here, the flavors of specific cigars are often matched to those of whiskey, such as a rich Montecristo with a Maker’s Mark Manhattan. 100 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314.863.6300. Hot Tip: Guests at the Ritz have access to the upscale lounge.

DRESSEL’S Indulge in the fine list of whiskeys at this landmark pub, which includes an impressive selection of top-shelf single malts and bourbons. Whiskey cocktails are a definite go-to and are often enhanced by barrel aging. 419 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End, 314.361.1060. Hot Tip: Ask to hear a poem by founder Jon Dressel to whisk yourself to Wales.

ECLIPSE The bartenders at Eclipse pride themselves on their top-notch whiskey cocktails, such as the Month Old Manhattan made with Rittenhouse Rye 100. Top-shelf varieties of bourbon, scotch and rye can still be served up neat for purists. 6177 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.726.2222. Hot Tip: Enjoy the bird’s-eye view of Delmar from the outdoor patio.

FORTUNE TELLER BAR This Cherokee Street mainstay has plenty of whiskey options for all palates. For something a little sweet this summer, try The Full Sneak cocktail made with Pow Wow Botanical Rye, a double dose of ginger and topped with ruby port. 2635 Cherokee St., Benton Park, 314.776.2337. Hot Tip: Try a pickle back of their housemade brine after your favorite shot of bourbon.

FOX & HOUND TAVERN With its beautiful courtyard and cozy pub atmosphere, the Fox & Hound Tavern is a prime spot to sip on a fine whiskey. Try one of their whiskey-centric cocktails or pick from their impressive list of Irish and Scottish single malts. 6300 Clayton Road, Clayton, 314.647.7300. Hot Tip: Cure whatever ails you with a hot scotch.

GAMLIN WHISKEY HOUSE With more than 250 varieties, Gamlin is a destination for all things whiskey. Explore its menu with a tasting flight or pick a cocktail that brings out the beautiful characteristics without the kick of sipping it straight. 236 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End, 314.875.9500. Buzzy Bottle: A.H. Hirsch 1974 Bourbon

HENDRICKS BBQ Belly up to Hendricks Moonshine Blues Bar and bask in the sight of more than 125 whiskey bottles on the shelves. The cocktail list is chock-full of whiskey drinks that are easy sippers, like the Scoff-Law with George Dickel Rye and dry vermouth. 1200 S. Main St., St. Charles, 636.724.8600 Buzzy Bottle: Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year

HERBIE’S VINTAGE 72 This CWE favorite has a bar full of more than two-dozen whiskey varieties perfect for an after-dinner drink or mixing in a cocktail. Try the new Irish Sunset with 2 Ginger’s Irish Whiskey, blood orange liqueur, orange juice and ginger ale. 405 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End, 314.769.9595. Hot Tip: The gooey butter cake with warm bourbon caramel sauce is a must-try.

JOHN D. MCGURK’S Situated in Soulard, McGurk’s is an Irish institution with a long list of whiskeys that can satisfy any craving, even a sweet tooth. The bread pudding topped with caramel sauce is a menu staple. 1200 Russell Blvd., Soulard, 314.776.8309. Hot Tip: The 10,000-square-foot courtyard is prime sipping territory.

JUNIPER The Southern theme doesn’t end with the cuisine at Juniper, where the bar shelves are dominated by bourbons and ryes. Try the refreshing Presbyterian with bourbon, lemon juice and ginger ale. 360 N Boyle Ave, Central West End, 314.520.6750. Hot Tip: Look for tasting events in the coming months.

LLYWELYN’S PUB Llywelyn’s knowledgeable staff helps expand your education every time you step up to the bar. Learn the difference between American, Canadian, Irish and Scottish whiskeys and try samples to discover your new favorite. Multiple locations, llywelynspub.com. Hot Tip: Jameson is on tap.

O’CONNELL’S PUB For decades, locals have come to O’Connell’s for the quintessential neighborhood pub atmosphere. The well-worn bar is perfect for enjoying a fine single malt scotch, whether it be a Dalwhinnie or Glenmorangie, along with great company. 4652 Shaw Ave., Shaw, 314.773.6600. Buzzy Bottle: Balvenie Peated Cask 17-Year

OLIO Big, bold whiskey cocktails are found on the menu at this hip gas-station-turned-wine-bar. Look for Olio’s twist on the 20th-century classic, The Liberal, made with Old Grand Dad 114 high-rye bourbon, sweet vermouth and Bittermen’s Amer Nouvelle. 1634 Tower Grove Ave., Tower Grove, 314.932.1088. Hot Tip: Bar manager John Fausz is forming a tasting group to meet bimonthly called the “Bottom Shelf Bourbon Society.”

PLANTER’S HOUSE Planter’s House utilizes craft spirits and techniques for the ultimate whiskey cocktails. Try its elevated version of the Manhattan with Rittenhouse BIB Rye, housemade sweet vermouth, Suze, Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters and a flamed orange. 1000 Mississippi Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.696.2603. Hot Tip: For a whiskey-loving group, get the Vieux Carre in a Bottle made with Rittenhouse Rye.

THE RESTAURANT AT THE CHESHIRE While any whiskey drinker would be perfectly content at The Restaurant’s bar, they would be head over heels for the collection available in the Back Room. Rare scotches from across the world can be sipped in the cigar lounge for a small fee to non-members. 7036 Clayton Ave., Clayton, 314.932.7818. Buzzy Bottle: Amrut Indian single-malt scotch

THE ROYALE The impressive array of whiskeys behind the bar finds its way into many of the classic cocktails at this neighborhood haunt. Those itching for a drink with a bold, bitter kick should look no further than the Really Rye Old-Fashioned with Bulleit 95 whiskey. 3132 S. Kingshighway Blvd., Tower Grove South, 314.772.3600. Buzzy Bottle: Eagle Rare 17-Year bourbon

SANCTUARIA The beverage program at Sanctuaria prides itself on delivering top-notch cocktails that begin with some of the best whiskeys in the business. They even hand pick their barrels of Elijah Craig 12-Year bourbon in Kentucky to ensure the quality of their cocktails. 4198 Manchester Ave., The Grove, 314.535.9700. Hot Tip: Become a Cocktail Club member and get discounts on drinks.

THE SCOTTISH ARMS This pub is truly a whiskey bar at heart with an impressive list of rare scotches, bourbons and ryes. With new additions constantly appearing on the shelves, the possibilities are practically endless for the whiskey curious. 8 S. Sarah St., Central West End, 314.535.0551. Buzzy Bottle: Hakushu 12-Year

SMALL BATCH There’s nothing little about the whiskey list at Small Batch, where around 100 varieties are found behind the bar. Broaden your borders by ordering a flight, or enjoy a craft cocktail with their housemade bitters and liqueurs. 3001 Locust St., Midtown, 314.380.2040. Buzzy Bottle: Willett 10-Year Single Barrel

SQUARE ONE BREWERY AND DISTILLERY Get a firsthand glimpse at the process of whiskey making during Square One’s Beer and Spirit School. After the guided tour, enjoy a flight of its whiskeys, some of which are infused with hops or Vermont maple syrup. 1727 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.231.2537. Hot Tip: Try the JJ Neukomm whiskey lightly infused with bacon fat.

TASTE A whiskey drinker is in good hands at Taste, where bartenders expertly craft each cocktail with the finest spirits. The long list of cocktails includes many whiskey classics, such as the Old Fashioned or sazerac. The seasonal selections keep things interesting. 4584 Laclede Ave., Central West End, 314.361.1200. Hot Tip: Happy hour features $6 whiskey cocktails.

THREE KINGS This popular Delmar Loop pub draws big crowds for its extensive beer selection, although whiskey drinkers should note it offers great Irish flights too. 6307 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.721.3355. Hot Tip: Sip from a vertical tasting of Jameson whiskeys and pick up the complexities of each pour.

THREE SIXTY Somehow whiskey manages to taste even better when sipped while enjoying spectacular views of Downtown. Whether it’s served up neat or shaken into a craft cocktail, Three Sixty has lots to love when it comes to scotches, bourbons and ryes. 1 S. Broadway, Downtown, 314.241.8439. Hot Tip: Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Busch Stadium with a whiskey cocktail.

THE WHISKEY RING This Cherokee Street spot has rounded up more than 50 varieties of bourbon, rye, scotch and malt whiskeys to fill its shelves. Pick out a favorite label and have one of the bartenders incorporate it into a Prohibition-era cocktail. 2651 Cherokee St., Benton Park, 314.769.7249. Hot Tip: Ask for a taste of the whiskey before you commit to the glass. 

Beer Time

From craft brews to longtime favorites, the STL beer scene is on fire.

2ND SHIFT BREWING Head out to Cedar Creek and see the brewing process, from hops growing on the vine to the finished beer fresh from the tap. Call ahead for tours or enjoy the tasting room on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 7pm. 1401 Olive Road, New Haven, 573.237.3421. Summer Brew on Tap: Hibiscus Wit 4

HANDS BREWING CO. Odds are, while you enjoy a pint at 4 Hands, you’ll be sitting within 50 feet of someone who helped brew your beer. Pick the brain of a brewmaster or attend one of the free tours on Saturdays. 1220 S. 8th St., LaSalle Park, 314.436.1559. Summer Brew on Tap: Prunus

ALPHA BREWING CO. Take a tour of Alpha’s microbrewery and get a taste of the science behind the brewing process. During the hour-long tour, a guide will give the ins and outs of Alpha while guests enjoy a pint along with 10, 5-ounce samples. 1409 Washington Ave., Downtown, 314.621.2337. Summer Brew on Tap: Cantaloupe Lambic

ANHEUSER-BUSCH Visit the castle for the king of beers and learn the history of how A-B became America’s most iconic brewery on the free, guided tour. Plus, check out the new biergarten featuring 17 beers on tap and various tasting flights. 12th & Lynch Streets, Soulard, 314.577.2626. Hot Tip: Join in the traditional brewmaster’s tasting at the biergarten at 3pm.

CIVIL LIFE BREWING CO. With a warm pub-like atmosphere and friendly staff, The Civil Life is a great spot to sip a pint, enjoy a tasty sandwich or get a glimpse of the brewing process. 3714 Holt Ave., Tower Grove South. Summer Brew on Tap: British Bitter Englishstyle pale ale

EXIT 6 Brewery Craft is the name of the game for St. Charles’ first nano-brewery that boasts five of its own brews along with 70 other craft varieties. The tap list of about two-dozen brews changes weekly so there’s always something new to try. 5055 State Hwy. N, St Charles, 636.244.4343. Summer Brew on Tap: Razmanian Devil

FERGUSON BREWING CO. While the story behind the giant gorilla statue outside makes for great conversation, so does the brewery’s delicious Pale Ale, Belgian Wit or Imperial IPA. 418 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson, 314.521.2220. Hot Tip: Order your choice of four beers in a flight.

HEAVY RIFF BREWING CO. If you take your tunes as seriously as you do craft brews, then Heavy Riff is right up your alley. The 15 taps range from its own creations to those of other noteworthy breweries. 6413 Clayton Ave., Dogtown. Hot Tip: Check out the unique guitar neck tap heads.

KIRKWOOD STATION BREWING CO. Head to Kirkwood Station for one of the best craft beer happy hours around, with great discounts on all drafts, such as the refreshing Sugar Creek lager or Double Engine IPA, and a selection of appetizers. 105 E. Jefferson Ave., Kirkwood, 314.966.2739. Hot Tip: Join the Growler Club for special perks.

MORGAN STREET BREWERY Having been in the brewing game for nearly two decades, Morgan Street certainly knows a thing or two about great beer. The brewery’s annual anniversary party, Brewfest, thrown with other local breweries, is one bash you don’t want to miss. 721 N. 2nd St., Downtown, 314.231.9970. Hot Tip: Ask for a “brewski,” five samples of what’s on tap, for $5.

PERENNIAL ARTISAN ALES/SIDE PROJECT BREWING Little is left for a beer-lover to desire between Perennial and Side Project, which offer a long list of brews that are often Belgian-inspired, barrel-aged or infused with other local ingredients. 8125 Michigan Ave., Patch, 314.631.7300. Summer Brews on Tap: Peach Berliner Weisse

SCHLAFLY BOTTLEWORKS In order to up production to meet the growing demand, the majority of Schlafly’s beers are now brewed, bottled and sometimes aged at the Bottleworks facility. 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, 314.241.2337. Hot Tip: Check out the Brewer’s Tour every third Saturday of the month.

SCHLAFLY TAP ROOM Come to the place where it all began more than 20 years ago. With three bars and 40-plus combined taps, there are plenty of opportunities to sip Schlafly fresh from the keg. 2100 Locust St., Midtown, 314.241.2337. Hot Tip: Go to the south bar for beer drawn from firkins in the cellar.

SIX ROW BREWING CO. Housed in a historic building with a long brewing past, Six Row offers around half a dozen craft brews based on the season. Come for a pint and stay for an evening with good food and great company. 3690 Forest Park Ave., Midtown, 314.531.5600. Hot Tip: Try the strong porter cream cheese brownie made with Six Row’s own brew.

SQUARE ONE BREWERY AND DISTILLERY Square One focuses on small-batch craft brews served up in its unique Lafayette Square tavern. Choose from a dozen varieties on tap and seasonal specials that are great for sipping solo or enjoying with a dish from the kitchen. 1727 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.231.2537. Hot Tip: Attend Beer & Spirit School on the first Saturday of the month.

URBAN CHESTNUT MIDTOWN BREWERY & BIERGARTEN Old world traditions meet the modern vibes of Midtown at Urban Chestnut’s original brewery and biergarten. Grab a stein of craft brew and catch up with friends on the long wooden benches under a canopy of strung lights. 3229 Washington Ave., Midtown, 314.222.0143. Hot Tip: Sample the best in a flight.

URBAN CHESTNUT GROVE BREWERY & BIERHALL The newest addition to the Urban Chestnut family landed in The Grove earlier this year, expanding its production and capacity with an impressive bierhall. 4465 Manchester Ave., The Grove, 314.222.0143. Hot Tip: Get a glimpse at the brewing process by taking a self-guided tour.

Bars With Big Brews 

St. Louis wouldn’t be a beer town without these top spots to find taps.

ARTBAR A rotating selection of taps crafted by local brewers highlights the artisanal elements of the brewing process. 2732 Cherokee St., Cherokee, 314.769.1274.  

21ST STREET BREWERS BAR Find more than 100 different brews on the menu with 50 taps largely dedicated to area breweries, plus bottles of the best beers found globally. 2017 Chouteau Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.241.6969.

FLYING SAUCER DRAUGHT EMPORIUM With almost 250 different beers on the menu, guests can relish the sight of its 80 taps and explore 100 unique brewing styles. 900 Spruce St., Downtown, 314.932.1456.

CICERO'S Take your time scanning the beer list with 55 brews on tap and 200 more in bottles. If all the options have you feeling clueless, brush up on your brew knowledge by attending the free weekly beer school. 6691 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.862.0009.

BRIDGE TAP HOUSE & WINE BAR There’s something for everyone to love between the 55 taps and 200 bottles on the beer list. Feel free to bring home your favorite draft in a growler. 1004 Locust St., Downtown, 314.241.8141.

INTERNATIONAL TAP HOUSE Enter the home of international brews and travel between the rotating selections on 40 taps and nearly 500 bottles from at least 25 countries. Multiple locations, internationaltaphouse.com.

TRIPEL BRASSERIE Taste the best of Belgium with varieties of Trappists, sour ales and fruit lambics available on draught or by the bottle. 1801 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.678.7787.

 

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