Why the Gateway City is the #1 Travel Destination for Beer Enthusiasts
Beer enthusiasts have always had good reason to travel to St. Louis, home of the iconic Budweiser label and the many offshoots that have made such a mark on brewing history. The Anheuser-Busch Brewery is still well worth a tour, but visitors will also want to sample the wares at the dozens of craft breweries throughout the region.
A quick, unscientific sum of the craft brewers’ offerings totals more than twenty locations in the St. Louis area alone. It’s an amazing amount of diversity—and a good reason to make St. Louis your next beer destination.
Alpha Brewing Co.
Look for beers aged in wine barrels, brewed with fruit, dry-hopped and more among the 15 offerings at its new (and newly rehabbed) South City space.
2nd Shift Brewing
If sampling their beer is “your second job,” as the tagline says, you have your work cut out for you—there are nine year-round beers (like the Technical Ecstasy Czech-style pilsner) plus a handful of seasonal brews on tap in the tasting room.
4 Hands Brewing Co.
Its canned Citywide pils and pale ale have become fixtures around St. Louis, but there’s so much more to this brewery, from its seven year-round offerings to nearly three dozen seasonals.
Cathedral Square Brewery
There’s a heavy Belgian influence on these 14 “sacred brews,” melding Trappist brewing methods with an American approach to achieve bold, complex flavors.
The Civil Life Brewing Co.
“Nurturing” is an unlikely description for a pub, but it fits here—Civil Life donates to and supports many civic causes, from neighborhood revitalization to female brewers, via both its choice of ingredients and proceeds from some of the 12 beers it offers throughout the year.
You’ll find out-of-this-world flavors in its 12 beers, including matcha tea, eucalyptus, cedar, cucumber, peppers, cardamom, pineapple, cherries oak leaves and, one of our favorites, jiggery (a semi-refined Indian sugar that boosts the Tax Evader DIPA into the stratosphere).
Ferguson Brewing Co.
Thanks to its 20-barrel system, this brewery consistently turns out a handful of seasonals alongside its eight year-round beers in one of St. Louis’ most recognized suburbs.
Heavy Riff Brewing
Most of the 15 taps at this Dogtown hangout feature Heavy Riff’s own ales, all exploding with the flavors and aromas of hops, yeasts, grains and the occasional fruit.
Kirkwood Station Brewing Co.
Poured straight from the serving tanks, the six year-round beers and a rotation of seasonals are approachable and food-friendly, perfect for enjoying throughout an evening of live music.
Not only do the founders have street cred in the brewing world, they both graduated from the Master Brewer’s program at the University of California-Davis—and are happy to share their knowledge over one of their nine brews.
One of the oldest craft brewers in the city, this Laclede’s Landing venue continues to innovate (and win awards) for the six beers it keeps on tap at any given time.
Narrow Gauge Brewing Co.
The only place to purchase its nine beers (including the whomp-packing 8.6 percent ABV Double Dry Hopped OJ Run IPA) is at the Florissant brewery.
The colorful labels on the seasonals, everyday beers and collaborations turned out by this O’Fallon, Mo., enterprise can be found on store shelves across the metro area and at its own in-house O’Bar.
Perennial Artisan Ales
This small-batch brewer releases a new beer every Thursday evening, adding to its ever-expanding repertoire (always a dozen beers on tap and nearly two dozen in bottles) and giving beer geeks infinite fodder for conversation.
Schlafly – The St. Louis Brewery
As the granddaddy of local craft brewers, Schlafly’s six year-round beers and more than four dozen seasonals have a place of honor in St. Louis beer history—and the company’s two locations are always full of beer-loving crowds.
Side Project Brewing
All the beers here are aged in barrels, and you can sample them either at the Maplewood brewery’s tasting room or at the Side Project Cellar, where other barrel-aged beverages like wine, cider and whiskey join beer on the menu.
Six Mile Bridge Beer
After getting acquainted with this Maryland Heights upstart via its five year-round beers, dive into a dozen seasonals, some of which owe their unique character to the owner’s South African heritage.
Square One Brewery and Distillery
Global fusion happens every day inside this brewery—and its 16 beers on tap offer a drinkable journey from Mexico to the U.S. West Coast to Europe, showcasing both Old and New World styles.
Trailhead Brewing Co.
In keeping with the nostalgic character of St. Charles’ historic downtown, the six brews at Trailhead offer familiarity and comfort in a huge, rehabbed woolen mill.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
UCBC’s two beer series—the newer Revolution styles and the classic Reverence brews—celebrate the best of both worlds when it comes to brewing trends.
This post is part of a collaboration with Explore St. Louis. Find more beer-friendly destination ideas on explorestlouis.com. All photos courtesy of Elevate.