Brewery Restaurant Review: Trailhead Brewing Co

In the second installment of my Brewery Restaurant Reviews, I went with my father for lunch last week to the Trailhead Brewing Co in historic downtown old St. Charles, MO.

Let’s take a look at the ol’ beer menu:

Variety! (damn camera glare)

So much to choose from… well, what’s the Brewer’s Selection Seasonal Beer?

Oktoberfest in September?! Amazing!

Well, dammit I love Oktoberfest beer. So hard to choose. How about a sampler? Sure, twist my dad’s arm.

Six pretty little beers all in a row

This can only turn out better than our last beer flight during a working lunch.

Let me run down the list and give my general thoughts (left to right) as my lunch cooks:

Oktoberfest – Cloudy, hoppy, smooth. A very nice beer, but much milder than many other popular Oktoberfests (Schlafly, Samuel Adams, etc.). One of my favorite styles of beers, so I might be biased, but this did not disappoint.

Trailblazer Blond Ale – Tart, a little sweet. Not my favorite, but a middle of the road beer for Trailhead. Very drinkable, but lighter than my typical beer purchases.

Riverboat Raspberry – A little too sweet, but good berry flavor. It takes a few sips to really get into this beer.

Red Amber Ale – Mine was a little bit flat at first taste, but there was a strong solid flavor. I consider this a great red ale, though I don’t get them that often. I had a few in the past and didn’t really care for red ales amongst other styles, so I shied away. Now that I see how complex and drinkable they can be, perhaps I need to reconsider. That’s something to say about a beer – yours made me want to buy more of that beer style. Impressive effort. If I was buying a growler, it would be this one.

Missouri Brown – Malty, a good brown ale. Quite smooth. Nice beer, but not among their best.

Old Courthouse Stout – Super smooth but effervescent for a stout! Great roasted flavor, rich and creamy. Well played, Trailhead!

For lunch, I ordered the avocado bacon turkey burger. If I am going to cut out 400 calories switching from beef to turkey, then I can add some bacon, six little beers, and a bunch of fries on the side, right?

Lunch

The sandwich was good, though they put on so much avocado that it overpowered the turkey patty flavors. The fries were bigger than shoestring or typical fries though smaller than steak fries. Good effort and a solid sandwich. Too bad they didn’t have a Cuban on the menu, though.

Dad offered some feedback on his beer preferences by making a handy little bar graph out of his beer flight place mat:

Dad’s beer rankings

As you can see, he is way down on the Stout and Blond Ale, but smitten by the Red Amber Ale.

I countered with my own ranks, using his (soon to be patented) system:

My beer ranks

I agree that the Red Ale is superb, probably their best beer. I am not normally a red ale guy, but Trailhead’s is phenomenal.

Their stout is solid. I think it has the right body, flavors, consistency, effervescence of a proper stout.

The raspberry didn’t do it do me, but that’s only because Schlafly spoiled me with their raspberry beer. Nothing has been comparable.

I’m not much of a brown ale guy… Trailhead’s is good for a brown ale, but their other beers outshine.

I have to say that these are six solid beers, with some real stars among them. The food is good, having never been disappointed. They make a nice BBQ chicken pizza and respectable fish & chips for the Lent crowd. Return visits and repeat beer flights are in order (and I can’t say the same for Granite City Brewery).

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