Category Archives: Drink This Beer

Drink This Beer: Schlafly Raspberry Coffee Stout

In a rare treat for my parents, all five Simpsons were together in town this past weekend. We took in a Cardinal game together, had a BBQ (prepared by others, though I had to step in a few times), and played a little poker.

Dad’s not about to let a total lack of knowledge of the rules of poker stop him from playing…

On my way over to the BBQ, I thought I would treat anyone interested in some special edition beer. How about a couple big bottles of Schlafly Raspberry Coffee Stout?

$9.50 a bottle is a lot to live up to.

I’ve been waiting to buy this beer since I saw it announced on the Facebook website. Yes, I am an official fan.

Surprisingly, my NYC police officer brother doesn’t like “fruity” beers (High Life fan), and the political cog / D.C. food blogger brother doesn’t like stouts (IPA fan). Jeez… are we really related? My father wanted nothing to do with it, either, once I told him my impression of the beer (see below). Only my unrelated-by-blood brother-in-law was interested. Thank goodness someone has taste in that house.

Pro Tip: The guy at the Schlafly Bottleworks retail desk told me that some early reviews of the beer were that serving it cold knocked out much of the rich, stout flavor and left them with just raspberries. He suggested letting the beer sit out for a little while and get cool (as opposed to cold), near room temperature, before pouring.

Yes, I know. Wrong glass. It’s all they had.

When you want to pour a beer into a glass at the Simpson parents’ house, your options are usually relegated to a pint glass that may or may not have been legitimately-acquired. Citizen Kane’s, I apologize on their behalf in case this glass is merely being borrowed long term.

I should apparently be using a snifter glass, but it was a pint glass or swigging straight from the bottle. I chose glassware.

Right out of the bottle, I can tell you it smells amazing. Rich, chocolaty, malty. Since it had had warmed up a little bit, we got plenty of frothy head on the beer.

Give that beer any more head and it will feel obliged to buy you dinner!

The beer runs over your tongue very smoothly with minimal effervescence, and you definitely get a ton of hearty chocolate malt flavor, with only a hint of raspberry.

The fruitiness is so subtle and the flavor is so rich, I can only compare this to eating a dark chocolate truffle that has the whipped raspberry mousse inside, but in beer form. That in mind, one can certainly understand that this may not be the beer for your average Budweiser or Coors guzzler. This is a fancy, sippin’ beer. Nonetheless, when it comes to Schlafly Raspberry Coffee Stout: Drink This Beer

Epilogue: Since my reverse-beer-snob family didn’t want any of this stuff, I took the second bottle home with me for later enjoyment. Enjoy it I will.


Drink This Beer: Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat

Sitting here in the banks of the picturesque Gasconade River, casting my line out in a futile exercise, I am sipping on my breakfast: Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat



(Note: I am posting this from an iPhone, down by the river, so the formatting will be off.)

Seeing as how I am tasting the beer version of Fruity Pebbles instead of my usual river beer of PBR or Miller High Life, it’s a good thing it’s breakfast time. Seriously, this is a very sweet beer… probably too sweet for many wheat beer drinkers.

But, who can complain from this vantage?


One of the few rivers easy of the continental divide that flows south to north

So far today, I have caught two sticks, a rock, and this pathetic large mouth bass.


A trophy fish… in five years

I promise to rededicate myself to hard drinking an diligent fishing the rest of the day. In the meantime, my recommendation for Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat: Drink This Beer


Drink This Beer: Bell’s Oberon Ale

Happy 4th of July, America!

Well, being that I am self-employed and my family is out of town, it’s still a work day. That doesn’t mean we can’t spice things up and add some delicious Bell’s Oberon Ale.

Consume this beer!

I have a little experience with Bell’s beer. At a fantasy draft party in suburban Chicago a few years back, the host picked up a keg of Bell’s (not Oberon, though) and we floated the keg in three hours.

I love these little mini-kegs. The art on the keglet is pretty cool, too. I went to an art fair recently where some guy was selling light fixtures made out of mini-keg containers like this. Instead of shelling out $40 for one of these lights, I have changed enough electrical fixtures in my house that I have enough spare light fixture guts that I can readily build one of those for $0. Sorry, Mr. Starving Artist…

Beer me!

It pours very nicely and immediately I pick up on some orange / citrus aromas. There is a distinct amber haze in the beer, distinctive of a wheat ale (a Whale, right?). Looks great in the beer stein, though I know I should be using a tulip glass instead of the generic beer glass.

Drink me!

Yet another fabulous beer you can safely put into the Refreshing Beer category. I pick up on next to no hops, but plenty of richness. At a mild 5.8% ABV, this is a nice session beer that won’t cause too many problems… unless you crush the 1.32 gallons in one sitting. (Lawyerly Note: Don’t do that)

This is going to be a repeat purchase… possibly later this week. Crisp, refreshing, not overpowering, exceptionally drinkable, wonderful flavor and aroma… have I found the perfect beer?

Just another day at the office for me, though Bell’s helped me spruce things up on this Independence Day.

Oberon at work

George Washington drank applejack  all the time, so he can respect a working holiday full of fine brew.

My recommendation for July 4th and for Bell’s Oberon Ale: Drink This Beer


Drink This Beer: Six Row Whale

As is becoming tradition during the first weekend in June, that being the weekend nearest to our wedding anniversary, the wife and I headed out yesterday evening to Art & Air, an outdoor art, music, and food festival in Webster Groves.

The longest line among food trucks or booths was for Milagro Modern Mexican. Having already made our modest art purchases and seen every exhibitor, we decided to bypass that line and just head to the restaurant itself. We had never been and it’s only about a mile from the art show, so why not give it a shot?

While we split some guacamole, Wifey ordered the mahi-mahi and a specialty margarita. I chose the pork shoulder with corn and potatoes, along with a new beer for me: Six Row Whale

5.5…. price, ABV, what?

What is a Whale? A wheat ale, of course. (The waiter had to tell me.)

I’ve had some Six Row beer before, but not the Whale. I am encouraged by the recent proliferation of STL area craft breweries, Six Row among them.


How nice does that look? Before even taking a sip, I enjoyed the color, haze, and light head of this beer in its tulip glass.

It has a light honey aroma that’s very inviting. Whatever hops they use gives the beer a fruity flavor with minimal bitterness, while providing a crisp & fresh flavor profile. Only after swallowing each sip do you get the hoppy flavor on your tongue, and even that is fairly subtle. I was very impressed with the balance and drinkability, impressed enough to have a second when my entree arrived. Incidentally, they brought me the wrong entree (marlin), which was delicious, and then right entree (shoulder) which was even better. We will be back, Milagro.

In addition to encouraging you to go eat dinner (or Sunday brunch) at Milagro in Webster Groves, when it comes to Six Row Whale: Drink This Beer


Drink this Beer: Pi Common, by Schlafly

Update 05/18/2012: Welcome, StL Hops readers!

Let’s try this WordPress iPhone app. It may look weird and need some editing in Firefox later, but worth a shot now.


Pi / Schlafly Tap Handle


Common in a glass

I’m at Pi in the St. Louis Central West End and they have something on tap called Pi Commons.

It’s worth a try for sure. I like Schlafly and I like Pi. The bartender compared it to Anchor Steam, another quality brew.

It’s got a wonderful brownish amber color and a very mild aroma. It is minimally effervescent and easy to drink, smooth over the tongue.


Common in another glass. I had a few.

You can pick up on some mild hops, but the star here is the cerealish malt flavors that add a robust flavor. It doesn’t overpower the bitterness or flavor of the hops, but complements it instead. Well done, Schlafly.


I just think things should work properly

Also at Pi… the crazy powerful Dyson hand driers. Can people buy them for their home bathrooms?

The pizza and salad were excellent, as was the company. My recommendation for Schlafly Pi Commons: Drink This Beer


Drink This Beer: Shift Pale Lager

I have a zeal for tall boy four packs of beer. Boddington’s Pub Ale, Heineken, Stella Artois, Miller High Life, etc. all come in foursomes of tall beers. Each is welcome in my house.

How surprised was I to see a new entrant into the fraternity! Welcome, Shift Pale Lager!

Respectable Rate Beer Score

How do you get me to buy some beer, other than a $0.30 markdown? (Hurry! Ends July 1st!) Put the Rate Beer rating tag next to the price tag.

You should know New Belgium beer. If you don’t, then get with the damned program.

How about this Shift Pale Lager. Not pale ale, that’s a pale lager. Intriguing in and of itself.

Washing machines make nice photo backgrounds

Now that I see this picture… it looks a hell of a lot like the Red Bull four pack. Tell me I’m wrong.

Red Bull

Back to the beer. Let’s see if it looks like a lager, much less a pale lager, once in a beer glass.

Pale lager in a glass

I have to say, I really enjoyed this beer. A modest 5.0% ABV pairs up with a fairly respectable 29 IBU, at least for a lager.

Probably one of the best near-clear beers I’ve ever drank

You pick up the floral flavors and a hint of coriander… maybe left over from the New Belgium Trippel. Certainly a refreshing, crisp beer worth the $2 per tall can price. You would be thrilled to pay $2 for one of these at the bar.

I may have found a new favorite yard work beer. More flavorful, but lighter, than my yard work standby Boddington’s. My recommendation for New Belgium’s Shift Pale Lager: Drink This Beer


Drink This Beer: West Coast IPA

Yet another edition of Drink This Beer and yet another IPA. What can I say; I know what I like.

May I introduce West Coast IPA, from the Green Flash Brewing Company.

Yet another IPA... I need to diversify

Rate Beer gives it a whopping 99 out of 100! I’m amped to give this a shot!

Like most respectable IPAs, this beer has a hoppy aroma and fruity notes. It pours nicely into a glass with an aggressively foaming head and rich amber/orange color.

You really need to get your nose down to the top of the glass and inhale deeply. Let the crisp bite of the hops tingle your inner sinus. Prep that palate for the abuses of the bitter yet fruity beer you are about to fling down your gullet.

Wonderful beer

There’s no lie that 95 IBUs is tons of hops, but this is not as overwhelming as, say, Hop Stoopid. And, how can you not like a beer with an ABV of 7.3%. I can see drinking this along side some spicy wings or a pork-heavy STL-style pizza. It’s both refreshing and biting at the same time. This beer is why I love IPAs.

The bottle advertises the fruity aromas of each type of hops, but I pick up on the grapefruit finish after a large sip. What a great, well-balanced IPA. Definitely a repeat purchase in the future.

I strongly recommend that, when it comes to West Coast IPA, you Drink This Beer.


Drink This Beer: McSorley’s Irish Pale Ale

I’m significantly Irish, and I love pale ales. How could I not buy McSorley’s Irish Pale Ale?

Thank you, Charlie Mopps

Immediately you notice a very rich amber color once it hits the glass, but there’s no fruity aroma or hoppy scents. How hoppy will this pale ale be? Do they have much hops in Ireland?

A long time ago, way back in history
When all there was to drink was nothing but cups of tea
Along came a man by the name of Charlie Mops
And he invented a wonderful drink and he made it out of hops

Just as the aroma intimated, there’s no hoppiness. It’s a fairly smooth beer, but nothing particularly distinctive that makes you remark. That’s a well-balanced beer, with no hint of potato.

We are crushing these fine Irish-style beers with some greasy pizza – what else would you each with a bunch of beer.

Nice color, nice flavor, but nothing that will make you remember the beer. If you are interested in having some generic ale with a dearth of hops, then this is the beer for you. I’m comfortable taking this down since it is an easy drink with a nice ale finish that pairs well with a robust pizza, but don’t plan on buying it if your evening will be sitting back to relax and enjoy a sippin’ ale.

Nonetheless, my recommendation for McSorley’s Irish Ale: Drink This Beer


Drink This Beer: Epic Pale Ale

Last week, in an attempt to at least partially repay my father for giving me life, raising me, and passing on horrible male pattern baldness, I treated him to a night of drinking beers and a trip to see George Thorogood and the Destroyers.This is one of my all time favorite CDs:

Imma tell ya a story, called the house rent blues...

An Epic Night calls for an Epic Beer. Behold: Epic Pale Ale.

Epic Win

Before the show, we went a few doors down to the Pin-Up Bowl for a couple of frosty beers. My dad picked some red ale, but I knew immediately that something called Epic Pale Ale was for me. It even came in a big beer bottle.

As we watched an old drunk white guy on the sidewalk try to pick a fight with two huge, exceptionally patient bouncers, I poured myself a glass of New Zealand ale.

Pardon the poor quality of the photos. I am using an antique camera phone in a dark bar, all while drinking beers.

Not that you can tell from that shitty photo above, but the color is a respectable amber. For something “Epic”, I was met with a mere 45 IBU and 5.4% ABV.

The notable thing about this beer is that you get plenty of hops and no fruitiness at all. Many hopped ales will have flowery aromas and sweet notes to finish. Not this beer. This is a no nonsense hopped ale. The Epic Beer website mentions apricot and orange peel scents, but I picked up on none of that. Perhaps the multi-hemisphere journey somehow depleted the full flavor of this beer. No worries, it was still really good.

If you are looking for a solid hoppy ale from a country regarded by Australians (of all people) as weird, then by all means: Drink This Beer


We had a great time at the show. I mean, it was awesome. He ran through a ton of the hits. Once in The Pageant, the beer of choice was Ranger IPA. We had a bunch.

Bad to the Bone

You know, when I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself


Drink This Beer: Mt. Carmel IPA

I managed to make it out of Cincinnati no worse for the wear. Although I regrettably did not get to Graeter’s Ice Cream, we still had a great time at the aquarium, Skyline Chili, Dewey’s Pizza, and at their epic beer shop, Dutch’s. Aside from being a restaurant and wine bar, this place has a massive walk up window of beer from around the country and across the globe. It’s a little overwhelming the first time you approach it, so much so that I had to make two different trips during my visit.

What else would I do while there but crush some local brew. How about some Mount Carmel India Pale Ale?

What's left of a six pack

Again, I go to the guy at the Dutch’s window and ask for some local brew. He recommends Mt. Carmel. Out of their many options, I picked the IPA. My bias comes through again.

How about that great beer color?

I found this IPA to be very refreshing, but there was nothing distinct about it. I had it with some spicy thai-ish chicken and pasta. Based on the mild hoppiness, I was a little surprised to see the 56 IBU. This is a very crisp, perky beer with a mild fruity finish and a full 7.0% ABV. I was not overwhelmed by any of the hops bitterness, but you could enjoy this beer by itself or with any number of foods. My hefeweizen-loving wife did not care for it, but my sister-in-law had a couple.

Check out the excellent color in the beer. It’s slightly cloudy with an amazing amber haze, and a nice robust head. Good all-around beer, but nothing about it made me say “woah”.

In the end, I would buy this again. Probably a great compliment to a hot midwest summer day. My recommendation for Mt. Carmel IPA: Drink This Beer

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