Tag Archives: ST. LOUIS MO


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It’s hard to find fault with forward-thinking FLYING SAUCER DRAUGHT EMPORIUM, despite the fact such large-scale beer pub endeavors merely scratch the surface promoting local independent brewers’ true obsession crafting off-center hybrids, hard-to-find limited editions, daringly ambitious seasonals and obscure one-offs. While bigger beerpub chains such as Yard House and World Of Beer offer hundreds of great microbrew choices, there’s barely any specialty brews amongst the obvious best-selling fare. Ultimately, this standard predictability led to the future demise of Bud-Coors-Miller, three boring macrobrewers scrambling to find a cool niche while selling watered-down versions of timid mainstream recipes to vapid sycophantic dilettantes.

Originating in Fort Worth, Texas, during 1995, the mighty Flying Saucer now operates 16 locations scattered through Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and the Lone Star State as of my April Fools Day 2016 sojourn.

Taking up the entire first floor space and large outdoor deck of a red brick downtown Industrial edifice within walking distance of Busch Stadium (home to the historic St. Louis Cardinals), this vibrant craft beer mecca sports exquisite wood tone elegance, high-ceilinged exposed ducts and prominent recessed columns. The 20-stool central bar services multiple interior tables and the open-air deck. The copper-topped bar matches the acrylic penny-medallion keg taps (featuring 1oo draughts). Silver plates adorn the walls alongside cool Chimay, Petrus, Duvel and 4 Hands souvenir saucers. 100-plus bottled beers and a fine liquor selection also get scattered across an exhausting menu boasting “famous make your own pizzas” and good pub food.

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Stopping by lunchtime on a crisp springtime jaunt thru the Gateway to the West, my friend Dennis and I quaff nine previously untried libations (reviewed fully in Beer Index). From Missouri came Modern Arkham’s Finest Stout, O’Fallon King Louie Toffee Stout and Charleville Down With OGP English Porter. Illinois offered Excel Flash Bang Wheat Ale and Old Bakery Porter. Kansas brought forth Tallgrass Wooden Rooster Tripel and Tallgrass Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat Cream Stout while Colorado kicked in New Belgium Blackberry Barleywine and California tossed off Ballast Point Victory At Sea – Peppermint. This veritable cornucopia of stylistic intrigue cannot, at this time, be matched by Flying Saucer’s larger competitors.

Perfect for local businessmen, die-hard Cardinals fans and curious beer seekers, Flying Saucer seems to have all corners covered as a truly iconic large-scale American beer pub.






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Following St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, August ’04, headed two blocks from Mississippi River waterfront to red-bricked buildings and cobblestone streets of bustling Laclede’s Landing.

With its gray dual buildings, quaint midsection beer garden and street corner dining area, satisfactory MORGAN STREET BREWERY offered dry coffee-stained resin-tarred hop-charred Irish Stout; doughy hop-bitten unsweetened tea-like Altbier; dark-fruited malt-sweetened Pale Ale; mildly bitter-grained Cobblestone Steam Lager; and tangy-fruited lemongrass-strewn summertime lightweight Kristall Weiss.




After perusing Route 66 Brewery, visited SCHLAFLY’S central courtyard for lofty liverwurst sandwich, tasty appetizers, and mediocre beers, August ‘04. Open since ’91, this uptown early 20th century brick structure matches the riverfront properties one-mile east at the Mississippi River. Though I disliked many Schlafly’s brews on site, the bottled selection of ‘Big Beers’ such as Schlafly Reserve Barleywine and Schlafly Bourbon-Barrel Imperial Stout (’07), reviewed in Beer Index, have been extraordinary.

From best to worst: dark-fruited hop-sharpened orange peel-embittered American Pale Ale; lemon-dried tea-tobacco-rye-embraced English Mild Ale; coffee-roasted dry-bodied Oatmeal Stout; muted banana-pineapple-clove-absorbed Hefeweizen; caramel-honeyed moderate-hopped Pale Ale; and astringent wheat-cracked corn-dampened foam-soaped American Lager.

Sadly, Schlafly’s pale-lagered bitter-grained Pilsner fell short, Summer Kolsch remained blandly acrid, and diacetyl yellow-fruited Dortumunder was flat. Bottled versions are available locally.




Escaped to western gateway port from Illinois, August ’04. First stop, midtown’s ROUTE 66 BREWERY (named after old highway connecting thriving Midwest hubs to California) had few pool tables, large recreational room, well-kept barroom, and interesting ‘50s rebel motifs. But the all-encompassing brewery closed down, 2005.

Impressive Belgian Triple Ale boasted unassuming 10% alcohol charge, dry grape tannins, and lemon-orange peel bittering. Soft-hopped lemon-tart Blond Ale; lemon-fizzed ripe-fruited Rambling Raspberry Blonde Ale; wheat-husked quince-spiced pale-malted River City Red Ale; tangy berry-fruited, herbal tea-tinged, beechwood-smoked O’ Fallon Gold, and nut-roasted espresso-milked Irish Stout served ample backup.

I’ll miss this innercity spot.