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Craft beer fans love David and Goliath stories. We rally behind our favorite small independent breweries as they battle against the big beer bullies. Anat Baron’s documentary Beer Wars and last year’s Vermonster vs. Monster debacle illustrate this age-old tale.
Another such underdog story is that of Saint Louis Brewery / Schlafly. From co-founder Tom Schlafly’s book synopsis:
In 1991, St. Louis lawyerThomas Schlafly started Schlafly Brewery as the city’s finest micro-beer in the shadow of the world’s biggest beer maker, Anheuser-Busch. Despite legislative shenanigans that tried to limit how many barrels he could brew and resistance from local distributors, Schlafly took an abandoned warehouse in midtown St. Louis and has turned it into one of the nation’s most successful micro-brewers.
Technically, Schlafly beer is already in D.C. We recently spotted some reserve bottles hanging out on Chris Schmid’s impressive beer list at Policy. But the Missouri brewery’s true launch is happening Monday at ChurchKey. Starting at 6pm, lucky patrons can order from nine Schlafly brews, snag free glassware, and chat with co-founders Dan Kopman and Tom Schlafly about their brewery and line of well-crafted beer.
Most exciting are the six D.C. launch party exclusive drafts the “Show-Me” state boys are bringing with them—Schlafly’s complete series of special release bottle-conditioned and barrel-aged beers (photographed above). Now that’s a debut! Read on for the full list.
BARREL-AGED IMPERIAL STOUT – This Imperial Stout is aged for several months in freshly-emptied Jim Beam bourbon barrels, where it picks up caramel and bourbon flavors, and the essential character of oak.
OAK-AGED BARLEYWINE – Schlafly Barleywine is aged on new Missouri oak; a nutty character is added to the beer as it soaks into the wood.
BIERE DE GARDE – This French-style Farmhouse Ale with delicious spicy-sweet malt notes has a touch of ale-ish fruit.
TRIPEL – Hearty with a golden hue and rich, fruity character, this ale is light in color but fuller bodied than many darker ales.
GRAND CRU – The golden-colored strong Belgian ale is fruity and spicy, with a medium body and effervescence that make it seem light and dry despite its strength.
QUADRUPEL – Schlafly Quadrupel is, as its name implies, a serious beer, with a rich, malty backbone that is generously balanced by fresh hops to create a luscious, smooth character.
DRY-HOPPED AMERICAN PALE ALE – An American Pale Ale with hops directly added into the finished beer to boost the fresh, fruity flavor and aroma of American hops.
KOLSCH – A golden-colored, medium-bodied, crisp and refreshing ale that is well balanced and mild mannered.
DRY-HOPPED AMERICAN PALE ALE – This is the same beer as the draft version but further dry-hopped in the cask with Cascade and Chinook hops
Photo by Peter Skwiot Smith used under a Creative Commons license