Archive for February, 2011

By Eric and Mimi Griffith

Thanks to Charleville Brewing Company you can enjoy a serving of your favorite Valentine’s treat in a glass at the bar.  Who says romance is dead?  More details on the beer later, but first let me get you up to speed on what you missed.

Cicero’s Beer School is growing by pints and pitchers.  An average of 20 new students per week are taking the opportunity to expand their beer knowledge and taste the latest offerings from breweries around the globe.  But don’t let these numbers scare you away, there is plenty of beer to go around.  Don’t forget, you can always watch the podcasts at www.cicerosbeerschool.com if you are intimidated by large crowds.

The Brewery

This week’s presenter was Tait Russell from Charleville Vineyard and Microbrewery in St. Genevieve, Missouri.  Tait’s family founded Charleville 16 years ago as a vineyard, but quickly added wine production and in 2004 they added our favorite beverage, beer.  Turns out that so many of us beer people were tagging along on visits to the winery and bringing our own beer that Charleville decided to make some adult beverages for us too.  Since Tait’s middle name literally is Charleville they put him in charge of a 10 gallon homebrew system and he went to work producing several outstanding beers.

While Tait loves a good road trip, the family decided to give him a break from hauling his kegs back and forth to St. Louis and teamed up with Summit Distributing in 2009. The homebrew system has now grown into a 7 barrel brew house which produces draft and bottled beer.  You can find Charleville’s beers all over the St. Louis area, or you can visit the brewery and stay in their historic bed and breakfast.

Charleville currently produces about a dozen different beers with plans to introduce more throughout the year.  Tait brought four distinct brews for the class to sample.

The Beer

Half-Wit Wheat

He says- This 4.5% ABV American-Belgian cross is hazy yellow to pale gold in color and is currently the best selling bottled beer for Charleville.  The nose is light, but releases lemon, orange and honey upon further sniffs.  I am refreshed by this beer with the taste of lemon zest, spice and citrus juice.  The body holds up and is not too thin.  I could drink the large bottle by myself, especially when searching for a quenching beer.  The rumor is that this beer will be sold in 12 ounce bottles this summer and I will definitely be on the look-out.

She says- Light golden in color with a fresh scent.  We learned that the orange oil used in this beer was creating problems with head retention so it has been removed, but I still catch some orange notes in the flavor.  Coriander lends an interesting flavor.  It had a clean crispness to it with no strong aftertaste.  It would make a perfect beer for a hot summer day to be enjoyed poolside with summer fruits and grilled meats or fish.

Tornado Alley  (on draft at Cicero’s)

He says- The number one selling draft beer for Charleville is light brown to red in color with a nice head.  A sweet caramel nose leads the way to a malt centered beer which reminds me of a red ale.  The mouthfeel is a little gritty to sticky on the finish.  The lingering taste is chocolate and while it is very drinkable it leaves me feeling somewhat full.  With Northern Brewer hops and mostly American 2 Row Malts this beer checks in a t 5.6% ABV and 27 IBUs.

She says- Tornado Alley is the warm chestnut color of an acorn.  It’s crisp on the tongue with a slightly nutty flavor but no heavy aftertaste.  It’s a very easy drinking well balanced beer.  I really enjoyed this amber ale and will add it to my “have again” list.

Hoptimistic

He says- At 60 IBUs we have now moved into the hop chapter of the night.  I like this one…it is creamy for an IPA and not overpowering with hops.  Grapefruit and citrus with some pine create a clean finish with a slight hop burn.  Very drinkable and sessionable even at 6.5%.  The 6 different hops used in this beer create a multi-layered experience for the drinker.  I could smell this one all day long and never get tired of the Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo hops.

She says- A frequent visitor to my refrigerator, this beer is a hazy, medium golden color with a strong hoppy scent.  Hop heads will love this one!  I found it more piney than citruisy.  It’s a very sessionable IPA, crisp with a pleasing hoppy aftertaste.  Fabulous!  …and I love the artwork on the label!  In fact, their graphics are more impressive to me than many I see on the shelves.

Box of Chocolate

He says- The description from Tait was Belgian Chocolate Quad, but I would just go with “wow!”  The aroma is like a freshly opened box of chocolates.  Now that the box is open you can taste all of the different samples.  In this beer I find dark and milk chocolate, cherry, fig, cocoa powder, and even a hint of coconut.  Extremely complex and I taste something new with every sip.  The 10.5% ABV is well hidden and the only thing slowing me down is the flavor explosion that I must take time to absorb and enjoy.

She says- Right away I got the scent of malty chocolate syrup.  It was, not surprisingly, dark in color.  This beer warmed my heart as it evoked a memory I haven’t thought of in years.  My parents used to drink what they called “toddys” after dinner, which was a Coke with bourbon.  Well, one sip of this beer took me back to my living room where occasionally I would steal a taste of the residue in the glass from one of their toddys.    Thanks for the memories!

Cooking With Charleville

Mimi’s first experience with Charleville beer came in the form of cranberry sauce this past Thanksgiving.  I was looking to include beer in our traditional meal and stumbled on a cranberry wit sauce recipe.  Half-Wit Wheat came to my half-witted head and the result was a citrus tilted cranberry sauce that could become a new tradition around the Griffith house each November.

Ingredients:

1          Orange (Valencia or Navel), zested and sliced

1          Tangerine, zested and sliced

2          Cups Charleville Half-Wit Wheat

1          TSP Coriander

½         Cup Honey

½         Cup Sugar

1          Pinch Sea Salt

12        Ounces Cranberries, fresh (1 bag)

Directions:

In a large saucepan, add sliced citrus (giving a good squeeze and reserve the zest for later), Half-Wit Wheat, sugar, coriander and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes.  Remove the sliced citrus, add the honey, zest and cranberries; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.  The sauce can be made 2 days before if time or kitchen space is not available the day of.

About the Authors – Husband and wife Eric and Mimi have been attending beer school for about a year now and love every minute of it. Mimi was born and raised in St. Louis. Besides sitting down with a fabulous pint of beer, she enjoys gardening and spending time with her horse. Eric was born and raised in Texas. He enjoys sports and searching for the next great beer. A search he says he has been on for five years and one that will certainly never end. Mimi, on the other hand, just realized beer actually has flavor about a year ago. After having moved away for a few years, in 2007, this happy couple moved back to St. Louis and is enjoying all the St. Louis beer scene has to offer, especially Cicero’s Beer School. Cicero’s is lucky to have such an enthusiastic couple writing the beer school blog!

By Eric and Mimi Griffith

 

Mimi and I just found another reason to stop procrastinating on our pub crawl across the British Isles.  The Angel & White Horse is a pub in Yorkshire next to the Samuel Smith Brewery. After tonight’s class, I’ve already played out the scene in my head.  On a chilly afternoon (not sure what time of year, but isn’t it chilly in England all the time?), we are sitting at the bar with several of Britain’s most engaging pub characters as the fire crackles nearby.

Suddenly we here the “clip-clop, clip-clop” of two gray Shire horses approaching the pub, and while we are most definitely excited to see the horses, we are even more interested in the wooden casks being delivered.  You see, they contain beer from Samuel Smith’s. This is the only way to sample the suds on draft.  All of the patrons sing a traditional English celebration song and we all dance joyously as the casks are tapped.  And…scene!

Luckily we don’t have to venture across the pond to taste the labors of the crew at Samuel Smith’s, because the distributors at Merchant du Vin have been importing the bottled version to the U.S. since 1978.  Jason Wallace, the Great Plains Regional Manager, was on hand to introduce us to a brewery that has been pleasing beer fans for over 200 years.

 

The Brewery

While most of the beer makers we encounter at beer school are trying to push the envelope and create new styles and quirky recipes, tonight’s brewery has taken the exact opposite approach.  Even the name, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery, should tip you off to the fact that these guys like tradition and don’t plan on making changes any time soon.  Samuel Smith was founded in 1758 in the town of Tadcaster about 3.5 hours north of London, and the beer is still brewed there today. Besides using water from the same well since 1758, the brewery has pitched the same strain of yeast since the 19th Century.  But the most distinct feature of the Old Brewery is the Yorkshire Stone Square method of fermentation.  Instead of switching to modern materials such as aluminum, Samuel Smith’s has kept the tradition of fermenting in large square containers made of slate.  This stone is the same stone used to pave many of the streets of London, and it imparts a truly unique character to each of the beers.  Merchant du Vin imports 15 styles from Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery and tonight we tried four examples.

Organic Ale

He says It appears hazy and golden with a complex nose.  I found fruit, oak, maple syrup and earthy notes on my first sniff.  The taste is somewhat sweet with notes of honey and ginger.  While light on hops there is still plenty of flavor.  The finish is dry with hints of peat.  This is very drinkable.

She says- The first pour of the night was reddish gold in color, fizzy and crisp.  I picked up some fruity and caramel flavors.  It has an earthiness to it with a finish that reminded me of some Belgian style beers.  It was a very easy drinker.  Jason pointed out that all ingredients in this beer are certified organic.

India Ale

He says- A mild IPA at 46 IBUS, but traditional in the English sense of beers.  The nose gives me banana and grapes and the overall feeling is sweet.  The mouth feel is creamy and smooth as opposed to American IPAs that are sharp and biting at times.  This is a well-balanced beer, not as hoppy as American IPAs and not as earthy as other English versions.  If I am sitting at a pub all afternoon tossing back pints, this is the beer I want to have in my hand.

She says- This ale has a lovely amber color, but I didn’t pick up much on the nose.  The brewer describes it as being very hoppy, but as a hophead I found the hops to be quite muted.  It was hop forward, but different from American IPA’s.  I’ve always heard that English food is a bit bland compared to American food, and compared to the AIPA’s I’ve been drinking lately this one had about half of the hop punch.  This India Ale could be a great beer to help ease a somewhat newer craft beer drinker into more flavorful beers.

Nut Brown Ale

He says- Not a shock to say this beer is brown in color and is served with a decent head even for a small sample.  I observe the same yeast smell for all of the beers tonight and this is no exception.  Also I note chocolate, fruit and nut on the nose.  The feel is stickier than the first two brews, but the finish is dry with a slight linger.  I heard someone say this tastes like “liquid Nutella” and I tend to agree.  A very pleasant mix of hazelnut, chocolate, and caramel with hints of fig dancing around the finish.

She says- This ale was definitely browner in color than the first two.  It was crisp with no heavy aftertaste and a dry finish.  To me it tasted like what fall leaves smell like. It was very sessionable and easy drinking.  I think it would be a nice complement to spicy foods or BBQ.

Taddy Porter

He says- Nearly black in color this sample also sports a nice head.  The mouthfeel is lively and carbonated yet chewy at the same time.  The aroma matches the taste with sweet roasted nuts, chocolate, and toasty malts.  I found this one very interesting and complex.  It would make a great winter beer.  And although I did not get the salami taste that others in the class found, I could pick up some smoky notes throughout the beer.

She says- It has the color of dark chocolate with a creamy cappuccino colored head.  This porter has a rich caramel flavor, slightly smoky, but not too heavy or filling, which surprised me.  It also has a velvety mouth feel.  I think it would make a great after dinner fireside beer, paired with a good dessert.

Mimi’s Last Sip

I love that so far this semester all of the presenters have provided a handout with information about their samplings and company.  This week Merchant du Vin handed out a flyer listing all of the beers they import with tons of information about each brew in an easy to follow format.  It’s a great reference piece I’m happy to have.

 

 

About the Authors – Husband and wife Eric and Mimi have been attending beer school for about a year now and love every minute of it. Mimi was born and raised in St. Louis. Besides sitting down with a fabulous pint of beer, she enjoys gardening and spending time with her horse. Eric was born and raised in Texas. He enjoys sports and searching for the next great beer. A search he says he has been on for five years and one that will certainly never end. Mimi, on the other hand, just realized beer actually has flavor about a year ago. After having moved away for a few years, in 2007, this happy couple moved back to St. Louis and is enjoying all the St. Louis beer scene has to offer, especially Cicero’s Beer School. Cicero’s is lucky to have such an enthusiastic couple writing the beer school blog!

A night of lasts…and firsts?

Legend and history typically precede folk heroes—being on the minds of others and spoken of in a high, almost mythical, regard in popular culture and conscience. For the past few years, Corey Goodman’s one-man “band” creation Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship has been the St. Louis metro-area’s rock ’n’ roll, pop, comic-book reading, singing Johnny Appleseed. One mention of SFYYR in casual conversation could bring about several “I love that guy!” and “Oh, yeah, he’s hilarious!” types of remarks. Last week, Goodman had mentioned that this would be the last of his shows as Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship leading many YouTube viewers and diehard fans puzzled and disappointed. Many jumped to the conclusion that this was just a way for Goodman to explore some of his other musical endeavors as he’d done in the past, with outfits such as Vanilla Beans and Boners. Fans were crushed as Goodman simply said “It was time for something different.”

On Friday night, the diehards and nerds from all walks descended upon Cicero’s to witness Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship in St. Louis one last time. Fans waited, beer in hand and with bated breath, until Goodman took the stage in short shorts and a white shirt ever-so carefully unbuttoned down to his chest. Crowd participation is encouraged at Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship shows; more than just singing along to songs, Goodman asks the crowd to yell/scream/let completely loose as he dances with the crowd or on tables, gyrating on both ladies and men. Friday’s show included dangerous moves on the makeshift dance floor and bar stools during his cover of the 1999 Limp Bizket song “Break Stuff.”

Goodman’s live-show shenanigans continued through the show. A fan was called out after Goodman checked into Twitter and saw that the fan was sorry for waiting so long to see a live SFYYR performance, Goodman forgot the words to “Throwin’ Up,” and not only restarted the song but spit water in to the crowd before the beginning of the song—both times. As usual, he smelled an audience member’s less-than-savory areas during “Smell So Good,” and had the fans create a catwalk type line so he could “dance with” and “touch” everyone like he does at every other show.

Goodman captivated the crowd throughout the show, everyone anxiously waiting to sing along with “I Like Marvel, You Like DC.” After a most ruckus rendition and frolic through the tormented relationship between Goodman and a Batman worshipper, Goodman finally announced the bad news: This was, indeed, to be his final song at his final show ever. As Goodman thanked the crowd for their appreciation over the past few years, announcing he was quitting because he felt “like something was missing,” an alleged fan hopped up on stage with a killer guitar riff. The fan, Christopher, a friend of Goodman’s, questioned him with a barrage of “why’s” and asked if Cobain, Dio, Dimebag Darrell and the likes ever stopped rockin’. The two went on to console one another and joined forces for the show’s closer “Totally Awesome,” finding Christopher on guitar and Goodman singing, dancing and writhing across the stage and floor. After the song the two made an announcement: The band was done, but Christopher and Goodman decided to start a new band together, appropriately named (you guessed it) Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship. A fitting end to a fitting beginning. | Jenn Metzler

Setlist:
I’m a Man
Throwin’ Up
Break Stuff (Limp Bizket cover)
Douchebag
Smell So Good
I Like Marvel, You Like DC
Totally Awesome

Jarrod Gorbel | Lightening Up

Posted: February 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

From The Honorary Title’s Doghouse Records debut, Anything Else but the Truth, I was hooked. The music was kind of emo, kind of singer-songwriter, kind of rock…good, but it was the voice that made me a believer. Jarrod Gorbel had this plaintive, yearning yet otherwise nearly emotionless voice, rich and full, delivering lines both insightful and humorous, and yet he made it all mean something. I’ve played that album more times than I can count, along with its successor, Scream and Light Up the Sky.

But somewhere along the way, Gorbel strayed from his emo-rock roots. He wanted to delve deeper into his personality, and after trying to pen the third Honorary Title CD, he found the best way to do that was via a more folksy sound. Thus he abandoned THT—at least for now—in favor of releasing music under his own name.

I spoke with Gorbel recently about the decision to drop his well-known band name and where his career was headed.

What made you decide to abandon The Honorary Title name?

It just kind of happened; it wasn’t a plan. Basically, I went to record a new record—a new EP, and a full-length record that’s going to come out in the fall. When I went to record the full-length record, I went under the intention that it was going to be an Honorary Title thing the whole time. I didn’t think that mattered, ’cause the Honorary Title started as just me and I was the songwriter. But halfway through the process it was just something I decided to do. Maybe it felt a little more personal. I just wanted for the next level to have a symbolic style.

I’ve been touring for a little while, and I’ve still been playing Honorary Title songs—at least ones that I hold onto still. I would say that they’re kind of my shelter; most of the ones that are written by me I play on my own. So it’s not like The Honorary Title’s dead; it’s merely a rebirth.

Are fans embracing it?

The fans that I know when I tour seem to react positively and like it just as much.

How would you say the new tour and energy differs from Honorary Title tours?

It’s more folky and it’s more personal; you kind of just get more of my personality at the show. It’s not just songs, records; it’s more of a dialogue. There used to a full band having a giant production. Now, there’s no pressure. I can play whatever I want, whenever I want. I can throw in some covers if I want. I can decide when I want to start. It reminds me of before I got the whole band together. It’s a more comfortable way for me to play, for sure.

In terms of songwriting, I’m assuming that with Honorary Title there were collaborations on songwriting. Are you still doing that?

With Honorary Title, there would be some collaboration but it would be more on what you expect, the rock/pop songs—something that was more drum- or guitar-driven; that’d definitely be influenced more by the band. I brought in different musicians and kind of just let them do their thing.

When you were growing up, did you always know you wanted to be a musician?

Yeah, pretty much, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I played piano and guitar and started singing, pretty much the only thing that I could do. I graduated and was like, “It’s time to play music.” I got [the college education] out of the way.

Is there any other area of the business where you could envision yourself?

Just songwriting. I could see myself writing for other artists or younger artists, or collaborating with other people. I started doing that kind of stuff just as experimentation.

It seems like it would be hard to write for someone else.

It’s hard, and it’s not, because then you’re not so caught up. When you’re with somebody else, you’re not thinking the song’s so precious, panicking, and getting hung up on every little detail. You just do it.

Beyond touring, what do you see 2011 holding for you?

I hope it opens up a new audience, beyond people that know Honorary Title. I guess that’s it. Just to play a lot more. Play for newer and different people. Newer places. I hope to tour internationally and I hope to write with more people and to keep busy. | Laura Hamlett

To Write Love on Her Arms presents Jarrod Gorbel and Atlantic/Pacific at Cicero’s on Wednesday, February 23, at 8 p.m.; tickets are $10. Buy advance tickets here.

This article was first published in PLAYBACK:stl.

The First Pour: Ska Buster Nut Brown

Posted: February 9, 2011 in Beer Menu

Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. The “First Pour” series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. Again, we have a happy couple writing these posts for us. If you see them around, make sure and thank them for their hard work.

 

 

 

By Alaina Kantner and Mike Vecchio

 

Availability: Year round

ABV: 5.15%

IBUs: 29

If you haven’t had Ska’s most decorated beer, then you are most surely missing out. This English Style Brown Ale packs an awesome punch of flavor and is the “muscle” behind the Ska operations. No seriously, Ska has a really cool comic series that not only tells the story of how Ska came to be – and served as their business plan to the bank when applying for their starter loan – but includes each of their beers as a character in the story. Buster stands at a staggering 6’9″ and is 300 pounds of pure bone crushing muscle… and Victory and Munich hops, of course. (Read more about him here: The Legend of Ska.)

Buster Nut pours a dark brown with hints of red and deep copper coming through. The head is fairly light in color and sticky. It slowly gives way to a few spots of lacing. The aroma is rich; full of caramel, toasted walnuts and hazelnuts, and hints of both bread and chocolate. On the first sip you know you’ll be wanting more than one pint of this brew. This is definitely a nutty brown ale with tastes of both chocolate and coffee with hints of bread (Mike is able to distinctly taste pumpernickel bread and Alaina just says “bread”). Hints of hops come through on the flavor, but don’t linger long enough to be distinguishable. This beer is very carbonated and that masks the flavor slightly, but thankfully the flavors continue to develop and grow stronger as you drink it. A nutty aroma lingers with you after each sip and leaves you wanting more. We both enjoyed this beer a lot and would have it again without a doubt. Don’t take our word for it though, get to Cicero’s for a pint.

 

 

About the Authors Alaina and Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and quickly jumped into the craft beer scene. Alaina has gone from drinking light lagers almost exclusively to enjoying maltier beers – most notably porters and stouts – and hefeweizens. In her free time Alaina enjoys reading, running, and attempting to teach their dog tricks. Mike has evolved from drinking highly hopped IPAs to enjoying a wider range of pale ales and traditional hefeweizens. Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at anything that moves, reading about crime and gangs, and home brewing with his co-workers. Both Alaina and Mike have been attending Cicero’s Beer School for a year and credit it to helping them expand their knowledge of craft brew and assisting them to take the plunge into home brewing with their friends. Hopefully, they will bring in some of their home-brew one day.

 

The First Pour: Arcadia Sky High Rye

Posted: February 7, 2011 in Beer Menu

Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. The “First Pour” series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. Again, we have a happy couple writing these posts for us. If you see them around, make sure and thank them for their hard work.

By Alaina Kantner and Mike Vecchio

6% ABV

55 IBUs

Availability: Year-round

To celebrate Arcadia’s 12th Anniversary in 2008, Sky High Rye was created. Arcadia Ales was established in 1996 in Battle Creek, Michigan as a brewery that specializes in British-style ales. Sky High Rye aims to bring out the inner explorer in everyone, so come on down to Cicero’s, grab a pint, and feel your inner explorer soar.

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with hints of orange that catch the light. Off the pour a one-finger head develops and turns into lacing that sticks around while you drink the pint down. The aroma packs a powerful hops punch that come from lemon-y citrus hops. Underneath the hops you catch a hint of rye, but to be honest, we were expecting more on the aroma. Unfortunately, the taste isn’t much different. This beer is heavy on the hops and light on the rye. We thought that because the name of the beer has “Rye” in it that more rye would be present, but sadly this isn’t the case. This by no means is a bad beer, but it doesn’t drink like we expected and is lacking dimension. Arcadia says it’s a West Coast Pale Ale; maybe this explains the extreme IBU level for a rye ale? Next time you’re in Cicero’s please grab a pint and tell us what you think – heavy on the hops or just right?

 


About the Authors Alaina and Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and quickly jumped into the craft beer scene. Alaina has gone from drinking light lagers almost exclusively to enjoying maltier beers – most notably porters and stouts – and hefeweizens. In her free time Alaina enjoys reading, running, and attempting to teach their dog tricks. Mike has evolved from drinking highly hopped IPAs to enjoying a wider range of pale ales and traditional hefeweizens. Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at anything that moves, reading about crime and gangs, and home brewing with his co-workers. Both Alaina and Mike have been attending Cicero’s Beer School for a year and credit it to helping them expand their knowledge of craft brew and assisting them to take the plunge into home brewing with their friends. Hopefully, they will bring in some of their home-brew one day.

The First Pour: Hazed & Infused

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Beer Menu

Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. The “First Pour” series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. Again, we have a happy couple writing these posts for us. If you see them around, make sure and thank them for their hard work.

By Alaina Kantner and Mike Vecchio

ABV: 4.85%

Availability: Year round

Grains: US Medium Caramel Malt, US 2 Row Barley, US Roasted Barley

Hops: Nuggett, Willamette, Crystal, Centennial, Plus Crystal, and Centennial

Been Hazed and Infused for so long it’s not true. Wanted a beer, but never bargained for it. Lots of people talk and few of them know, soul of a great beer was created in Boulder. Here we have Boulder Beer’s Hazed and Infused American Pale Ale. This was originally a one-off release for their brew house, but has gained national love and is now available in 20+ states (most importantly Missouri).

Hazed and Infused pours out hazy orange and copper in color with a nice thick white head. The beer has a nice amount of carbonation that leads to a nice bubbly lace on the beer. The smell is a balanced blend of grapefruity citrus and piney aroma hops. This comes from a blending of Nuggett, Willamette, Crystal, Centennial, Plus Crystal, and Centennial hops in this beer. On the first sip you get citrusy hop goodness with a piney dry hop finish. We will say that the malts are almost absent in this beer, despite it being an American pale ale style. The mouthfeel is medium to light with a good amount of carbonation on the tongue. The sip’s finish comes with a light dose of bittering hop oil. For hop-heads, this is an extremely drinkable/sessionable beer. But at the same time, you may feel the beer falls short of a solid IPA status. So remind yourself during tasting/drinking that this is a hopped up pale ale by design. This is a year round beer, so pop by Cicero’s and enjoy a pint or a growler while listening to some Led Zeppelin.

Alaina and Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and quickly jumped into the craft beer scene. Alaina has gone from drinking light lagers almost exclusively to enjoying maltier beers – most notably porters and stouts – and hefeweizens. In her free time Alaina enjoys reading, running, and attempting to teach their dog tricks. Mike has evolved from drinking highly hopped IPAs to enjoying a wider range of pale ales and traditional hefeweizens. Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at anything that moves, reading about crime and gangs, and home brewing with his co-workers. Both Alaina and Mike have been attending Cicero’s Beer School for a year and credit it to helping them expand their knowledge of craft brew and assisting them to take the plunge into home brewing with their friends. Hopefully, they will bring in some of their home-brew one day.