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One Year Anniversary: St. Louis’ Favorite Foodie Finds of 2011, Part 4

January 8, 2012
: Continuing with our St. Louis Top 5, the winner is…drum roll please… The #1 Favorite Foodie Find of 2011 is…
#1: Urban Chestnut Brewing Company:  For years, St. Louis has been considered a beer city. The city’s reputation had ridden the coattails of Anheuser-Busch for the better part of a century, but the AB sale to InBev in 2008 left a once-proud beer city reeling as many of us felt we lost a significant chunk of what had defined us for so long. Out of rubble, however, comes renaissance and rebirth.

The St. Louis craft beer scene has taken off by leaps and bounds in the past few years, and STARCH would like to recognize Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC) for their role in reviving beer in St. Louis. To begin with, for years midtown St. Louis has been a wasteland (besides St. Louis University) between the 9-5 hustle and bustle of downtown and the trendy night scene of the Central West End. UCBC could have opted to plant themselves in an established location; instead, along with a handful of other pioneers, Urban Chestnut opted for a midtown site, which many of us appreciate as we continue to watch the city bridge gaps between downtown and peripheral communities.

Once you’ve found Urban Chestnut positioned next to an old church among a slew of industrial buildings, the reclaimed 1920s garage UCBC has converted into on-site brewing tanks, a tasting room, and a small beer garden offers a pleasant change of scenery. The tasting room greets you with old brick walls, heavy wooden tables, and an enigmatic chart listing the current beers on tap and defining them as Revolution or Reverence. After a few minutes of discussion with anyone behind the counter, you’ll learn that the chart actually makes the complexities of craft beer rather simple. The Reverence series pays homage craft beer’s heritage in its classic style, while the Revolution series introduces modern, unique qualities that leave you struggling to compare beers in the series to those you’ve tried before and begging for more. A closer look at UCBC’s beer chart also breaks down how alcoholic and how bitter each beer is with simple graphics that help even novice beer drinkers easily select something they’d enjoy.

Finally, on to the beer! Everyone’s tastes are different, but I can’t see how anyone couldn’t love the signature beer from Urban Chestnut’s Revolution series—the Winged Nut. Served in a Belgian-style goblet, the Winged Nut offers a malty, sweet flavor that can only be described as, well, nutty. The Winged Nut has an addictive flavor that would make you regret swallowing if not for the delicious aftertaste. It goes down smooth and leaves you craving more!

If the Winged Nut isn’t for you, perhaps a Bären Weisse–a light, refreshing strawberry beer–or the Zwickel, UCBC’s Reverence series staple, might suit your palate. One of the best things about Urban Chestnut is that they never seem to be completely satisfied with what they have. If you don’t fall in love with anything currently on tap, check back in a few months. Chances are you won’t be disappointed!

This concludes my Top 5 Foodie Finds of 2011 for St. Louis. For a look back at the previous 4, click #5#4 #3 & #2.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2012 9:53 pm

    They brew great beer! I love that I can find it so many places now too.

    • Laura MacDougall permalink*
      January 10, 2012 8:45 pm

      Thanks for the comment Stacy! My husband and I try to stop in Urban Chestnut frequently for a good brew.

  2. January 23, 2012 5:49 pm

    This is exquisite. Have you ever been to Hessler’s Pub and Grill in South County?

    • Laura MacDougall permalink*
      January 23, 2012 8:32 pm

      Thanks, glad you like the post! I have never been to Hessler’s, but I’ll put it on the list. Anything specific I should try?

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