For beech wood ages, before the takeover by InBev, and even now to some South City diehards, a brewery in St. Louis meant one place and one place alone – the giant red fortress on Pestalozzi St., Anheuser Busch. However, since I am unable to answer the “high school” question which separates true St. Louis residents from mere tourists (despite living here for half my life), I have no qualms about confessing my loyalty is not with A-B. I prefer to spend my time at two others in the St. Louis area, namely Shlafly and Trailhead Breweries, respectively.
7260 Southwest Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63143
Actually the brewery is located just outside St. Louis City proper in Maplewood, Missouri where Southwest Ave. ends at Manchester. The contemporary brewery/restaurant/bar and on-site parking takes up less area than some of the St. Louis area strip malls. Tour the brewery free of charge Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Noon -5:00 P.M. Tours are set on the hour. The tour takes you through the “brewseum” (St. Louis brewing history) and into the actual plant. Of course, there is sampling of the finished product allowed. If you happen to be there on a day other than tour day, there is still plenty of glass to look through to observe the operation.
Yet, the brewery is more than just a tourist attraction. Enjoy mouth watering sandwiches, salads, pastas and other superb entrees in the spacious restaurant. The bison burger is unbelievably great as is the mac & cheese. Sit at the bar and enjoy your favorite Shlafly brew. While I favor the Pale Ale, a friend and I tried samples of the Kaldi Coffee Stout and the Oatmeal Stout (it was the first pour from the vat to the tap-fresh)
Plenty of events to entertain one throughout the year. Annual festivals, live music, community projects and the best Art Fair (my bias) in St. Louis are all held at Shlafly’s.
Trailhead Brewing Co.
921 So. Riverside Dr.
St. Charles, Missouri 63301
When I find myself over in the next county, walking the historic Main St. in St. Charles, it is a given that I stop at Trailhead. Trail head is open Sunday-Thursday 11:00A.M. – 10:00P.M; Friday and Saturday 11:00 A.M.-11:00P.M. (Restaurant stays open a little later). No set hours for tours as they are upon request.
Trailhead Red and Trailblazer Blonde Ale are my favorites, although I could drink the seasonal Bock year round if it was available. Interesting history on the Bock. Apparently Catholic monks brewed it to sustain them during Lenten fasts. Whatever your taste, sit , enjoy and sample.
The restaurant serves a hearty cut of prime rib or if you’re visiting during lunch, try the portabella sandwich.