Best Brews

Photo by: Billy Sukoski

For the weekends one seeks a world beyond stilettos and smokey eyes, it’s time to trade that vodka club for a delicious IPA at half the price and enjoy a night out in comfortable shoes for a change. 

written by Audrey Hasse

Aside from the breweries St. Louis is known for, like Anheuser-Busch and Schlafly, it has many up and coming breweries that provide a fun,  laid-back night out.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company is located in Midtown and offers German style beers and eats. Since the brewery is near St. Louis University, it draws many button-down clad undergraduate students, but don’t fret if that’s not an ideal scene.

The atmosphere, with its exposed brick walls, big windows and a biergarten that makes one feel like they’ve been transported to Europe, almost makes the beer taste better. Among their wide variety of beers, the Winged Nut, Zwickel and Schnicklefritz are a few of the most popular.

Photo by Billy Sukoski

Photo by Billy Sukoski

In terms of food, Urban Chestnut’s menu offers appetizers made with help from local companies like Companion Bread and G & W Sausage. In addition to Urban Chestnut’s Midtown spot, a location recently opened for business in The Grove.

Four Hands Brewery is located in the LaSalle Park neighborhood. The brewery’s tasting room is small but intimate. Keeping with the local theme, an entire wall of the room is covered in eye-themed art by St. Louis stencil artist Peat Wollaeger. Customers, often a younger crowd, can indulge in craft beers as well as local food.

The brewery has four core beers, the Divided Sky Rye IPA, Reprise Centennial Red, Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown and Single Speed Session. They also have several seasonal beers, like chocolate milk stout and citrus wheat ale.

Four Hands offers a food menu from Bailey’s Fifth Wheel restaurant, including pulled pork nachos and the beloved dish of chicken and waffles.

Civil Life Brewing Company, located on Holt Avenue in an otherwise industrial neighborhood, is marked by a black pirate flag and iron gate. The inside, however, is a bit more inviting.

The bar usually pumps out Sinatra-esque tunes, but there’s a jukebox in the corner if pouring it up with Rihanna is preferred. If interested in being tucked away in a private corner, look elsewhere. At Civil Life, it’s not uncommon for fellow drinkers to strike up a conversation._MG_9955 edit

The crowd is diverse but could be described as a post-college hipster crowd. Few male faces in the crowd are without facial hair.

Civil Life offers eight beers, available in the English sizes of pint and half-pint. In addition to excellent beers, the brewery offers what they call “Civil Bites”— small dishes like anchovies and olives as well as meal options like soups and sandwiches. Civil Life is cash only, so either come prepared to make it rain or visit the ATM on site.

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