Bannerman Brewing Plans to Open April 1

louisville beer - bannerman brewingMore new Louisville beer is on the way: Bannerman Brewing is on track to open on or around April 1, according to co-owner Cory Riley.

Bannerman will operate with a seven-barrel system, and plans to have 12 taps with original brews. It won’t be a brewpub, but rather a tap room, similar to that of Apocalypse Brew Works. The total space is 4,000 square feet; Bannerman will be in the same Clifton neighborhood, as well. Currently, they are busy getting the space ready for operation.

“We’re working around the clock,” Riley said.

Riley has been home brewing for about 10 years, he said, mostly working with Belgian-style beers and sour ales, with a few English ales thrown in. Meanwhile, partner Jeff Pluhar is a vintner who has a lot of experience with barrel aging, which will help create some interesting and original creations.

The plan is to, like neighboring Apocalypse, bring in food trucks rather than build out a kitchen, create a menu and hire kitchen staff.

“Everybody wins that way,” Riley said.

And the Louisville beer scene just keeps getting bigger …

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A Visit to the Schlafly Tap Room

schlafly beer - barrelThis originally was published by The Alcohol Professor. If you’re in St. Louis and love beer, you gotta check this place out.

A visit to a craft brewery’s tap room is like a vacation in itself – especially if said tap room is as cozy and fun as Schlafly’s tap room in downtown St. Louis.

Opened in 1991, Schlafly’s was the first brewery tap room to open in St. Louis after Prohibition. While in town recently for a Monday Night Football game, a friend and I decided to have lunch at Schlafly and to take in the surroundings, along with some beer. It was a good decision, for several reasons.

For starters, I counted 16 brews on tap, from standards like Kolsch and the Pale Ale to a blackberry cider and a couple of cask ales. That’s a lot by comparison to most microbreweries I visit – I’m accustomed to choosing from between 8 and 10, or maybe 12 for a slightly larger craft brewer. …

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Against the Grain Ionic Blonde Bridges a Beer Gap

louisville beer - against the grain logoI was at Against the Grain with friends over the weekend, chatting and watching the movie “Rocky Balboa” on the screen behind the bar (odd choice, but whatever), when I was gifted an unexpected smile.

I was sipping a New Albanian Hoosier Daddy (guest tap), and my buddy was drinking an Against the Grain Ionic Blonde, when a guy on the other side of me ordered a pint of the latter.

He said, “Yeah, I’ll take one of those craft beers,”  he said. “The one that’s real light.”

No, there wasn’t anything inherently humorous about him ordering a beer – it just struck me as interesting that he made it a point to call it “one of those craft beers.” You know, as if it was some foreign oddity, perhaps brought to earth by interstellar travelers.

Clearly, this is a guy who normally drinks Corporate Light from a vented can, but he seemed more than happy to join in the fun of enjoying a brew of better quality. When in Rome, and all that. To me, it seems illustrative of how far the craft beer movement has come – even those who default to Bud Light are at least aware of the craft brewing movement, and many of them are curious. I sure hope it keeps going in the same direction.

By the way, I also tried the Ionic Blonde (4.8 ABV, 14 IBU), and it’s a great summer Belgian-style ale: easy to drink, sessionable, and with a slightly dry finish. Highly recommended for sitting outside on the patio on a Sunday afternoon. And way better than a Corporate Light.

(Also, don’t forget to make your submission to my Name This Blog contest. You can win free Louisville beer!)

West Sixth IPA: More Than Just a Cool Logo

louisville beer - west sixth ipaFinally wrapped my taste buds around a West Sixth Brewing Company IPA this week. As you probably guessed, I’m now a fan.

It’s truly a well-crafted India pale ale, with all the hoppy goodness you’d expect and just enough malt characteristic for balance. I sensed a hint of citrus, with a minimum of sweetness (not a fan of the assertive sweetness found in some pale ales), and the beer’s mouth-feel was perfect, from my perspective. The creaminess of the body makes it drink lighter than the hoppiness would suggest, giving it a great combination of drinkability and flavor.

Normally, I kind of worry that craft beer in a can is going to be compromised from a flavor standpoint, but that sure isn’t true in this case. In fact, I’d drink this from a can any day over the highly lauded Bell’s Two Hearted Ale from a bottle. But that’s just me.

If you’re interested, West Sixth IPA got some pretty good marks over at BeerAdvocate.com. Oh, and I really like that cool West Sixth logo … ahem.

ABV: 7 percent