ST. LOUIS -- As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, nothing passes the time like sliding into a booth with your friends and chatting over a few pints.
St. Louis is a great beer town, and the local brewery scene provides plenty of warm places with cold beer to wait out the winder months. With that in mind, here's a list of our favorite city breweries.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company
Location: Midtown Brewery and Biergarten 3229 Washington Avenue | Grove Brewery and Bierhall 4465 Manchester Avenue
UCBC is enjoying tremendous success in St. Louis, thanks in no small part to their incredible beer. Brewmaster Florian Kuplent puts out a mixture of traditional European styles and new-world American offerings, leaving even the newest of craft beer drinkers with a plethora of options. Add to that a menu of high-end pub fare and either location is a perfect spot for anything from happy hour to a night cap.
Dubbed UCBC’s “flagship lager,” Zwickel is a smooth, accessible beer that seems to satisfy all tastes. The best part: it’s 5.2% ABV means you can enjoy more than one without risking an impromptu nap.
Fall Favorite: Grande Pumpion
Described as a “honey imperial pumpkin milk stout,” the Grande Pumpion is perfect for the seasonal change. It’s deep, dark and delicious. It’s also 8.0% ABV, so it will keep you warm on those cold winter nights.
4Hands Brewing Company
Location: 1220 S. 8th Street
It seems like 4Hands is everywhere these days. Go anywhere in the Midwest and you can spot their signature cans in coolers. Their tap room, a couple blocks from the stadium across from The Old Rock House, is a smaller venue with a signature look. The glass wall behind the bar lets you peer into lead brewer Andy Burgio’s laboratory while sipping suds and the space has a neighborhood feel despite being so popular. If nothing else, their unique branding art is worth checking out alone.
Superstar: Single Speed
Their American blonde is a fan favorite, as it’s easy to drink and won’t knock you out. It goes with just about any mood, regardless of season.
Fall Favorite: Chocolate Milk Stout
If the cold weather has you craving something heartier, 4Hands’ Chocolate Milk Stout is the move. As dark as the 5 o’ clock sky and rich in flavor, it’s the perfect brew for windy days and long nights.
Location: 2100 Locust St. (at 21st)
Schlafly, founded in 1991, is the largest locally owned and operated brewery in the state. Their beers are shipped all over the country and their name (despite being tricky for out-of-towners to pronounce) is familiar to almost any beer drinker. Their Bottleworks location opened in Maplewood in 2003, but their tap room is still in the heart of St. Louis. Both locations are equipped with full kitchens and endless drink options, but the tap room- with its soft light and wooden decor- carries the feel of a countryside beer hall.
Superstar: Pale Ale
It’s easy to drink and in just about every corner of the Gateway City. Smooth and low-ABV, the Pale Ale is all-occasion brew almost everyone knows.
Fall Favorite: Christmas Ale
Everyone in St. Louis knows fall means Schalfly’s signature Pumpkin Ale makes a returns to taps and shelves, but this season, give the Christmas Ale a shot. It’s got the same 8.0% ABV, but blends winter spices and caramel to transport you fireside by the time you finish your first sip.
Alpha Brewing Company
Head Brewer: Clayton Langeneckert
Location: 1409 Washington Ave
Located on downtown’s signature strip, Alpha is St. Louis’s modern brewery. With a cozy tap room and a constantly evolving menu, the brewery is the perfect happy hour spot for city workers and a great port for those out on the town over the weekend. Head brewer Clayton Langeneckert keeps the flavors changing, so things never go stale and no two nights are ever the same.
Superstar: Apocrypha Sour Black Saison
Things move fast at Alpha, so one can never get too attached to the taps on hand. But one of the best choices currently is Apocrypha, a delicious saison aged in chardonnay barrels.
Fall Favorite: Wheat wine Troll
The Troll is Alpha’s main seasonal, but they’ll be rolling out four barrel-aged beers on Black Friday to celebrate the seasonal shift. As always, the brews change and the taps turn over, so drinkers need to act fast if they want to sample the suds.
Location: 6413 Clayton Ave.
With hard rock undertones, Heavy Riff Brewing Company has been serving up their own brews and unique take on St. Louis style-BBQ to the regulars of Dogtown and new faces looking for that “Cheers” experience since 2013. Vintage concert posters, records and guitars cover the walls of this quaint bar situated in the heart of Dogtown.
Superstar: While their flagship beer is the Velvet Underbrown, a remix turned out to be the most popular. The Vanilla Coffee Underbrown is the fan favorite, taking the original and infusing it with Kona coffee and fresh vanilla beans.
Fall Favorite: If you like pumpkin, Heavy Riff has you covered with their Happy Jack. But if you’re suffering from orange gourd overload, take a crack at their Dark Days. The rye stout has been on tap before, but this time around it’s a nitro, meaning a smoother and creamier brew for the fall.
Location: 8125 Michigan
As far as St. Louis breweries go, Perennial is in an experimental class all its own. Phil Wymore and his crew offer a level of artistry in their brews that may confound casual drinkers, but rewards craft consumers with a wild array of flavors and one-of-a-kind beers. They have a tasting room with an ever-changing food menu, and welcome guests Wednesday through the weekend.
A bright-colored Belgian that tastes as crisp as it smells, the Aria brings splashes of honey and green tea. It goes down smooth, giving drinkers a refreshing and rewarding glass.
Fall Favorite: Abraxas
Cacao nibs, ancho chiles, vanilla and cinnamon sticks. This beer offers a little comfort, a little spice and a lot of flavor for the winter months. At 10.0% ABV, it’ll certainly do the trick for anyone looking for a warm tummy on a cold night.
Location: 3714 Holt Avenue
Civil Life just turned four, and is growing up fast. Their taps are popping up all over town, and their tap room (converted from a warehouse space) is always full of eager patrons. Lead brewer Dylan Mosley’s beers tend to lean toward a fall feel overall, making them a perfect call for the coming season. Their multi-level tap room has games of skill and fare for hungry stomachs as well as outdoor seating. They don’t do credit cards, however, so bring plenty of cash to go with your civility.
Superstar: American Brown
It’s their flagship beer, launching with the brewery in 2011 and immediately exploding in popularity. It’s rich without being overpowering and low enough in alcohol content to be enjoyed on repeat.
Fall Favorite: Civil Common
Dark, malty and a with dash of bitterness, the Civil Common is a fine fall option for drinkers of all sorts. It finishes crisp and doesn’t weigh you down, leaving the option for further exploration.
Morgan Street Brewery
Location: 721 N 2nd St
Located on Laclede’s Landing, Morgan Street offers up a wide-ranging tap list to go with their full menu and entertainment spaces. The brewery is 20 years old and puts out more than 800 barrels a year, making its mark on the St. Louis landscape. Whether it’s dining, drinking or dancing, Morgan Street Brewery has you covered. Brewmaster Justin Meyers will keep the beer flowing, and none of the selections will disappoint.
Superstar: Golden Pilsner
It’s got gold medals around its neck and fans all over the state. The Golden Pilsner is Morgan Street’s golden child, offering an easygoing 5.0% ABV for an all-occasion brew.
Fall Favorite: IPL
Coming this fall is Morgan Street’s German pilsner, featuring a dash of delicious spices and a hefty helping of hops. It’s a fuller brew, featuring a 7.0% ABV and a satisfying flavor to warm up even the coldest winter traveler.