Bat Creek Brewery Machine Shed Stout: What a Mouthful…

Machine Shed-dy Goodness

Machine Shed Stout
Bat Creek Brewery
Cream Stout
5.5% ABV
(No rating, yet.  Only 4 of them and one is me…If you’ve had this beer, take a second to rate it on RateBeer)

I love all the new breweries popping up in Missouri.  Urban Chestnut, The Civil Life, Perennial Artisan Ales and now Bat Creek Brewery from Bowling Green, MO.  Although they are in their third year of operations, they are new to St. Louis.  Technically defined as a “nanobrewery” (producing on a less than 4 US Beer Barrel brew system–124 US Gallons) and operating from a machine shed, Bat Creek produces five “year-round brews” and currently only has five locations selling their beer.

I really liked this beer a lot.  The label art is what caught my eye initially–very clean and well thought out.  The taste is what kept me interested.  Very full flavor (chocolate, roasty malts) for such a “small” beer.  At 5.5% ABV, you can have a few of these in a sitting and not worry too much about finding a ride home.  And I mean “small” in a good way.  There are times when I want a beer to knock me on my ass.  This is not that beer–and I appreciate that.

I think that this might be brewery to watch in Missouri.  They certainly caught my eye.

Their paltry review page on RateBeer prompted me to write my very first review for that site.  Check it out below and then head to The Wine and Cheese Place, pick up a bomber and write your own review.

from RateBeer:
I was pleasantly surprised by this beer..picked up a bomber out of curiosity from The Wine and Cheese Place in Creve Couer, MO. The label art caught my eye so I thought I would give it a shot. My first whiff of the beer was very earthy–I could almost see the machine shed in which it was brewed as I poured the pitch black beer into a glass. The color was spot on for the style–black oil with a frothy tan head. The taste was very balanced–not too sweet and incredibly easy to drink…in fact almost too easy 🙂 I could have definitely had a few of these back to back. The beer has a light body without being thin…in other words I did not feel like I was chewing this one, but definitely more substance than a Guinness. Overall, I think I expected very little from this beer, but was pleasantly surprised to find it utterly drinkable and even more than that— “sessionable.” I will be looking for this beer again. 


Hopshot!: Warm day Schlafly APA


Hopshot!: WTF?!?


On the wagon is a cold, cold place. Herbal cleanse is over so I am free to drink as I please… WTF was I thinking?

Beer U: Beer Re-education in St. Charles

I’m just going to put it to you straight.

As far as culture goes in the STL area, the “bedroom community” (and my hometown) of St. Charles is not known for much.  Unless you count wicker baskets and historical re-enactments as culture.  As far as good beer goes, St. Charles has one “microbrewery” (Trailhead… although no one serious about beer ever really considers Trailhead) and about three “beer bars” (The Old Millstream Inn –awesome, Llywellyn’s Pub –whose beer list is largely AB-InBev products, and R.T. Weiller’s— although it seems people typically go to R.T.’s for the food and discover that they have a decent beer list).  No one comes to St. Charles for beer.  However, that might be changing.

For the past two months, I have been attending what Picasso’s Coffee House owner Chris Schulte has dubbed “Beer U”–an attempt at educating the masses about good beer (Full Disclosure: Beer U was a collaboration between Chris and myself–inasmuch as I begged Chris to do it 🙂)  In a recent conversation, Chris talked about how beer–and specifically craft beer–fits in with his entrepreneurial vision.  He said:

“At Picasso’s, we cater to the connoisseur. This person is looking for a beverage that is out of the ordinary, prepared with great care and skill.  [Our] coffee and espresso beverages are truly unique…Similarly, in offering a beer and wine menu, we are try to cater to that same connoisseur (perhaps at a different time of day)… In tasting these drinks, we are all interested in the preparation or creation of these beverages. We taste them and look for body, finish and unique qualities in the beverage that set it apart from others.”

Beer U is an effort to broaden the horizons of the people who walk in the door.  It attempts to take something that most people view as pedestrian (beer) and elevate it a bit.  Much like what Picasso’s has done with coffee.

I must say that the Beer U events that I have attended (one in February and one in March) have been entertaining and informative.  Representatives from the beer distributors come in and talk about a specific brewery.  In February,  we learned about Abita and in March, Sierra Nevada.  I think wherever you find yourself on the Beer Geek Spectrum, you would definitely get something out of the evening.  If nothing else, it’s a good way to meet like-minded Beer Geek individuals.

Tonight (April 27th, 2011) the featured brewery will be our neighbors to the West, Boulevard Brewing Company.  We will be tasting some of the Smokestack Series (some of Boulevard’s best beers in my opinion).  I even heard a rumor via Facebook that the distributor is bring some Chocolate Ale with him.  Should be a great night.  Come on out and get your Beer U knowledge for the month!

Beer U
6:30 p.m.
20 bucks gets you tastes of all the beers, appetizers from Frankie Tocco’s Pizzeria, Boulevard SWAG and tickets for three beers of your choice after the tasting is complete.

(Update–  Tonight’s Boulevard beers: Saison Brett Batch 2009, Chocolate Ale, Bourbon Barrel Quad, Seeyoulater Doppelbock 2009, and Dark Truth Stout.  Awesome dark and heavy lineup!)

Picasso’s Coffee House
101 North Main Street
St. Charles, MO 63301-2826
(636) 925-2577


Hopshot!: Stone Brewing Total Tap Takeover


Lucky four day weekend for this beer drinker. And iTap’s Stone release event started it off. I think I counted about 6 or 7 deep at the bar. Waited 30 minutes to unsuccessfully get a (second) beer. Was a little disappointed in the service at iTap, but not in the beer.

Better Thursday: Stone Total Tap Takeover at iTap in Soulard

Yes!  I…sorry Goose…WE (my wife and I) are going to the Stone Brewing Company “Total Tap Takeover” at iTap in Soulard (and the fact that I am off work for Good Friday the next day, makes April 21 Better Thursday).  According to their website, of the 40 taps that iTap has, 24 of them will be dedicated to Stone.  The list:

  1. Stone IPA
  2. Stone Pale Ale
  3. Stone Levitation Ale
  4. Stone Smoked Porter
  5. Arrogant Bastard Ale
  6. OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale
  7. Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
  8. Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  9. Stone Ruination IPA
  10. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2011
  11. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2010
  12. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2009
  13. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2007
  14. Stone Old Guardina BELGO Barley Wine
  15. Stone Imperial Russian Stout 2010
  16. Stone 14th Anniversary Ale
  17. Double Bastard Ale 2010
  18. DDH Stone IPA
  19. DDH Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  20. Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean
  21. Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle
  22. Stone Smoked Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels
  23. Arrogant Bastard Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels
  24. Stone Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels 2008
I have only ever had Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale, so this is going to be a treat.  My only problem will be deciding which Stone beers to try–I can’t possibly try them all can I?

Help me out… What have you had and what should I try first? 

Hopshot!: Friday Night Beer


My wife and I are sharing a Barley Island Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout from Noblesville, IN tonight. No idea if this is available in STL because I bought it in Illinois. Nice and thick oatmeal stout. Surprisingly good from an an unknown (to me) brewery. Definitely a good pickup if you can find it. 4 of 5 stars.