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Beer Travels to the Gateway to the West
A stop in St. Louis includes a stop at a top beer bar.

Photo courtesy of Jess Dewes and Bridge

I don’t check Fodor’s or other travel guides when I visit other cities in the United States. Instead, I consult Draft Magazine and its list of the top 100 beer bars in the country. I made a trip to St. Louis over the weekend and stopped at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar. The upscale spot a few blocks north of Busch Stadium has an amazing tap list of 55 beers. I had small samples of Perennial Fantastic Voyage, a rich coconut milk stout; Stillwater Folklore, a tasty Belgian stout; and Avery Maharaja, a well-regarded IIPA that’s earned its notorious reputation. A charcuterie plate and a hunk of outstanding focaccia bread made the day perfect. If you find yourself in St. Louis, it’s a good idea to pay the Bridge a visit.

Honeypie + Burnhearts = A Good Time for a Good Cause
Clear your calendar on Tuesday, May 21 for an outstanding night of cocktails, beer and food. The Secret Supper Club starts with cocktails and appetizers at Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.) at 6 p.m. and then moves to Honeypie (2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) for a three-course beer dinner. Dessert is served back at Burnhearts. Cost is $65, and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Wisconsin Humane Society. Reserve a spot by calling 414-489-7437.

Barley Pop of the Week
I couldn’t resist stopping at the Craft Beer Temple in Chicago to pick up a six-pack of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. The highly anticipated new arrival hit Chicago shelves last week. I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time so I was excited to see it on the Temple shelves. Sculpin is brewed year-round and has earned a mark of 100 on Rate Beer. I understood why when I tried it. It has the citrus and grapefruit flavors that I like in an IPA, but it’s also got a bitterness that’s more assertive than I’ve had recently in similar beers. In a word? Delicious. 

Sidenote: I recommend stopping by the Craft Beer Temple if you’re in the Windy City. The relatively new spot isn’t huge, but it’s well stocked, and the selection, which includes a mix of American craft and outstanding imports, is well planned. Owner Chris Quinn is a certified cicerone and is recognized by the Siebel Institute as a master of beer styles and evaluation. He’s also extremely friendly and more than happy to share his beer knowledge with customers (and not in a beer snobby way).

Quick Tap
Cheers to all five of my readers for American Craft Beer Week (which is this week). Try at least one new craft beer over the next few days to celebrate.

Events Brewing
Monday, May 13 to Sunday May 19: Sprecher Brewery (701 W. Glendale Ave.) has a ton of free brewery tours, discounts on Sprecher brews, a car show and other specials to honor American Craft Beer Week.  

Friday, May 17: Sample brews from Squatters and Wasatch at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (919 N. Barstow St., Waukesha) from 4-7 p.m.

Friday, May 17: Join Lakefront Brewery bigwig Jim Klisch at the Uber Tap Room to sample four Lakefront brews and four gourmet cheeses. Tasting starts at 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 18: Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) is sampling amber beers from 1-4 p.m.

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