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Morgan Street

November, 2001

By Bobby Bush

Impressive, this beer town of St. Louis. Two stops so far and two nice brewpubs - St. Louis Brewing
and Route 66
- with two more yet to go. Just a block off the Mississippi River in Lacledeís Landing, a short walk along bricked streets from the Gateway Arch, Morgan Street Brewery has been doing it in style since 1995. A brewpub with room for weekend partying, we settled in at the downstairs bar for a run through brewer Mark Godfryís beers.

We had the bar to ourselves on this late weekday afternoon, so we set straight to work sampling, asking our typical barrage of inane questions. Golden Pils was plentiful in Saaz hoppiness. Though aroma was minimal, hops dominated everywhere else, including a long lingering aftertaste. Golden orange in hue, Oktoberfest was another nice lager, distinguished for its dry bitter finish. Though a tad dark for style, Alt Bierís medium body suggested a sultry malty flavor with a notable bittersweet finish inappropriate for the style but nice nonetheless.

Beneath the gaze of glass-eyed stuffed animal heads, we continued with deep black Irish Stoutís rich coffee and black patent malt flavors and the clean, malty Krystal, which we found at the upstairs partyroom bar. This medium bodied beer left lace-like film on the inside surface of the pint glass and a butterscotchish finish and aftertaste on our tongues. Unfortunately, Morgan Street was out of several beers, including best selling Honey Wheat, Steam Lager and Dark Lager. Brewer Godfry offers a nice array of seasonals, at the appropriate season, of course, such as Maibock, Dopplebock, Marzen, winter Lager and Harvest Lager.

For a 15 barrel brewpub, Morgan Street obviously pays particular attention to more time consuming lagers. And they also feature a wide selection of food, from appetizers like crab cakes and beer pretzels, to Certified Angus Beef Pepper Steaks, Parmesan Encrusted Salmon, Apricot Pork and Cajun Grilled Chicken. We left this big, friendly place beneath the glow of a full moon, tramping down historic Main Street toward our vehicle, headed for the last of four St. Louis area brewpubs. See www.morganstreetbrewery.com.

The town of St. Charles was Missouriís first state capital. Since 1995, itís been the home of Trailhead Brewing Company. Situated at the busy intersection of Booneís Lick & Main, a large, octagonal island bar is the hub of this bustling brewpub. Loud pounding music and a fanny in ever seat, we sort of squeezed in at the bar for beer and dinner. First up, of course, was a sampler tray of brewer John Witteís six beers.

Trailblazer Blonde was clean, light golden, especially for a beginners beer, with a decent flavor profile tipped toward the sweet side. Introduced by a grassy raspberry nose, Riverboat Raspberry Beer was slightly berry sweet with soothing clean finish. Not bad for a fruit beer. Trailhead Red Amber Ale (isnít that redundant) made a husky malt announcement accompanied by a Pacific Northwest hoppy end, while Missouri Brown Dark Ale (another re-repeat) possessed the effect of five different malted barleys. Though the literature claimed ďAmerican-style,Ē this Brown was definitely not hoppy. Instead, chocolate, butterscotch and caramel tastes exuded from this English-style complex brew. Smooth like a dark dark (thatís my redundancy) chocolate milkshake, throat-coating Old Courthouse Stout was full-bodied and creamy. Mmmmm.

Trailheadís food was exceedingly good. Onion rings, fresh baked pretzels, cheese fries, boiled shrimp and pizza; who needs an entree menu? Though the knockwurst, bratwurst and weiswurst Sausage Platter was most excellent. This multi-level brewpub featured a second bar in the basement. Find more info at www.trailheadbrewing.com.

Again, another St. Louis brewpub equipped to served everyone. Four great brewpubs out of four ainít bad. What a city!

This article first appeared in Focus, a weekly paper published in Hickory, North Carolina.

© Bobby Bush

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