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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Finally, 4 Hands

4 Hands Brewing Company
1220 S 8th St. | St Louis, MO

This post is a long time coming. Last year, I found out about a new brewery in St. Louis called 4 Hands. I don't get out to St. Louis like I once did, but between work and personal travel I get out there at least once a year. For some reason, a visit just wasn't happening. My generous in-laws visited after a stopover in St. Louis and brought us a case of bombers. I wasn't cracking into them because of a significant beer notes backlog (a shame really).

After the first of the year, I finally got to visit their fine establishment and try a flight of eight of their beers. It's been so long that I lost the pictures of this visit. I have the pictures of a couple of beers that I snagged for the notes, but the pictures of the overall set up, brewing operations, full beer flight, and menu are lost to the camera gods. I'll just have to make another trip out there!

The spot was tucked into an industrial area. This meant parking was easy to find. Their cool logo was easy to spot among the brick buildings. It was an image of a hop formed out of hands. They had limited outdoors seating if you need fresh air or want to enjoy a beautiful spring day. With a winter chill in the air, we headed directly inside.

Inside, it was bright and clean with a window into their well-lit brewing operations. I liked the natural feel of the place with logo-covered wallpaper/paintings on the wall. It was a bit loud in there and could have done with some sound-dampening padding. It was a good-sized area, and we were able to quickly find a seat. Though they had a print out of the menu, it was easy to read the menu from the bar or one of the tables. 

The food looked great. They have a partnership with The Fifth Wheel a catering arm of Bailey's Restaurants (which the delectable Rooster is also a part of). Through a side window you could order sandwiches, fries, pizza, and cheese plates. I believe they had a tempting plate of nachos on the board that day too. The prices were okay: $10 for a pizza, $8 for a sandwich, and $3 for fries. Pretty standard if not low for brewpub fare.

In addition to their beers on tap, they had a small liquor bar and offered Bloody Mary's that day. They also had sodas for those looking for something else. They sell bottles (bombers and four-packs) of their beers to-go. They had a good range of brews with a neat flight tray that had cards of each of the brews.

The Beer
This is a listing of quick notes from the eight we tried during the visit. Most were not in the case my in-laws brought us, so we still have more 4 Hands adventures awaiting us.

Winter Saison | ABV: 6% 

Look and Smell: This gold brew had a bubbly white head that stuck around as a layer on the top. The sugars left thick lacing on the glass. It smelled like pear and white tea.
Taste: It was more pithy than expected, but it was a crisp and refreshing brew.

American Pale Ale | ABV: 5.3% 

Look and Smell: This gold-copper brew had a thick white head. The hop oils left moderate lacing on the glass. I could smell the galaxy hops.
Taste: It was lighter than expected It was hoppy. The bitterness was like sucking down oversteeped tea (in a good way). It was citrusy.

Reprise Centennial Red
American Red | ABV: 6% 

Look and Smell: This brew was amber and left heaving lacing on the glass.
Taste: The strong centennial flavor was smoothed out by the caramel malt flavors. It was chewy, biscuity.

Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown
Oatmeal Brown Ale | ABV: 5.5% 

Look and Smell: This brown-amber brew left light lacing on the glass. It smelled rich and roasted.
Taste: It was a medium roast. It's really what I go for when I want a brown. It's almost a porter.

Chocolate Milk Stout
Milk Stout | ABV: 5.5% 

Look and Smell: This dark brown brew had an off-white head. It smelled like burnt sugar and hot cocoa.
Taste: It tasted like a rich cocoa with lots of sugar.

Divided Sky
Rye IPA | ABV: 6.5% 

Look and Smell: This gold brew had a white frothy head that quickly settled to a ring. It had a piney smell.
Taste: It was piney and pithy. I didn't get much of the rye spice, but it's a great IPA.

Smoked Pigasus
Smoked Porter | ABV: 7% 

Look and Smell: This dark brown porter had an off-white ring for head. It smelled like maple syrup.
Taste: It was sugary and smoked. It finished dry. It tasted like molasses.

Bona Fide Imperial Stout
Imperial Coffee Stout | ABV: 9% 

Look and Smell: This thick black brew had a coffee-colored head. It had a slight roast aroma.
Taste: It had a sugar sweetness. It was syrupy. It tasted like coffee. It was what it promised to be.

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