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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Trying Trailhead Brewing Co.

Trailhead Brewing Co.
921 S Riverside Drive | St Charles, MO

Last time I was in the St. Louis area, I went to St. Charles to check out the shops before meeting a friend for brunch. I saw Trailhead on the corner just as we were leaving the area. I added it to my list for next time. This past week I found myself in St. Louis again, and I was staying at a hotel just minutes from the brewery. After some Imo's, I decided to check out the bar.

Trailhead is in quite a large building. There are two well-appointed bars (upstairs and downstairs) and three levels of restaurant seating. It had somewhat of a historic feel with the vaulted wooden ceilings and incandescent light fixtures. Random decorations give visitors something to look at and talk about. They had a tandem bike with 4 or so seats, a large canoe, and a map made out of state license plates. Big screen TVs were set up around the bar. While the downstairs looked almost cafeteria-like through the window, the bar area and upstairs seating looked cozy. As I walked around to find the bathroom I saw all sorts of little rooms turned seating areas in this old building. 

I grabbed a flight and started a trend at the bar. As people sat there and came by, they tried to strike up conversations. Midwest hospitality, I guess. They asked which beer was my favorite and told me what they liked. A few ordered flights after seeing mine. 

The flight had 4 oz pours of six brews. It was enough to get a good idea of what the beer had to offer and save room for a pint of your favorite. They were pretty solid brews ranging from a blond ale to a heavy stout. They had a sweet Belgian seasonal and a grainy hopped amber. They had something for everyone.

  • Trailblazer Blonde was clean and a little pithy. It was incredibly light and refreshing.
  • Riverboat Raspberry was juicy and tart. Not candy-sweet.
  • The Seasonal Belgian was candy sweet, but pithy and acidic. I wasn't a fan of this one. It was a bit too astringent for me.
  • Missouri Brown was roasted with a caramel sweetness. It had a slight bitterness in the aftertaste to remind you it was beer.
  • Red Amber was hopped and a little grainy with a caramel sweetness.
  • Old Courthouse Stout was smooth and creamy with a little lactose feel. If I was ordering the Heath Toffee pie for dessert, I would have gotten a pour of this.
Overall, the service was okay. The bartenders chatted up some of the regulars. It was busy for the dinner rush. I ordered a pint of the amber to sit out the rainstorm. They lose points in my book for incredibly frosted glassware. I was wiping ice off the rim of my glass.

I was full from my pizza dinner and didn't order any food. The people around me ordered food and it all looked good. The burgers looked substantial. The sandwiches looked hearty. Everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves.

A little reminder, in Missouri you can smoke in bars. It never used to bother me, but after being in smoke free states/cities for so long, it offended my delicate senses. Luckily, people didn't start lighting up until I was nearly done with my pint.

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