Thursday, April 2, 2015

Trailhead Brewing Co - St Louis Missouri

Trailhead Brewing Co is located at 921 S. Riverside Dr, St Charles MO 63301 right off the Missouri River and North-West of downtown St Louis. This is a rather expansive restaurant-bar-brewery concept similar to the ubiquitous Gordon Biersch with quite a bit more Missouri frontier flair. On this occasion I was visiting St Louis for a summit with members of our Atlanta team and decided to make this a destination one evening as it was close to the local office. The building is built on a street corner with a creek running along one side of the lot (we parked down the street) - gleaming stainless steel vats advertise the availability of the brew inside. The interior is part rustic-hang-artifacts-on-the-wall and part industrial with metal railing, wooden floors and lots to look at and admire.

As we walked across the gallery and into seating there's a riverboat hung above the bar. An immense multi-rider bicycle hangs above the stairs along with other bikes and boats beneath the exposed timber rafters and remarkable wooden ceiling. Since it was December the restaurant was decorated with garlands and lights and the mood was quite festive. Quite a lot of shoppers in for a snack and escape from the mall crowds, I presume.

We were presented a rather extensive menu and a list of available brews. I started with the Missouri Brown Ale to have with food. I prefer darker beer over the light stuff - actually have very little liking for anything very acidic like a Wies or Pilsner so I tend to gravitate towards the stouts and use IPAs with bitter hops as my version of a light beer. The Missouri Brown Ale was actually a bit disappointing to me - usually browns have a bit of sweetness that I didn't find here. I'm sure plenty will like it though.

Looking though the menu we opted on ordering some appetizers so we could sample many items. I think our favorites were the spicy wings and the fried asparagus.

Ale Battered Asparagus - these were really delicious.

Hot Crab and Artichoke dip with pita - I make something like this at home. Not bad at all.

Hot Soft Pretzels with queso cheese sauce - after having the giant Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese at World of Beer, these were a bit of disappointment.

Spicy Chicken Wings - I thought these very good - bit smokey and a little spice. If anything they could have been much hotter, but I wanted to make sure our small lot could eat them.

The food in general was good and of good quality and preparation - I think with a bit of tweaking the food here could be exceptional. As it is, nothing really special but filling. As to the beer - it was a bit "generic" to me but that might be a "for the masses" thing - as I recall the Seasonal selection was something fruity which is a place I simply won't go. I also sampled the Trailhead Red Amber Ale and ended up finishing with it - surprisingly it was my favorite of the three.

-- John

(shorter version posted to Yelp)

Trailhead Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

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