Out on the Road: Headed Home

Craft Beer in St. Louis and Little Egypt

After a lovely time exploring breweries and more in Nashville, it was time for El and I to head home. Rather than go back the same way we came down, we went through Southern Illinois to get some fresh views and new brews! Thanks to this, we got to try some amazing craft beer in St. Louis as well as Illinois’s “Little Egypt!”

If you want sneak peeks on our upcoming beer reviews, or just to keep up with what’s happening with Out on the Road, then be sure to check out our UnTappd!

Little Beer-gypt

(If you say that pun with my New England accent, it actually does kind of sound like “Egypt.” I promise.)

On the way up through the part of Southern Illinois sometimes called “Little Egypt”, El and I saw that we were going to pass the spot El’s parents had decided to camp out for the weekend. After an impromptu meet-up at their campsite, we all decided to check out a brewery together! 

El’s parents are absolute craft beer aficionados. It was thanks to them that El is so in love with travel, breweries, and road trips — all three of those were important parts of El’s family vacations throughout their childhood! And, as seasoned players in the craft beer game, El and I often rely on them for recommendations where to go in a given city. Because of all this, when we asked where the four of us should go for a beer, they had an extremely awesome answer: Scratch!

Just about any craft beer fan should know Scratch — it’s a famous foraged beer brewery that uses locally grown and gathered ingredients to make unique beers, served in an absolutely gorgeous taproom. We had the pleasure of sitting at a table near a wood fire pit, eating some amazing artisanal charcuterie, and of course drinking some incredible craft beer! 

Two beers side y side outdoors at Scratch brewery
Both our beers, with mine on the left!
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  • Rose Root & Coreopsis Stein

I picked my full pour based mostly on the fact that I wasn’t sure what either of the ingredients would taste like. The beer was light with a hazy golden appearance and herby, earthy, bright flavors. Overall a stellar beer!

 

El and their parents each got their own beers, but since this outing turned out to be a bit more family oriented, I decided not to dedicate the time that these amazing craft beers would have deserved to review them fully. Safe to say, all of their beers were unusual, interesting, and delicious! We’re going to be sure to check out Scratch again — and that time hopefully I’ll be able to get some time taking notes on more than one beer!

We parted ways with El’s parents after that — they’d been in Southern Illinois for a long run, and didn’t want to take too long getting home to Chicago. Because of that, they decided not to follow us to our next destination: a detour through St. Louis!

St. Brewis

(Am I proud of using the same pun two weeks in a row? No. Do I regret it? Also no.)

I’d been to St. Louis only once before — one of the first times I’d ever gone on a road trip with El’s parents, in fact! It was cool to get a brief look at the city as we made our way over to the single brewery stop we had time for: 4 Hands Brewing!

4 Hands got a lot of things right with their warehouse taproom. It was industrial without being cold, with warm lighting and some awesome splashes of color — including a phenomenal patterned back-splash on their far wall! A window that allowed a peek in at their brewing equipment and a large upstairs area perfect for parties tied the whole space together!

Best of all, though, was their incredible beer (you know it’s a special place when El orders a second pour!)

My beer at 4 Hands
First Impressions Limoncello at 4 Hands!
  • Limoncello First Impressions

My beer had a great flavor, even if it didn’t quite hit the notes I’d hoped for. I’d hoped for something tart, but it had more vanilla than lemon flavor. It tastes like a vanilla cream sherbet float — which is hardly a bad thing!

  • Chocolate Covered Cherry Milk Stout

El’s first pour, and the best beer of the trip. Deep, rich, chocolatey, with a subtle cherry flavor. The only problem was the slight medicinal aroma from the cherries, but that didn’t carry through to the taste!

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Absence of Light

El’s second pour, which was good but couldn’t measure up to the first one. Flavorful but not too forward, this beer had a pleasant heaviness and aroma.

Once we’d finished our awesome beers at 4 Hands, El and I headed on home to Milwaukee. It was a wonderful, rambling, and delicious road trip, and I’m extremely happy about the incredible number of craft beers we got to try. We came home with two four-packs of 4 Hands cans — a glowing endorsement of the brewery on its own!

Next week I’ll do a recap of the non-beer events of the trip and also rank our top three breweries, but until then, let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to check us out on UnTappd. And until next time, Cheers!

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