June 1, 2017 | Liz Austin

It’s no secret that breweries have have been popping up all over St. Louis. In fact, the St. Louis Brewers Guild now represents more than 50 breweries in the greater St. Louis region — a number that will continue to grow in coming years.

With so many great options to choose from, picking just one or two can be a challenging task — here’s a list of seven of our favorites to help make a difficult decision just a little easier.

1. Perennial Artisan Ales

Award-winning brewery Perennial Artisan Ales adheres to a simple and effective philosophy: focus on hand-crafted, small batches of beer, using as many local, seasonal, and organic ingredients as possible. The beloved brewery opened its doors in 2011, and its outdoor patio space is perfect for beer-lovers hoping to catch an unrivaled glimpse of a summertime St. Louis sunset. Perennial’s varied selection and helpful staff make it well worth the trip to South City.

2. Urban Chestnut

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company takes a more unique approach to crafting its brews. Known as “Beer Divergency,” the technique offers patrons the chance to taste modern American flavors alongside the traditions of classic European brewing.

Not only is this two-year-old upstart St. Louis’ first LEED-certified brewery, it also boasts three locations throughout the city: the Grove’s brewery and bierhall, Midtown’s brewery and biergarten, and the Central West End’s Urban Research Brewery. All three serve high-quality fare with an emphasis on sourcing local ingredients.

3. The Side Project Cellar

No longer a “side project” for owners Karen and Cory King, The Side Project Cellar has perfected the art of barrel-aged brewing. They serve customers using three independent lines to ensure each individual brew is served its optimal temperature. If you have the chance, try their award-winning Thicket blend — a dark purple, sour ale aged on blackberries with a fruity flavor.

4. Modern Brewery

Modern Brewery co-owners Beamer Eisele and Ronnie Fink have created a minimalist haven for beer aficionados and newcomers alike. Located just off Manchester Avenue south of Forest Park, the brewery boasts unique flavors named for superheroes and other pop-culture icons. For example, Arkham’s Finest, named after the asylum in Batman’s Gotham City, is a coffee-chocolate stout.

5. Heavy Riff Brewing Company

Heavy Riff Brewing Company takes ambiance very seriously. Located in historic Dogtown, visitors can enjoy a formidable playlist of solid tunes, free shuffleboard and darts, and a delicious barbecue menu alongside tasty brews named after musical icons. Try the Velvet Underbrown, a milk and oatmeal stout, or Mamas and Papayas, a light summer ale that’s flavored with — you guessed it — papaya.

6. Six Mile Bridge

So popular it was forced to expand three times within its first year of business, Six Mile Bridge offers beers brewed with 100% European ingredients. Owners and U.S. Beer Championship gold medallists Ryan and Lindsay Sherring have crafted exquisitely flavored brews including a smooth, chocolatey Irish stout, and their tart, coriander-infused Blood Orange Summer Wit.

7. 2nd Shift Brewing

2nd Shift Brewing founder Steve Crider started his career as a brewmaster with a humble home brew kit. For over a decade, he continued to tweak his brews until he was ready to make his “second shift” into a full-time gig—a wise move considering the brewery’s popularity. The brewery has just settled into its new home on the Hill, where visitors can swing by its tasting room.

So now you know our favorites, there’s only one question left to answer: which one will you visit first?

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