STL vs DFW, Localist Challenge Game 1: Let’s Talk Brewers

Posted on October 17, 2011


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While Texas boasts a fine tradition of beer and breweries, the number of brewers in North Texas pales in comparison to the center of the state.  St. Louis, on the other hand is the birthplace of Anheuser-Busch & sports a fine hops field of their own.  It’s a good thing we’re not playing Milwaukee…  let’s see how these two stack up.

http://www.rahrbrewing.comDFW1 National Brewery, 2 Microbreweries (one more on the way), 3? Brew Pubs:

Rahr & Sons in Fort Worth & Franconia in McKinney put out around 15 unique brews between them.  Both breweries contribute to the local community invarious ways.  Rahr & Sons sponsors 8 local soccer clubs and supports a new charity every week for their tastings and tours.  Franconia recycles their used hops into cattle feed and uses Green Mountain Energy.  Deep Ellum Brewing is coming on line and should be fully functional within the year.

The area also is home to Humperdink’s, Gordan Biersch and Three Rows; brew pubs with a host of seasonal brews and year-round favorites ranging from light pilsners to dark stouts.

For national beers, MillerCoors also has a regional brewery in Fort. Worth.  While the corporate headquarters might not be local, the jobs and distribution is, making this a safe choice for the rational locavore.

http://www.schlafly.comSt. Louis - 1 National Brewery, 3 Microbeweries, 8? Brew Pubs:

Schlafly Bottleworks brews about 50 styles of beer a year, bottling and distributing 6 of them.  Once a month, they host SLOWednesday, presented by Slow Food St. Louis. Each month a different farmer from the local farmers market will speak about their farm, giving you the opportunity to get to know your food, its origins, and most important, its producers.

Urban Chestnut brews for local pubs and will start bottling soon. They also claim to support local businesses and charities, but I had trouble finding any history or schedule of doing this.  Six Row is another local brewer that can be found on drought in Missouri & Illinois.

Morgan St. Brewery, Amalgamated Brew Co., & Square One Brewery are solid brewpubs in the area.  Square One, also being the first microdistillery restaurant in Missouri.  Great news for those who don’t drink beer.

Anheuser-Bush, while started in St. Louis and still headquartered there has been purchased by a European conglomerate who has stripped all of the personality and cut thousands of employees all in the effort of efficiency and cost cutting.  In a European nanny-state, this may work, but in St. Louis, where the new owners have cut life insurance to retirees and discontinued numerous benefits, it’s detrimental to a local economy.

Honorable Mention:  IBC & Fitz’s Root Beers

So what’s the verdict?  AB’s current operation is a slap in the face of localism, but should that take away from the local support Schlafly gives to local farmers every month?  While Dallas has one less microbrew, they use their tour and tasting proceeds to support a new charity every week.  Definitely a good way to spread the love around the community.  Also, nothing seems more Texan than recycling hops into cattle feed.  Is there a program that could make it easier for all breweries to do this?

When it all comes down to it, I felt the question I had to ask is which community makes it easier to obtain a local beer.  While Rahr has a lot of popularity throughout Texas, it’s presence in Dallas is actually smaller than one would think.  Franconia makes a great beers and they are on tap at many places, but their penetration pales in comparison to that of Square One or Urban Chestnut.  At the end of the day, local breweries seem more woven into the fabric of St. Louis food and beverage culture.  With new breweries in Dallas, and the anticipation of Deep Ellum Brewery becoming fully operational, maybe Dallas will catch up soon.  Time to pull up the boot straps.  This might be more difficult than we thought.

Score After the 1st Game:  St. Louis 1 – Dallas 0

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