Just like Hop in the City, Schlafly’s Cabin Fever beer festival is one that I have attended every year since 2008. There’s no better way to beat the winter blues than by getting outside, surrounding yourself with good friends and fellow beer enthusiasts and quaffing some suds from Schlafly. If that doesn’t perk you up and put some pep in your step, I don’t know what will.
Initially scheduled for January 14th, Schlafly rescheduled the event for the following Saturday due to inclement weather. I personally applaud Schlafly for putting their customers’ safety first. This shows their concern for their patrons and their commitment to the St. Louis community that they have served since 1991. An additional benefit to rescheduling is that you couldn’t have picked a more perfect day to be outside.
This year’s “fire and ice” themed festival featured 40 different beer styles from Schlafly and included fire pits, ice sculptures, live music from Blu City All-Stars, an ice cask bar and all the excitement this beer nerd could handle.
So, let’s get down to business: the beers! With 40 different beers to choose from, I definitely had a wide range of choices. After meticulously pouring over my choices and planning my strategy, I got in line and started tasting. Here are some of the beers that highlighted my Cabin Fever experience, in no particular order.
Hop Trial: Mandarina Bavaria | (6.5% ABV, 45 IBU)
Excellent IPA. Very well balanced with juicy tropical and citrus hop notes. Very smooth. I’d love to see this available on a regular basis.
Baltic Porter | (6.2% ABV, 20 IBU)
A great example of the style. Caramel and toffee flavors dominate, with just the right amount of European hops. Happily, this was recently released in 750 ml bottles. If you missed the festival, make sure you grab one before they are gone.
Black IPA | (7.0% ABV, 50 IBU)
Another beer that was recently released in bottles, this Black IPA looks like a stout, but dank, piney, bitter hops smack you in the face and remind you this is an IPA. Roasty and hoppy, you get the best of both worlds with this beer. Looks can be deceiving. Part of their new “Hop Allocation Series,” this beer will hit shelves this week!
Sticky Toffee Porter | (8.0% ABV, 15 IBU)
Aged for two days on vanilla beans with dates and molasses added, this is basically liquid dessert. It matches the brewpub’s signature sticky toffee pudding perfectly. Outstanding.
Clementine Lager | (no data available)
This beer stood out just because it was simply a well made lager with the perfect amount of fresh clementine. This would be the perfect summer seasonal. Crushable.
Maple Imperial Stout | (no data available)
Schlafly’s Imperial Stout is fantastic in and of itself. The addition of maple put this beer over the top. Big and boozy, with great chocolate and coffee flavors topped off with maple, this would be perfect for a cold winter’s night.
This year’s Cabin Fever was a success all around. The weather was GORGEOUS, the beer lineup was excellent, lines were short and organized and everyone seemed happy to be outside enjoying some of St. Louis’ finest brews. I’m already looking forward to 2018’s Cabin Fever festival to see what new beers that Schlafly will be ready to grace us with.