July 9th, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
June 27th, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
If you have visited our Taproom in the past few weeks, you have probably already met our new Taproom Manager Caleb Ashworth. Caleb comes to us after being a regular for quite some time and we are very excited to have him bring his Six Mile Bridge passion to our team. Learn a little more about him through our Q&A below!
How long have you enjoyed visiting the SMB Taproom?
I have been a customer of SMB for about 3 years and am very happy to officially join the SMB family. My wife and I would come and enjoy the brewery about 2 times a week! I fell in love with the place and now I’m lucky enough to work there.
What is your favorite SMB beer?
My favorite SMB beer is the *Cranberry Wheat. I’m a huge fan of Belgian Witbier’s. It’s citrusy, it’s bright, it’s tart and deliciously easy to drink. Not to mention your helping a great cause when you enjoy this beer.
*Brewery note: Cranberry Wheat is a seasonal beer due to release in October. Every year we donate a portion of the proceeds from this beer to Gateway to Hope.
What are some of your favorite things about Six Mile Bridge?
It’s a gathering place for good friends and family. A place to come and enjoy great beer and play some old school games. Everyone we have met there, we look forward to seeing again the next time they come in. I suppose I’ll get a lot more of those opportunities now!
What are you most looking forward to about your new position as Taproom Manager?
Getting to know everyone who makes SMB happen! But most of all, helping grow Six Mile Bridge to new heights during this time of growth and expansion is so incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to be a part of it!
What skills are you excited to bring to the SMB table?
I’ve been in customer relations and management for 15+ years. Building and developing relationships is so much fun for me and I can’t wait to help SMB make the brewery even more of a community gathering place. A destination where everyone can come and have an unforgettable experience.
Six Mile Bridge offers lots of fun experiences at the Taproom from Trivia to Food Trucks to Release Parties. What is your favorite kind of Taproom event?
Trivia! You don’t have to be good at it or know lots of obscure facts to come and have a really great time. It’s super laid back which means the whole family can come and have fun together. Plus, we usually have food trucks too which are delicious.
When you aren’t serving beers and planning Taproom events, what do you do for fun?
I love to play soccer, do home improvement projects, as well as drawing and sketching cartoons. But I really love to cook. Love it. In the kitchen, on the grill, or in the smoker. Love it all.
Is there anything else you can share with our friends about yourself?
I grew up in West County and went to high school at Lafayette. After high school I went to college at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. I was married back in November to my favorite human, Kristy. We have a 5 year old daughter named Kennedy, who already seems to be going on 15. I have a 9 year old Westie named Ernie, who has more nicknames that I can think of. And I absolutely love to travel around the globe with my family.
May 30th, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
Owner, Ryan Sherring, had a vision in mind when he created this beer and put a lot of thought into how he could bring that vision to life. Our standard process for creating beers is to start with a great, classic beer style as a foundation and then focus on how ingredients and brewing strategy could elevate it. That holds true with this Berliner Weisse, which uses a base Berliner-Style Weissebier that is known to be light, refreshingly (but not overly) tart, usually low alcohol, and a study in balancing yeast and acid.
While it’s not uncommon for these beers to feature flavored syrups or fruit additions, finding the perfect ingredients is truly an art. Matching and complimenting the flavor profile of the unique yeasts and acidic balance is an exercise for brewers’ skill and creativity. In our case, we definitely had to stand by our policy of only using real, whole fruits and flavors instead of extracts or syrups. After careful consideration, a combination of raspberries and blackberries seemed to perfectly harmonize with the natural tart-yet-sweet characteristic of a Berliner Weisse. We use over 500 pounds of real raspberries and blackberries in a batch of this brew, giving the final product a gorgeous jewel toned purple pink glow. The berries’ flavor also mirror what is so beautiful about the Berliner style – tart enough to be interesting and refreshing, but sweet enough to be palatable and crave inducing. Our house yeast strain was the ideal choice for this beer as well, as it finishes so clean it doesn’t conflict or distract from the primary flavors.
Our process is all about controlling the acidity during brewing. It starts out like most ales, an initial focus on getting a perfect mash through pH, temperature, and conversion. We utilize a kettle sour method, which involves the addition of lactic acid to the wort, thus adjusting the pH and leading to the quintessential lightly sour taste of a Berliner-Style Weissebier. We chose this route because it offers us a lot of control over the pH and enables us to achieve the exact acidity we want. It’s one of the reasons our base beer flavor is so compatible with the raspberry/blackberry flavors.
The end result really speaks for itself. This beer is one of our best selling beers and is perfect for warm weather seasons. Not unlike the lemonade of your childhood, the tart & sweet combination is both refreshing and invigorating. It also pairs amazingly with lots of summer foods! Plus, now that it is available in cans, it is an obvious choice to include in your coolers and picnic baskets when you head out to make the most of all the events and activities that come with sunny skies and longer days.
If you like this beer, we hope you’ll stay tuned to our social media and Taproom… We have some very exciting Berliner-Weisse styles in the planning stages that are sure to excite fans of the style!
April 22nd, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
If you follow us on social media, or caught the piece in St. Louis Magazine, you already know that we have recently added a new Head Brewer to our family! Ronnie Fink already has an exemplary reputation in the area, known for his technical skills and attention to detail. We could not be more excited to have him come on board to lead the charge on new beers and perfecting special one-off projects. In an effort help you get to know him better, we are sharing this Q&A!
Q: What drew you to Six Mile Bridge?
A: The people. I definitely feel like there is a ton of good craft beer out there but what usually draws me to breweries as a customer are the people behind that beer. I think what drew me here professionally was both the people and the atmosphere. Plus, the opportunity presented itself when I was ready for it, so it was the right thing at the right time.
Q: What is your current favorite SMB beer?
A: It’s no secret that I love Citra hops…. By far my favorite and my dog’s name is Citra. So obviously DDH Citra is my go-to!
Q: What are your favorite styles to drink and to brew?
A: My go to beer style is IPA, but also hoppy beers in general like Pales, DDH pales, IPA, etc. They are also my favorite styles to brew. A close second for favorite thing to brew is any kind of lager. They are somewhat technical, so I think they are a good indicator of the quality of a brewer and his or her brewhouse and cellar management.
Q: What is your training and educational background with regards to brewing?
A: I have a biology and chemistry undergraduate from Missouri State. Then I went to UC-Davis’ master brewer program in 2010. My time in Davis has proved to be invaluable for my career and led to my first job at Free State Brewing Co. I spent an amazing 3yrs there and was able to gain experience brewing, filtering, running the QA/QC program/lab and almost everything else associated with brewing. I then spent the next 6yrs helping open and run Modern Brewery, here in St. Louis. Now I’m ready to put my experience to work here at Six Mile Bridge!
Q: How would you describe your “style” as a brewer?
A: Meet a hundred brewers and you’ll experience a hundred different brewing styles! I like to consider myself something of a “jack of all trades.” I approach it very scientifically, very professionally, and very organized. I’m always trying to make everything run more efficiently. That may sound boring to some people because brewers are often seen as “artistic” types. However, I do consider myself to be creative too, I just focus that part on the recipe design, the research, and the overall beer idea. Once I step on the brewhouse floor, I shift into scientific/efficiency mode while still having fun. At the end of the day, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to be in an extremely fun industry, and that I love what I do. I remind myself that I don’t always have to take myself and my job too seriously. There’s definitely a balance between technical proficiency and joy.
Ronnie’s first brew for SMB, a Double Dry Hopped New England Style IPA with Amarillo, Ekuanot, and Azacca hops.
Q: What are some of your plans for the beer portfolio at SMB?
A: I’m so excited about the potential for growth. We have a solid core offering right now, which means anyone who comes in to the Taproom can certainly find something they like. What I’m looking forward to is expanding our portfolio to include even more styles that excite beer enthusiasts. That’s why the first beer I decided to make was a New England Style IPA, because it’s a style with a lot of momentum right now. I also think just having more hands in the brewery is going to be great for doing more barrel aged and one-off beers, so overall I’m just really happy to be part of this growth.
Q: Can you tell our followers more about your personal background and interests?
A: I’m a born and raised in St. Louisan and a huge sports guy, so I obviously love the Blues and Cardinals. In my spare time I play hockey, and I try to golf as much as humanly possible! I’ve been married for 7 years and have a red heeler named Citra. I love comic book movies, and going to the movies in general. My favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. I listen to a lot of classic rock, 80s, and country but like all music. My favorite concert I’ve been to was Bruce Springsteen. TV wise I’m a big fan of “Game of Thrones,” but not much else currently.
Please come to the Taproom this Saturday, June 1st to taste Ronnie’s first brew for Six Mile Bridge! He put a lot of thought and energy into this powerful Double Dry Hopped New England Style IPA which will showcase his passion for unique, hoppy beers. Help us welcome him to our family and cheer on his brewing endeavors!
April 18th, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
Happy Earth Day! In honor of this day of celebration and reflection, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share with everyone the many ways Six Mile Bridge Beer tries to preserve our environment and resources.
As a brewer that heavily focuses on quality, natural ingredients like honey, spices, and fresh fruit, we are rewarded for and reminded of the earth’s bounty on a daily basis. This mindfulness truly inspired us to make some extra efforts towards sustainability in our business practices. We have fully embraced the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” methodology for limiting our impact on our planet:
One of the most obvious ways we can help preserve the environment is reducing waste. We have worked so hard to create a business model that minimizes waste. There are the obvious ways such as practicing mindfulness in our consumption – building awareness into our planning stages so we have little waste as possible. We also purposefully source all our supplies with the intention that they will be recyclable or biodegradable or reusable. Through this system, we have managed to keep our combined Taproom and Brewery garbage output to an average of only 5 small bags a week! Given the hundreds of people, and hundreds of barrels of beer, that come through our space weekly, this is quite an accomplishment!
We also have dedicated ourselves to reducing energy consumption. All lights in our Taproom and Brewery are LED bulbs which use significantly less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. For added reductions, we put our Brewery lights on motion sensors! This means that we are only using lights when and where we need it.
For many of our other power needs, we are so proud to participate in Ameren’s Pure Power Program which allows us to purchase clean wind energy! In 2018, our support of this effort reduced our carbon footprint by 116,581 pounds of CO² and the clean energy generated was the equivalent of planting 1,557 trees! Seeing these stats every year makes us feel so good about being involved with this program. It takes energy to make delicious beer, but by using wind energy we can make great products while still being responsible stewards of our environment.
In addition to reusing/repurposing as many of our supplies as possible, we have also built some significant “reuse” practices into our everyday brewing process.
Brewing beer uses a lot of water! We wanted to do as much as we could to reduce water waste, which is why we set up a water recapturing system so that water gets used for multiple purposes. When we run wort through our heat exchanger, we run cold tap water through the other direction. This cools down the wort and warms up the tap water at the same time. Then, the warmed tap water is recaptured in the hot liquor tank to be used. Not only does this help us limit water waste, but we need less energy to heat the water up to brewing temperature.
One of our largest outputs of “byproducts” is our spent grains. Luckily, these leftovers make appetizing feed for many farm animals. There aren’t too many things cuter than alpacas, which makes it all that more delightful that instead of going into the trash, our grains pull double duty and nourish these animals. Alpacas of Troy is a family-run farm in Eastern Missouri that is home to lots of alpacas and an assortment of other animals. These adorable alpacas produce the softest wool, which Alpacas of Troy spins into yarn and other fiber products. You can find them at several area Farmer’s Markets, and when you touch those soft and beautiful pieces you’ll be enjoying something partially fueled by the same grains that made your favorite beer!
If there is a recyclable option for something we need, that is the route we take! Our packaging, office supplies, Taproom needs, and marketing materials are recyclable whenever possible. If forced to buy and use something that isn’t able to be recycled, we find a way to repurpose it instead. Recycling is an effort that we can all take on. We certainly hope that once you’ve enjoyed drinking our beer at home, our bold and colorful cans are livening up your recycling bins!
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
As our business grows, we will continue our commitment to sustainable practices and an environmental mindset. We hope you’ll join us this Earth Day, and every day, in protecting and preserving our planet. There are many decades of great beer in our future. Let’s make sure we still have a beautiful and healthy place to enjoy them!
March 17th, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
Freshly ground coriander and ripe blood orange.
This month we released our first batch of Blood Orange Wit for the year and we are so proud of our subtle twist on this classic style. The first-ever batch was released in 2016 and the response was overwhelming. All of our styles are the result of hard work and premium ingredients, but it still feels amazing to make something as well-loved as this beer.
Most of our beers start out with a very traditional base. In this case, a Belgian Witbier. As you probably know, a witbier is made with wheat (sometimes oats or barley) in the mash and hops, orange peel, and coriander in the kettle. For our version, we use wheat and barley in the mash. Once in the kettle, we put in hops and hundreds of pounds of blood orange peels instead of regular orange peels, along with the coriander. We freshly grind all of our coriander seeds in a small coffee grinder immediately before adding it. The more recently it has been ground, the more potent the flavor! Then, for extra zing, we add fresh blood orange pulp during the second fermentation.
This beer truly embodies the Six Mile Bridge philosophy of brewing. We love paying homage to the traditional foundations of beer, classic and time-honored styles. We also love looking for ways to add modern flair and flavor. In this case, swapping the blood oranges in for regular oranges was a fun way to bump up the citrus notes and put a blush on the classic golden hue. Blood oranges are unique in their robust flavor and color. They’re special. And they are perfect for this beer.
One of the other motivations for creating this beer was to make a perfect Spring/Summer seasonal. The citrus notes and light, refreshing flavor are ideal for all the best summer activities like barbeques, float trips, patios, and outdoor concerts. It also pairs well with fresh summer fare like salads and BLTs and wood-fired pizza. We wanted to put “summer” in a can and our Blood Orange Wit definitely fits that bill.
As the weather gets warmer, and the days get sunnier, we hope you’ll enjoy our Blood Orange Wit! Look for it on draft and in our vibrant orange cans.
March 14th, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day get-together, consider pairing our Dry Irish Stout with a traditional lamb (or beef) stew… Made with our stout right in it! One growler and you’ll have food and drinks for a group.
- 2+ tbsp butter
- 2.5 lbs. lamb or chuck roast cut into 1.5-2″ cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 8 oz bacon, diced into small pieces
- 3-4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups beef broth (substitute chicken if needed)
- 2 cups Six Mile Bridge Dry Irish Stout
- 4-5 medium carrots peeled and cut into pieces of desired thickness
- 3 celery stalks cut into pieces of desired thickness
- 3 bay leaves
- Fresh thyme sprigs (3 for stew, rest for garnish)
- Rinse and dry stew meat pieces.
- Season meat with salt and pepper.
- In a large lidded pot or dutch oven, melt 2 tbsp of the butter and then turn up the heat to medium/medium-high to brown the stew meat. You’ll probably need to do the meat in smaller batches, removing to a bowl or plate once browned.
- Reduce the heat to medium/low. If the pot looks too dry, add another tablespoon of butter. Then add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions start to get soft.
- Add the diced bacon and cook until it is brown.
- Add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir. If the mixture appears more liquidy than a paste, add another tablespoon of flour.
- Add Irish Stout, beef broth, and tomato paste. Mix very well.
- Add meat, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and 3 large sprigs of thyme.
- Add as much water is needed to ensure the meat and vegetables are fully submerged.
- Reduce heat to low and cover the pot with lid. Simmer for 2 hours.
- Remove lid and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the meat is extremely tender and the sauce is the desired texture.
- Skim fat off the top as needed. You’re more likely to need to do this if you used a chuck roast than if you used lamb.
- Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
- Serve over homemade mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes. Garnish with a small sprig of fresh thyme.
March 5th, 2019 by Laura Hepburn
Did you know that Frankly on Cherokee and their food truck “Frankly Sausages,” provide some of THE BEST fried cod in all of St. Louis? It’s true. Maybe it’s because their line-caught cod is totally 100% fresh, never frozen. Maybe it’s because their beer batter uses our Irish Red Ale. Maybe it’s because it comes with a side of French fries so good, you’ll dream about them.
The important thing is, you get to eat it. Yep, our widely celebrated Fish Fry event is back this year for every Friday of lent. Come to the Taproom (early!) to drink your fill of delicious, hand-crafted beers alongside one of the best fried fish in the city.
Image courtesy of Whiskey and Soba.
Michelle and Kevin are always happy to see you!
What you need to know:
Our Fish Fry events are every Friday of lent (March 8th through April 12th) beginning at 5 PM until the food sells out! This fish is so good, we will always sell out and sell out fast… Get to the Taproom early (we will let you in at 4:00) if possible and you can enjoy some beer while you wait for the food truck to open for business.
As with most of our Taproom events, we are kid/family-friendly for anyone who can be patient. All food is made to order and the best quality doesn’t happen instantaneously. We do have a selection of games available to entertain one and all, or you can bring your own (we suggest “Go Fish” if you want to be festive while you wait).
While all of our current draft selections are delicious, we have several fantastic options for those looking for a perfect pairing with their fried fish. Our Irish Red Ale is both seasonally appropriate and tastes delicious alongside the beer-battered cod made with that same brew. The Southern German Lager is light and bright, excellent for balancing all that deep fried goodness. And both our Bavarian Hefeweizen and Double Dry Hopped Citra IPA have uniquely great citrusy elements that pair well with many seafood dishes. But don’t let those suggestions stop you from enjoying our Dry Irish Stout, Coffee Maple Stout, or Harvest Peach Farmhouse… We have something for every mood and preference.
See you soon!
Shamrock season is upon us and with it, a variety of festive beer options. If the “dyed green” beer genre isn’t to your taste, we hope you’ll celebrate with one of our handcrafted Irish style beers. No matter your preferences or St. Paddy’s menu, we have a great option for your celebrations.
Our Irish Red Ale tastes as delicious as it looks, a warm and robust beer with ruby and amber hues. You may have caught an eyeful of our beautiful Irish Red Ale on the recent cover of Sauce Magazine or in a savvy Instagram post, as this beer was tailor-made for March festivities and beyond. So many Irish Reds have a bitter finish, not at all in keeping with the sweetness of friendly celebrations. We specifically chose to smooth out our Irish Red with Wildflower honey as opposed to Clover honey for the unique flavor profile it brought to our beer. While it doesn’t add a sugary sweetness, it helps round out the overall notes to create a more even and enjoyable experience. When we say “Made With Integrity” one of the things we take such pride in is the attention to detail, including every single ingredient that goes into our products. This beer goes great with so many foods such as battered fish, roasted veggies, or poached stone fruits, but the toffee and caramel tones really compliment a sharp Irish cheddar. A great starter course or snack if you’re having people over to your home or if you’re camped on a sidewalk to enjoy a parade.
You can also come by our tap room for a pint and a growler of our award-winning Irish Stout. Bold, malty, rich, and a little bit smoky, this beer won a gold medal in the 2016 US Beer Open and has been a customer favorite for years. The complex and roasty flavor of this beer goes great with oysters, sharp cheeses (another vote for Irish cheddar!) and rich desserts… especially chocolate. This tasty stout is actually one of our oldest and best recipes, going back to the early days of Ryan and Lindsay’s home brews and open houses. You might want to drink one just to toast the brewery as it may have single-handedly convinced Lindsay they could really do the whole professional beer thing!
A fun fact about our dry Irish Stout is that it was once called “Six Mile Bridge” after the small, friendly and beer-centric town in Ireland. From this beer in its inception to our entire brewery in 2019, we have wanted to embody what we feel that town embodies… Openness, authenticity, camaraderie, and great beer. It is in that same spirit that we hope you’ll Drink Irish with Six Mile Bridge and the people who bring you joy and friendship this March.
And if great beer isn’t incentive enough to celebrate with us, we have a sweet St. Paddy’s Drink Irish package up for grabs in our “Drink Irish” photo contest! Share a picture on Instagram of your Six Mile Bridge Irish Red Ale or Irish Stout using the hashtag #DrinkIrishWithSMB between now and March 14 and we will randomly select one participant to win a “Drink Irish” tee, two green logo pint glasses, and two “Drink Irish” koozies.
Our Irish Stout is available on draft in our Taproom and in bars and restaurants around Missouri. The Irish Red Ale is available on draft in our Taproom, in your favorite bar or restaurant, or in 16 ounce cans at a wide variety of retail locations with very good taste in beer.