Friday, October 25, 2013

The 2013 World Series of Wine, Craft Beer, & Craft Distillers

Besides being two great baseball cities, St. Louis and Boston are also great craft beer, wine, and craft spritis cities.  Budweiser and Sam Adams are easily recognizable; but there are several new rising stars in these competitors. Starting with wine, St. Louis is the base camp for journeys into Missouri Wine Country - particularly west into the Hermann and Augusta AVAs and south along the Mississippi River. The Norton grape rules here and Missourians recognize its virtues along with Vignoles, Chardonnel, Chambourcin, and other hybrid grapes.  There are fewer local wineries surrounding Boston, but you just got to find them - usually south through the Coastal Wine Trail. One surprising good find is Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery. In Massachusetts the trail also includes Coastal Vineyards, Running Brook Vineyards, Travessia Winery, and Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod.

As for spirits, both cities are deeply involved in the craft distillers market. In Cardinal country, Square One Distillery, Still 630 and a little west, Pinckney Bend Distillery are producing various whiskeys, vodka, gin, and even rum for the local market. In Red Sox territory, Bully Boy Distillery and Nashoba Valley Distillery are distilling on Boston proper while Turkey Shore Distilleries and Ryan and Wood Distilleries are operating slightly north.  Rum is a bigger player in New England, more reflective of the colonial experience; but there is also plenty of locally produced whiskey, vodka, gin, and brandy.

Finally, St. Louis and Boston are quite obviously associated with beer.  Obviously there's Anheuser-Busch; but Cardinal fans drink plenty of local craft beer with over a dozen operating in the region. My personal favorite is Schlafly Bottleworks and their canned line of Session beers.  Boston and beer are practically synonymous and as the documentary How Beer Saved the World suggests, the Revolutionary War was argued over a few pints.  And the contemporary east coast craft beer revival originated in Red Sox land with the Boston Beer Company, Harpoon Brewery, & Ipswich Ale Brewery. There's plenty more craft brewers who have followed in their footsteps Trillium Brewing, John Harvards Brew House, Cambridge Brewing Company, Somerville Brewing Company, and others.

And as always information concerning these establishments are listed at WineCompass and theCompass mobile app.

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