Any vaction can be a beercation and I'll show you how!
Much to the dismay of my wife; I can turn any vacation into a beercation! Although, they have become much less time consuming after our first ever trip to Asheville. That story will be told at a later date.
It all starts with the planning and knowing how much time you can reasonably ask for your journey. With that in mind, I knew that we would have two days in St Louis and then onto Springfield, IL. So, hitting up a few bottle shops the day after Christmas would be perfect since the ladies would be shopping!
From previous research and experience, I know that Springfield only has two bottle shops...and because almost everything in Illinois is more expensive, I chose to do my shopping in StL.
I really enjoy finding local craft beer and those that are not in my local distribution while in a new town. It's like an adult treasure hunt!
Using Beer Advocate, Rate Beer, and Seek A Brew as references, I had come up with the most perfect and efficient route. I really like these apps- especially the map of places on rate beer. It makes staring a location in Google maps that much easier.
It was time to commence the quest with a reluctant and forced to tag along, father-in-law.
First stop was The Craft Beer Cellar, in Clayton. This place has been on my radar for a while. Not only do they have shelves upon shelves of delicious craft beers, they are also a bar. This is intriguing to me as no such thing exists in my area. We ordered beers to enjoy while I did the shopping and he did the wandering. The two guys in the store were both highly knowledgeable and helpful. Twice, they offered to carry out my three boxes to the car in the rain. (The same storm that has unfortunately brought so much flooding to cities around StL).
Then it was off to The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton. I have been following them on instagram and was excited to see their wares. This was a small store with a petite craft beer section compared to all the other stores. Despite this, there were a number of products that I had not seen previously. It's likely that this site is more of a hidden gem as I was able to find the collection of Chocolate Milk Stouts from 4HandsBrewing Company.
This store also has an excellent selection of wines, liquor, and exotic cheeses! I would hit them up for a beer and cheese pairing if I lived closer.
Next stop was Randall's Wine & Spirit. A huge warehouse type building greeted us upon our rain soaked arrival. Inside, we were happy to see impressive shelving, stacked six high with even better floor displays. I could have spent all day (and all my money) in this one place! I visited their location off Jefferson downtown previously, but this location in Manchester had an even better selection of craft beer. This store- as well as the Wine & Cheese- offer shipping as well as pick up in store. Pricing of shipping can be quite exorbitant though.
Last on the list was Lukas Liqour Superstore. With all the rain making us tired and an excellent selection already (aka enough $$$ spent), we decided to call it a day.
It was a successful quest!