The Centennial Beer festival is held in the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis in a restored malt house built in 1876 for the Schnaider Brewery. There are multiple historical rooms to explore while you taste the 80+ breweries and more than 200 beers.
-This year marks the 7th Annual Brewmaster’s Dinner on Thursday night featuring Civil Life and pairs a five course meal with 5 beers from the Civil Life brewery. Our hosts will be Civil Life founder, Jake Hafner, Brewmaster Dylan Mosley & Executive Chef of Moulin Events, Ryan Luke. This event is sold out.
-On Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night we offer a tasting that includes more than 25 local & regional breweries plus the best domestic and international brewers. More than 200 beers with unlimited samples.
-The Home Brewer’s competition is held Friday night and as part of your ticket you can vote for your favorite beer. The winner will brew a commercial batch and feature their beer at 21st Street Brewer’s bar.
-The VIP upgrade is available for Saturday afternoon and evening and features rare, vintage and cellared beer in the Malt House Cellar. Some light snacks are also included.
-All guests receive a souvenir tasting glass and each session features live entertainment.
-New this year is a Wednesday Night Yoga Buzz festival tasting preview.
The Centennial Beer Festival has grown to be one of the most inclusive and largest indoor beer festival in St. Louis. The historic building adds to the experience and it takes its place as the unofficial kick-off to the Beer Festival Season in St. Louis. The Centennial is proud to partner with the St. Louis Area Foodbank to raise funds to fee the hungry in our region.
As I write this later than normal, I realize that we just sold out our beer dinner earlier than ever. We started the Brew Master’s Dinner the 2nd year of the festival and have always sold out, but never this quickly. Here is a list of the local brewers that have partnered with us:
2010 Anheuser Busch
2012 Urban Chestnut
2013 Six Row
2014 4 Hands
2015 2nd Shift
and in 2016 Civil Life.
There is no question in my mind that besides the gr eat food and drink, the main attraction is the brewers themselves. The stories behind the beers, what it takes to open a brewery and how passionate and approachable they all are.
And this brings me to the beer community or how a brewery is such a big part of the overall community. If we look around our neighborhoods, it is extraordinary the role the breweries take in their individual communities. Besides being a social and economic center, they can become a pillar and in some cases the face of a community. From the identity of AB in St. Louis to the upstart Modern Brewery drawing beer lovers into a neighborhood I dare say for the 1st time. It is really a special opportunity we have to be able to walk in to a tasting room at many breweries and meet the owners and brewers behind the bar, happy to share stories in between washing glasses and serving beers.
Although St. Louis is still very much in the development phase of the craft beer movement, it is highly enjoyable, so make sure you enjoy it when it happens, which I do tremendously.
And my point is… What I love most about the Centennial Beer Festival is the opportunity to see friends on the other side of the table pouring the beer. From owners, to brewers to the ones in the know, it is festival filled with so many faces of community. Drink up and take it all in.
A word about some new things this year. On Wednesday we partnered with Yoga Buzz for a festival warm-up and brewery preview. Nothing like finding your spiritual core a couple days and then using the newfound zen to seek out new and interesting libations.
Fingers crossed, but we hope to have the winning beer from last year’s Home Brewer’s Competition available for purchase at 21st Street Brewer’s Bar this year.
Finally some words of thanks. The brewers & distributors and their friends and family donate their time to pour the beer and without them it would not be possible or nearly as fun. Thanks to our supporting sponsors that have allowed us to continue to grow the festival. Thanks to the St. Louis Foodbank, whose Young Professional Board is partnering with us to volunteer at the festival and raise funds to feed the hungry. And of course, most importantly, thanks to all of you that continue to join us year after year, give us appreciated suggestions and as I hear most often, are one of the best festival crowds that the brewer’s meet all year.
Hope to see you in February.
Jason Arnold -Founder