Review: Craft on Tap Clayton Beer Festival

This past Saturday was the Craft on Tap event in Clayton; the small beer festival, hosted by Craft Beer Cellar, had about 30 breweries giving out samples and swag with cover music playing in the background.

I was able to attend the event by winning tickets from Saint Brewis (thanks guys). The tickets were normally $40 for regular tickets and $50 for premium tickets. The regular tickets got unlimited tastings and a plastic tasting glass; the premium tickets got you the same as the regular tickets, but also into the festival early and samples of some premium beers.

The event was small compared to other festivals I went to and there wasn’t a huge crowd; maybe it was the 90+ degree heat or maybe it was the recent events on the streets of St. Louis (more on that in a bit).

One thing I was told before hand was many of the breweries didn’t bring rare beers, but rather more of the commonly available stuff. That fact was very true. The second tent we hit was Perennial and they had 17, Keith’s Korner, Glitter and Gold, and Hopfentea – all readily available beers. Now, I wouldn’t have expected Abaraxas or Sump, but it would have been nice to maybe get something that just came out (Fantastic Voyage) or something about to be released.

Besides the beer thing, it was a great time. All of the representatives of the breweries were very engaging and we’d found ourselves hanging out at the tents talking with them as we were sampling. (Shout out to the Odell and Crane guys, who were very engaging)

The biggest issue with the event was it ended early. It was scheduled to go from 1-5PM, but around 2:30 officials shut down the event due to protestors heading to Clayton. It was very disappointing, but the did offer to reimburse people who bought tickets (I think, I didn’t even try since I didn’t pay for them). It did make me wonder how many people were going to come later only to find it closed? I wouldn’t have been happy.

A smaller issue was the ability to wash out tasting cups; they had water stationed at each tent, but they were behind the brewer’s tables. It was a little awkward going behind the tables to rinse a cup out. They should have set up a couple of actual stations with dump buckets every couple of tents. It’s really a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.

I was able to hit about half of the tents before leaving. Here’s the list of what I tried:
Urban Chestnut – Moon Monkey
O’Fallon Brewery – Hard Key Lime
Perennial Artisan Ales – 17
Perennial Artisan Ales – Keith’s Corner
Perennial Artisan Ales – Glitter and Gold
Odell Brewing – Oktoberfest
Odell Brewing – Rupture Fresh Grind Ale
Brewery Ommegang/Boulevard – Bigger and Bretter
Greer Brewing – Pale Ale
Greer Brewing – Brown Ale
Against the Grain – Coq de la Marche
Stillwater Artisan – Insetto
Urban Family Brewing – Stellar
Crane Brewing – Farmhouse IPA
Crane Brewing – Grapefruit Gose
Public House Brewing – Vignole IPA

When the breweries started packing up, a few gave away some of their cans and bottles to people as they left. I wasn’t thinking and hit the breweries I was standing around, which was all of the stuff I had just tasted; I should have ran to the other side and grabbed a few new ones. It was a really good showing from the breweries; I’m sure the beer they gave away was already written off as part of the event, so why not give it away?

Here are a few pictures I snapped while there:

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