O’Fallon Brewery - Knotty
- ABV: 5.3%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 15
- Serving Temperature: 42-47º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Flute
- Malts: Pale, Special Roast, Red Wheat, White Wheat, Acidulated
- Hops: German Tradition
This unique year-round offering from O’Fallon is brewed to mimic a traditional German pretzel, and they sure did a good job. This pours a lightly hazed golden-copper color with a head of fine-bubbled foam. In the aroma: this is one toasty brew. The deft use of Special Roast and red wheat in the malt bill delivers the impression of a toasty and golden brown soft pretzel fresh out of the oven. Much as with a German Gose, the brewers have employed a bit of salt in this brew, so look for a dash of salinity in the aroma, too. On the palate, the malty core of this ale takes center stage, providing a richly bready central character along with a prominent toasted, crust-like quality. Hops offer a dash of herbal spice with just some mild bitterness. Look for the rest of this beer’s balance to come by way of a touch of tangy, lightly tart acidulated malt and the aforementioned mild salinity. For pairing options... well, a warm soft pretzel is the obvious complementary snack, along with any number of other bready foods. Schnitzel sounds great too. Alternatively, a spicy dish, or one with mustard, sauerkraut, horseradish, or other pungent ingredients will present a contrasting accompaniment. Cheers!
The story of O’Fallon Brewery began in the late ‘80s when husband and wife team of Tony and Fran Caradonna saw the microbrewery trend picking up steam on the West and East Coasts and decided to go all-in on bringing the beer renaissance to St. Louis with the founding of one of the region’s first craft beer distributors, Signature Brands. It was a bold move at a place and time dominated by Anheuser-Busch, but they managed to make inroads distributing beers like Schlafly and Pete’s Wicked Ale. Eventually, their dream evolved into making their own beer, and after selling Signature Brands, the duo opened O’Fallon Brewery in 2000. For the first two years, they did everything themselves: brewing, packaging, marketing, delivering. It paid off and the brewery grew.
Sadly, when the Great Recession hit around 2007-2008, the brewery fell on hard times as growth leveled off. Things picked up a couple years later, but by that time they needed an infusion of cash to stabilize and grow the business. It’s then that Jim Gorczyca, a 20-year veteran of Anheuser-Busch, bought the brewery from the Caradonnas, though they stayed on as employees. In fact, Fran remained all the way until she took a job as CFO at Saint Louis Brewery (Schlafly) in 2019. Jim wanted to strike out on his own in the growing craft beer scene, and under his leadership the brewery flourished. In 2015, they moved from their original location to a new 40,000 sq. ft. brewery about 20 miles closer to St. Louis, in Maryland Heights. Currently the brewery produces about eight year-round beers as well as a larger number of seasonals. For more info on the brewery or their on-site O’Bar taphouse restaurant, call 636-474-2337 or visit ofallonbrewery.com.
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