O’Fallon Brewery - Show Me Amber
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):10
Serving Temperature:42-47º F
Suggested Glassware:Pint Glass, Pilsner Glass, Willi Becher
Malts:2-Row, Caramel 20, Caramel 60, Double Roasted Crystal
Hops:Loral, German Tradition
O’Fallon’s amber lager pours a bright orange-amber color with good clarity and a head of off-white foam. The beer’s superb balance is on display immediately, even on the nose. Look for engaging noble hop aromas evoking floral, earthy, and lightly spicy notes, joined by just a hint of citrus. Caramelized malts form the contrasting malty undercurrent, offering a nice toasty, bready impression. Those malts are very nicely realized in the flavor, too, offering notes of caramel amidst a broad toasted character that expands across the palate. Look for plenty of that earthy and floral hop character found in the aroma to come forth on the palate, as well, while a relatively low perceived hop bitterness provides room for just a hint of sweetness while keeping this lager quite crisp. The whole beer exhibits the satisfying balance and deft integration of all its flavors that we look for in a good amber lager. For pairing options, we’d play off the toasty, bready notes in the beer. Pizza and calzones, fried chicken, and burgers with caramelized onions sound good to us. Cheers!
The story of O’Fallon Brewery began in the late ‘80s when the 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 five year-round beers as well as a wide array of rotating seasonals. For more info on the brewery or their on-site O’Bar taphouse restaurant, visit ofallonbrewery.com.
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