Ignore the tourist crowds heading for the nearby Planet Hollywood and instead venture inside St. Louis' Morgan Street Brewery. If navigating by landmarks, then locate the footing of the Martin Luther King bridge and proceed toward the three-story tan brick building that's connected via outdoor patio to another bar building. The main building features two six-tap stainless steel tap towers on a wood and stainless steel bar standing on a white tiled floor. Silent TVs populate the walls, as do team banners of the St. Louis Cardinals and Rams. Natural wood beams span the room between the red brick walls, while light brown ducting hides in the background. Tall, six-place tables and stools accommodate drinkers standing or seated. Along the walls wooden tables draped in white linen lie between upholstered bench seats. Along the far wall single cozy tables are nestled in their own private brick-lined rooms with archway entrances. CD sounds of Blues and guitar music bathe the room. Merchandise cabinets house the logo-ware. The patio tables and chairs streetside offer a pretty good view of the passing horse-drawn coaches taking visitors on tours of the river bank environs.
Behind the full bar the A.A.A. stainless steel brewhouse is clearly visible. For $5 a sampler of five four-ounce beers comes delivered on a wooden ski. The Golden Pilsner is gold in color with a medium body, slightly sweet pale malt flavor, and a late, hoppy, dry finish. The dark amber Red Lager is medium-bodied, with a dry, fairly clean malty flavor. The Dark Wheat is a dark amber with good Brussels Lace along with a medium body and light, dry malty flavor. The clear dark amber Oktoberfest starts with a surprisingly sharp hoppy character before settling into a sustained, mellow maltiness. The Irish Stout offers a thick head along with a roasted aroma, good mouthfeel, and nice, dry dark malt flavor.
The second floor seems nearly street level due to the steep incline of the city block. Another full bar offers electronic darts in a smoking, but not smoky, setting. A wall-mounted buffalo head watches over the six pooltables, abundant TVs and jukebox. An elevator makes all levels wheelchair accessible. The brewpub attracts an equal number of men and women, some merely to order 16-ounce Bud bottles. Instead, when it's time to leave, I recommend a $9 growler. It'll leave you with good memories of Morgan Street Brewpub, an not with a hangover.
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri -