Heavy Riff Brewing Co. fans, get excited.
After almost four years of supplying craft brews and great music to Dogtown, Heavy Riff is finally distributing its beer to the greater St. Louis area, starting on June 26. In partnership with Show Me Beverage (formerly Bevolution), Heavy Riff will kick off distribution with its fan favorite Velvet Underbrown and its newest release, Squeezebox Lemon. “We wanted to start off with beer that our longtime fans would recognize as well as a brand-new beer that really captures the essence of summer,” owner Rick Hagen says. “Hoppy beer lovers only need to wait a little bit longer until we release Prison Bound (Pale Ale) and Left Coast Envy (IPA).”
Dave Scarmana, Heavy Riff’s new director of sales and marketing, says that the Squeezebox Lemon What is “a beer that can make you think of summertime no matter when you’re drinking it.” The brew is citrusy, not bitter and slightly tart thanks to lemon peels and lemondrop hops. Velvet Underbrown, meanwhile, is a a sweet, light bodied American brown ale. Prison Bound will be available within the first half of August, with Left Coast Envy following in early to mid-September. After that, all four brews will be distributed on draft all year long.
Releasing the four beers is only phase one of Heavy Riff’s plan to grow. Scarmana says the team will look into releasing seasonal, specialty and barrel-aged beers, including traditional styles with Heavy Riff’s own twist. The brewery has already exclusively brewed a barrel-aged stout for Randall’s Wine & Spirits. Going west beyond St. Louis, Heavy Riff hopes to hit Columbia with its brews before the end of this year by possibly participating in beer festivals. Kansas City is also on the map for possible distribution by the end of 2018. Along with geographic expansion, Scarmana says the company eventually intends to package its beer for retail, but not for a while. (Rye by Night, the brewery's black rye IPA made in collaboration with Charleville Brewing Co., is currently available in cans).
As Heavy Riff expands operations, its team also grows in size. Scarmana recently joined the Heavy Riff team, and brewmaster Jerid Saffell says that the two have been friends since Heavy Riff first started in 2013. Before joining Heavy Riff, Scarmana was a brewer and Charleville brand ambassador. The Baltimore, Maryland, native became a regular at Heavy Riff and helped its team worked busy days like the St. Patrick’s Day parade. When the opportunity arose, Scarmana was more than excited to officially be a part of Heavy Riff.
Currently, Heavy Riff beers are distributed to 48 locations, including all International Tap House and Llywelyn’s Pub locations in the greater St. Louis area. For a more detailed list, head over to Heavy Riff’s Facebook page! As always, the team will continue pouring 15 taps at its Dogtown location.
Heavy Riff Brewing Co., 6413 Clayton Ave., Dogtown, St. Louis, Missouri, heavyriffbrewing.com