Earthbound Beer has gone tiki!
The brewery and tasting room in St. Louis’ Benton Park West neighborhood now offers a small selection of Hawaiian musubi sandwiches along with macaroni salad, pretzels and more to pair with its experimental line of beers.
The bar began offering the small bites in August after the closing of Mothership – an in-house smoked meats-centric concept from chef Chris Bork of the now-shuttered Vista Ramen – in June. (Earthbound Beer’s recent growth also includes the opening during the summer of Earthbound Satellite at 1921 S. Ninth St in St. Louis’ storied Soulard neighborhood.)
“I’m excited to offer food in the same way we’ve offered beer and architectural history to our patrons,” says co-owner Stuart Keating, who spearheads the kitchen efforts with his partner, Kristina Goodwin. “I’m a big fan of the sort of gonzo all-in culture of ’60s and ’70s tiki, and it’s fun to refresh the aesthetic without necessarily treading old waters.”
The Hawaiian and tiki lounge-inspired menu features what Keating refers to as a Hawaiian schoolchild staple made with Hormel Foods’ famous (or perhaps infamous) Spam, sushi rice, furikake (dry Japanese seasoning) and nori – “basically a big square sushi roll, but with Spam instead of fish.” A vegan variation features marinated and grilled tofu. Either gluten-free option also can come as a “royale” that includes the addition of pineapple, pickled ginger and special sauces.
“The flavors are not like anything else you’ll find in St. Louis,” says Keating, who likens Earthbound Beer’s take on the novelty food to the popular version available at Honolulu 7-Eleven stores. “I love how compact and tasty they are. It’s the perfect filling snack, and I’m excited that you can get food anytime we’re open now. They’re great late-night cheap eats and great for grab-and-go.”
To pair with the sandwiches, guests can choose from such other items as a Hawaiian macaroni salad with shredded carrots, green onion, mayo and spices – with teriyaki Spam morsels available for a slight upcharge. Pretzel bites made by local baker Anne Cronin are also available, brushed with a pineapple glaze and served with truffle pimento cheese. Earthbound Beer otherwise offers its own catering options, with items like a grilled cheese tasting menu and a tostone nacho bar centered on twice-fried plantain slices.
Recently added to the bar is a machine that creates 16-ounce cans of any draft beer on offer to be taken home. Patrons can choose from specialty options that disappear quite quickly; at deadline time, for instance, Earthbound Beer was tempting tipplers with the Blushing Cowboy, a gose made with strawberries, coriander and sea salt – but by press time, it had vanished from the venue’s brew menu.
Whatever’s on tap, though, a visit to Earthbound Beer for some Spam-centric treats should be de rigueur for anyone heading to enjoy The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told from Stray Dog Theatre.
Earthbound Beer, 2724 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314-769-9576, earthboundbeer.com