◆ New microbrewery 4 Hands Brewing Company has started brewing its beers on a commercial scale, and will be opening its tasting room to the public in December. Instead of running a kitchen on-site, food will come courtesy of a rotating roster of local food trucks. Co-owner KEVIN LEMP says so far, he’s been talking with the Cha Cha Chow, Pi, Guerilla Street Food and Seoul Taco trucks about bringing their wares to the tasting room. On the brewing side, look for the company’s four core beers—Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown, Divided Sky Rye IPA, Reprise Centennial Red and Single Speed Session—to be available in kegs initially for restaurant and bar use, and 22- ounce bottles shortly thereafter.

◆ As you may have heard, the latest brewery to bow in the Lou has a famous name, and is setting its sights on the big boys with its premiere release. The William K. Busch Brewing Company, founded last summer by the son of the late August “Gussie” Busch Jr., has introduced its first two brews, Kraftig Lager and Kraftig Light. company has stated it has no intentions of competing with other area microbreweries, but plans to take on the major breweries in the mainstream lager market. Initially, Kraftig is being brewed at City Brewing Co., in LaCrosse, Wisc., but the company plans to eventually construct a brewing facility in the St. Louis area.

◆ More national press for the St. Louis culinary scene: Chef KEVIN NASHAN of Sidney Street Cafe gave some tips for stocking an athlete’s kitchen in last month’s issue of Competitor magazine. And Blood & Sand got a shout-out in the latest edition of Imbibe. Congrats!

◆ L’Ecole Culinaire’s Academy for Culinary Development is offering a new line of custom courses designed specifically for holiday meals and entertaining. Classes like Holiday Cookie Making, Holiday Pies and Holiday Sauce Making will be offered through Dec. 30 at the academy’s new digs at the Shoppes at Price Crossing, 9200 Olive Blvd. Class size for these courses is capped at 10 students, so register early. For more info, call 264-1999 or visit lecoleacademy.com.

◆ The first area Smashburger restaurant just opened this summer in St. Charles, and the second one has already sprung up in Chesterfield at 1670 Clarkson Road. The company plans to open up a total of 12 Smashburgers for the St. Louis area in the next four years. Meanwhile, the fourth local Max & Erma’s restaurant opened earlier this month on the lower level of West County Center in Des Peres.

◆Agostino’s Italian Restaurant will unveil its latest location in Fairview Heights, Ill., next month. The venerable Italian eatery, run by ROSA and PAUL GABRIELE, has been in a variety of locations through the past 40 years, including Creve Coeur, Ellisville and Chesterfield.

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