After just nine months as catering and banquet chef for Balaban's Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar, D. SCOTT PHILLIPS has been bumped up to executive chef. According to Phillips, he wants to take the restaurant back to its standard for classic recipes. "We will focus on every element of every dish," he says. "That includes the quality, the flavor and the presentation." Congratulations, Chef!

Side Project Brewing, the appropriately named 'side project' of CORY KING, head brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales, will be releasing its first trio of beers on Sept. 28. Hops aficionados can look forward to quaffing The Origin, a blend of Imperial Stout, Black Oatwine and Baltic Porter aged 20 months in a Rittenhouse Rye barrel with Madagascar vanilla beans; Saison du Fermier, a saison fermented in a chardonnay barrel; and Brett Project #1, the first in a series of beers aged in wine barrels with different strains of Brettanomyces yeast to showcase its unique characteristics. The beers will only be available at the Perennial tasting room and they're sure to go quickly, so don't delay!

In other beer news, creations from 17 microbreweries will be on hand for the Missouri Botanical Gardens' Fall Fest-Of-Ale, hosted by the Garden’s Young Friends on Friday, Oct. 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event includes light appetizers, a commemorative tasting glass, and live music by Mike Mattingly. This year’s participants include 4 Hands Brewing Company; Alpha Brewing Company; Augusta Brewing Company; Charleville Brewing Company; Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Company; Excel Brewery; Ferguson Brewing Company; Kirkwood Station Brewing Company; Morgan Street Brewery; O'Fallon Brewery; Perennial Artisan Ales; Piney River Brewing Company; Rock Bridge Brewery; Schlafly; Six Row Brewing Company; Square One Brewery and Distillery; and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. Tickets are $35 per person ($25 for Garden members). A Designated Driver ticket is available for $15. Advanced registration required and can be handled online at or by calling 577-5118.

An update: It looks like The 2013 Chefs Wine Country Barbecue at Mount Pleasant scheduled for Sept. 15 has been cancelled, and we've been told there are no plans to reschedule.

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