The Beer Drop: 4 Hands Rubus Flux

Boysenberry. Hops. Brettanomyces (x2). Brew all that together for a different kind of purple drank – the Rubus Flux! a.k.a this week’s Beer Drop feature from 4 Hands Brewing Co. out of St. Louis.

This very limited production Boysenberry IPA also happens to be a collaboration with Chicago’s own Marz Community Brewing – what could be more Midwestern than a beer brewed by two of its best and brightest cities? We had the chance to catch up with Ian Penrose from 4 Hands this week to learn more about the brewery, their focus on family and community, Rubus Flux’s unique, berry funk flavor profile, and Ripple, a 4 Hands staple we’ve also added to our lineup just in time for those peak summer temps.

Order up and read on – cheers!

Tell us about Rubus Flux:

Rubus Flux is a 7% IPA brewed with boysenberry. We use a blend of yeast strains that play incredibly well with the fruit and hops to create a truly unique beer. It pours a deep purple with fruit-forward esters and a dry finish.

Best served?

You can enjoy this beer at any temp. Personally I think the fruit is more prevalent as it sits in the glass but is equally amazing on the opening sips. Rubus Flux is packaged in 16oz cans and can be enjoyed just as well from that vessel as it can from a tulip or Boston shaker.

How did the collaboration with Marz come together?

We have been great friends with everybody at Marz for awhile. This collaboration came about after hanging with their crew at our Lupulin Carnival, a yearly beer festival and carnival we put on in Saint Louis. Working with them is always such a blast. We just brewed another beer with them at their new facility in Bridgeport a few weeks back. It’s a completely different beer from Rubus Flux and is going to taste incredible.

We also recently hosted Hopewell Brewing Company and made an amazing tropical-inspired IPA called Full Courtesy. One of the best things about this industry is seeing some incredibly creative people work together to create something exceptional.

Tell us about Ripple:

Ripple is a 5% Belgian White ale brewed with orange peel. We brew it with generous amount of wheat which makes for a smooth and refreshing beer with a bright and citrus aroma and a clean, dry finish.

On 4 Hands

How long has 4 Hands been around?

4 Hands Brewing Company has been in operation since 2011. The owner, Kevin Lemp, started the company with a small cohort and has grown the company into a Saint Louis fixture.

Where is the name from?

Our name signifies Kevin and his family as the four hands of the company. This idea extends to everyone who works for 4 Hands. At the end of the day we’re all in it together and that definitely shows in everything we do.

What’s the story behind your labels and branding?

Our branding is thanks to Josh Rowan. Josh is a jack of all trades. His photos are amazing (@joshrowanphoto on Instagram), he used to tattoo professionally and his branding is always so on point.

How do you come up with beer names?

The names are usually a collaborative process between the brewers and sales team. It usually starts with someone having a general idea or theme and then everyone helps to guide it in a specific direction until we come up with something we like.

Tell us more about home for the brewery! How are you involved in the community there?

4 Hands is located at 1220 N 8th Street in the Lasalle Park neighborhood in Saint Louis, MO. From day one we’ve strived to integrate ourselves into the city. It’s about more than just beer to us. We have programming set up on our City Wide APA and City Wide Pils. These beers don’t leave Saint Louis and a portion of every case sold goes to a different charity that we switch up quarterly. It’s a way to give back and also makes our consumers part of the process. We work with local artists on murals all over town to highlight some of the most creative artistic talent Saint Louis has to offer.

What’s your favorite thing about 4 Hands?

For me the best thing about 4 Hands is the sense of family and community. We all want to make this company the most successful it can possibly be both professionally and civically, and are ready to pitch in however we can. We love helping the community just as much as we love partying as a team and there is a sense of family within this company I haven’t experienced at any other job.

How do you guys measure success?

Success for us is seeing fans of the brewery enjoy our beers. It’s having 2,500 people show up to our Lupulin Carnival. It’s partying with our friends at Delmar Hall every year at our anniversary party. It’s seeing people line up for our speciality releases at festivals and events. It all matters and it makes us proud to do what we do.

Hot Hop Takes

Favorite craft beer festival:

Great Taste in Madison is always a great time. It’s outdoors, on the lake and everyone there is great.

Favorite beer other than your own:

There are few things better than High Life in a bottle in summer.

Pick a character from history to drink your beer with:

I like to think Julia Child would dig Rubus Flux. I think she’d respect the nuanced and layered flavor profile for sure.

Favorite beer quote:

“I’d rather have free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.” – Tom Waits

Beer fad we might look back on and laugh about in 5 years:

I think whatever is happening in beer now is essential for it’s growth to the next stage. It’s easy to say, “Oh this won’t be anything five years from now,” but what if you’re wrong? Then you’re the person who hated on something simply because you didn’t get it. There are things I may love that you don’t get at all and and that’s what’s great about this industry. At the end of the day we’re all making and selling something that hopefully people can come together and enjoy. I hope to never lose sight of that.

Thank for chatting with us, Ian! These beers will go quick, so be sure to order up sooner than later – and as always, the next time you’re roadtripping down I-55, stop by the brewery to check out their operation IRL!

1,172 check-ins and counting – toast (or roast) what Sean’s been drinking here. Have a beer or brewery you think should be our next drop? Hit us up! ✉