Beer from Oregon's Deschutes Brewery will be available in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia starting Jan. 9, the brewery" target="_blank">announced today.

This news has been about a year in the making. It started when a Deschutes rep left a" target="_blank">"coming soon" note on a business card at a St. Louis bar. A brewery spokesman" target="_blank">confirmed to Hip Hops in March that Missouri distribution would begin this year. An" target= "_blank">anticipated July release was then pushed back while the brewery worked on an expansion and tried to make enough beer to satisfy demand in its current markets.

But now Jan. 9 seems to be locked in for Deschutes' arrival here. The brewery's Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter will be available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles, along with limited amounts of some of The Stoic, Black Butte XXIII, The Abyss and Hop Henge Experimental IPA.

Six-packs of 12-ounce bottles of Mirror Pond, Black Butte, Inversion IPA and Red Chair NWPA will be in Missouri "later down the road," the brewery notes. It expects to expand distribution statewide by March.

If you feel like raising a pint to celebrate Deschutes' pending arrival, head to the International Tap House (1711 South Ninth Street) in Soulard tonight. No Deschutes beer will be there, but one of the people responsible for making it will be. Brewer Brian Faivre will be there starting at 7 p.m.," target="_blank">according to STLhops.

Evan S. Benn is the assistant editor of Go! magazine. He also writes about"> beer and"> food, and he is author of the 2011 Post-Dispatch book "Brew in the Lou: St. Louis' Beer Culture - Past, Present and Future,"">available here. Follow him on">Twitter and">Facebook.

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