Let’s all jump into the STL Hops Time Machine all the way back to August of 2010. Yet another new brewery was just being announced and Phil Wymore, the soon to be former head brewer at Half Acre, had this to say about his new brewery:
“We’re not interested in brewing wheat beer and pale ale as we feel these styles are well-covered by others in St. Louis. We will be focused on farmhouse ales, barrel-aged styles, and fruit beers — basically, the styles that we and our beer geek friends get very excited about.”
Needless to say, a lot of us did get excited about the then impending opening of Perennial Artisan Ales. We are beer geeks after all and the things that go bump in a barrel are the ones that many of us geek out about the most.
But, barrel-aging takes time. Which is why we geeks have been patient. We know that the good stuff needs to sit sometimes. And good things come to those that wait.
Today, Thursday April 25th at 6PM, Perennial Artisan Ales will release the first beer commercially brewed in St. Louis that was made solely with the yeast, Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. You know all of those beers Phil listed above? This beer has got all of them.
Looking for farmhouse? Few things say “farmhouse” like Brett beers. This also has a ton of fruit. (OK, not technically a ton, but 300lbs of Noiret and Corot Noir grapes.) And of course, this bad boy was aged in French Oak Cabernet barrels for 4 months.
But, let me stop trying to even describe the awesomeness that is this beer and let Perennial’s head brewer Cory King take over:
“One of the best parts about working for Phil here at Perennial Artisan Ales is that he is really open to letting me experiment and run with crazy ideas. There are a lot of brewers and breweries who would have never let me brew a beer that is 100% Brettanomyces fermented!
Well, late last summer, around the time that Missouri starts harvesting its grapes, I started bugging Phil about brewing a beer that incorporated Missouri grown wine grapes, Brett, and barrels. I thought that this would be a great way in incorporate locally sourced ingredients, into a beer that very few other breweries have attempted. Phil found an opening in our brew schedule and gave me the go ahead!
After 2 weeks of calling almost every winery in Missouri, we found out that St. James Winery had 4 rows of unpicked, late harvest grapes, which were experimental for Missouri and were not going to be used this year. I packed up early one morning, heading to St. James, and hand picked almost 300 lbs of Noiret and Corot Noir grapes.
A Belgian Pale Ale malt bill was written, a 2 day sour mash made things funky and tart from the start, primary fermentation with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis added more rustic, barnyard notes, 4 months of aging in French Oak Cabernet barrels with both the grapes and Brettanomyces rounded everything out, and Savant Beersel was born!”
I apologize if I’m over-hyping this beer, but this is just one of the things we knew that would be coming out of Perennial and it’s cool to see something this inventive finally come to fruition. This beer deserves more than glib idioms. For us true beer geeks, this is the start of something very special from Perennial.
Because of the crazy nature of this beer, a very, very limited amount was produced. Your best chance to pick it up will be tonight at Perennial. But be on the lookout as it will hit a few of the regular locations around St. Louis beginning today.