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nbbBeer blending gets a bad rap. Many craft beer nerds often think of the bigger breweries when the word “blending” comes up.  But it’s impossible to create some of the barrel-aged beers we all love so much without blending.

There is a real art to combining certain attributes of one barrel to another barrel to achieve the taste profile that you’re looking for. Two people that know a little something about this are Lauren Salazar and Ted Peterson, New Belgium Brewing‘s wood beer specialists.

To give you a little sample of what it’s like to do this blending process, New Belgium is working with Bridge Tap House to put on a very special event that they’re calling St. Louis Sour Symposium.

On Thursday, January 7th, Lauren Salazar and Ted Peterson will be in town and will be bringing in unblended beers from five different foeders and will give you the opportunity to blend each of these samples to create your own sour masterpiece. NBB is also working with Bridge’s Chefs Erik Peterson and Stephen Trouvere to create special pairings to go along with your new sour creation.

There will be only two sessions (4-6pm and 7-9pm) for this unique opportunity.  Tickets are $50 each and you can purchase them here.

St. Louis was chosen as one of only five cities for this amazing event. This is an awesome Christmas gift for that sour beer nerd in your lift.

royale-weblogo-300x163I don’t know if I can describe this event at The Royale better than the folks at the Royale, so I’ll let them do the heavy lifting on this one:

It has become a commonplace for beer lovers to remark upon the embarrassment of riches we enjoy here in St. Louis. We have more breweries than most of us can count, and several of them are even world class – which is really saying something in 2015. We’ve seen everything from session beers packed with flavor to genre-breaking innovations, and several breweries have even invested in barrel-aging programs to great success.

Seeing as the Royale has recently been blessed with some outstanding examples of barrel-aged goodness, including several of the prized wild/sour persuasion, we’ve decided to go all out and devote half of our taps to these rare brews:

  • 2nd Shift Grace – wild ale fermented and aged in wood with multiple brett strains. 7.4%
  • 4 Hands Cuvee Diable – saison aged in red wine barrels with tart cherries. 5.8%
  • Cathedral Square St. Jewbelation – rye/wild ale aged in Funky Jewbelation barrels. 9%
  • Excel 2nd Anniversary Ale – imperial porter aged in rye whiskey barrels. 11%
  • Perennial Savant Blanc – brett fermented Belgian blonde aged in Chardonnay barrels. 8%
  • Urban Chestnut Barrel-Aged Daft – American barleywine aged in Buffalo Trace, Van Winkle, and Willett whiskey barrels. 12.5%

The fun begins at 6pm on Thursday, January 29th. Half-size pours will be available for all so you can try as many as you like. Cheers!

That’s a silly-crazy good line-up. You’d be silly-crazy to miss out.

4handsThere has been so much great beer that’s been released this month that it’s almost impossible to comprehend. But the best may be saved for last as 4 Hands Brewing releases two amazing barrel-aged imperial stouts this month.

Beginning this Monday, December 15th, 4 Hands will begin selling tickets for $16.99 each that will guarantee you a bottle of either Madagascar or Volume 1 when each beer is released later this month. You’ll be able to purchase up to six 22-ounce tickets of each beer depending on availability beginning on Monday which will guarantee you some of this delicious beer.

Here’s a description of both beers:

Volume 1 is a 10.5% ABV Russian imperial stout, aged in bourbon barrels with cacao nibs and single-origin Colombian coffee. Madagascar is a 9.3% ABV imperial milk stout aged in bourbon barrels with whole vanilla beans. Both offer bold, unique flavor profiles perfect for pairings throughout the holiday season.

Volume 1 will be released on Sunday, December 21 at 12PM, and Madagascar will be released on Sunday, December 28 at 12PM. If you can’t make it to pick up your beer on either day don’t fret, your tickets will guarantee you bottles to pick up all the way until Saturday, January 3rd.

label_BA_sumpI can’t even imagine what it takes to put on a beer release event.  Especially ones from Perennial Artisan Ales or Side Project Brewing.

First, you’re never going to make everyone happy, no matter how much planning and time and effort you put into it, there is always someone who will be disappointed in how it’s done.  Second, the stress leading up to the event ties you up into knots and also actually makes you less productive.

But fortunately, St. Louis is pretty awesome.  The community here, on the whole, has been very receptive and very nice about how these events are put together.  They understand how much time and effort these events take. More importantly, they really appreciate how the local breweries support their local fans.

With all of this being said, I think that both of these breweries have really dialed in how these events should be handled and should be applauded for their efforts.  If there are people looking to complain, they’re just looking to complain in general.

But enough of my bloviation. You’re here to find out how to get your hands on Barrel-Aged Sump. I’ll let Perennial’s Emily Wymore fill you in with the details:

The 2014 Barrel-Aged Sump Coffee Stout blends our decadent barrel-aged stout with a Colombian coffee selected and roasted especially for us by Scott Carey at Sump Coffee. In addition, we’ll also be releasing an extremely limited variant of BA Sump, which was blended with a Kyoto brewed Rwandan coffee. Side by side, the two versions showcase the uniqueness of single origin varietals. The Colombian bean lends a rounder flavor, with pecan, caramel, dark chocolate, and vanilla. The Rwandan bean comes through brighter, with raspberry, tobacco, and a light herbal note. 

There will be two ways to acquire BA Sump this year. 

Option 1: EARLY RESERVATION
On Wednesday, April 23rd beginning at 4:00PM, Perennial patrons will have the opportunity to sign up on a reservation list (120 reservations available) for the complete 2014 BA Sump Package. This will include one bottle of the BA Sump Kyoto variant, two bottles of BA Sump, one Sump Coffee Stout snifter and one five ounce pour of each of the beers. The package is $90 and will be available to pick up on the day of the release, Thursday, May 1st from 4:00PM-10:00PM. THURSDAY WILL BE THE ONLY DAY THAT DRAFT POURS WILL BE GUARANTEED FOR THOSE ON THE RESERVATION LIST. 

Option 2: LOTTERY
An online lottery will be open on our website beginning Thursday, April 24th at Midnight and ending Monday, April 28th at Midnight. The lottery will be for one bottle of BA Sump. (The Kyoto variant will NOT be available via the lottery system.) When the lottery becomes active, there will be a link on the homepage of our website (http://www.perennialbeer.com). You will be asked to provide your name and email address. Multiple entries will be discarded. One entry per person, please. Lottery winners will be notified Monday, April 28th. 

For both options, bottle pickup details are the same. Bottles will be available for pickup Thursday, May 1 through Saturday, May 3 during normal tasting room hours. An original, photocopied or mobile photo of a valid state ID will be required upon pickup. BA Sump Coffee Stout is $25/bottle and will need to be paid for at time of pickup. Any unclaimed bottles will go on sale in our tasting room Wednesday, May 7 at 4:00 PM. 

Those on the reservation list are still eligible to enter the lottery. 

We will have limited draft of both beers available on Thursday, May 1 and Scott Carey will be joining the Perennial staff to celebrate the release!

Any questions? Please feel free to email emily@perennialbeer.com.


And for those of you that are wondering, Barrel-Aged Abraxas will be released June 5th-7th. Look for more details about that special release in May!

ba17With apologies to the Blues and the Cardinals, one of the hottest tickets in town is when Perennial Artisan Ales release some of their barrel-aged stouts. Last year’s BA Abraxas day saw people lining up in freezing temperature to get a couple of bottles of these velvety wonders.

Seeing how there is no way to please everyone, Perennial has put together a system to try and please as many people as possible when it comes to getting these special bottles. I’ll let Perennial’s Emily Wymore fill you in with the details:

Option #1: EARLY RESERVATION
Our first priority was to make sure that our local supporters are given the first opportunity to purchase their bottles. So, this week (Wednesday, March 19th-Saturday, March 22nd), we will be taking reservations in the tasting room for 100 full allocations (2 bottles per person, $25/bottle. Bottles will be paid for at time of pickup, not at time of reservation One reservation per person).

When a reservation is made, you will need to present a valid ID along with an email address. Early reservation bottles will be available for pickup beginning Thursday, April 3rd at 4:00 PM. If your bottles are picked up on Thursday, April 3rd, you will be guaranteed a draft pour of BA 17 as well. This will be the only opportunity to have a guaranteed draft pour.

Although we will be tapping kegs on Friday and Saturday as well, this will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Bottles can be picked up anytime between Thursday, April 3rd and Saturday, April 12th during normal tasting room hours. Any bottles remaining after Saturday, April 12th will go on sale in our tasting room Wednesday, April 16th.

Option #2: LOTTERY
This year, we are also incorporating a lottery system into our barrel-aged releases. When the lottery becomes active, there will be a link on the homepage of our website (www.perennialbeer.com). You will be asked to provide your name and email address. Multiple entries will be discarded. One entry per person, please.

The lottery will be open from 12:00 AM Sunday, March 23rd-12:00 AM Sunday, March 30th. Names will be randomly selected on Sunday, March 30th and all entrants will be notified immediately. If your name is selected, you will have the ability to purchase a full two bottle allocation.

Bottles will be available for pick up/purchase Friday, April 4th-Saturday, April 12th during normal tasting room hours. An original, photocopied or mobile photo of valid state ID of the winner and a copy of the email announcing them as a winner will be required upon pickup and purchase of each bottle. Any unclaimed bottles will go on sale in our tasting room Wednesday, April 16th.

Even if you have reserved your bottles with option #1, you will still be allowed to enter the lottery!


And for those of you that are wondering, Barrel-Aged Sump Coffee Stout will be released May 1st-3rd and Barrel-Aged Abraxas will be released June 5th-7th. Look for more details about these two releases in April!

llywelyns-243x300We all know of the usual suspects of the craft beer scene, but without a doubt the hidden gem has got to be Llywelyn’s Pub in Webster Groves. They’ve been putting on some great beer events and quietly put some awesome beers on draught.

They’ve also been putting away some cool beers for a while and decided to crack open the Cellar Door and treat us all to some delicious beer.  This Saturday, February 8th, starting at 12PM, Llwelyn’s in Webster will be pull out some big tasty beers for your palate pleasure.  Here’s a list:

Draft:
Founders Backwoods Bastard
G.I. Big John
Great Divide Oak Yeti
Deschutes Pinedrops IPA

Bottles:
Deschutes Collage
Deschutes XXIV
Firestone #17
Firestone Parabola
G.I. BCS Rye
G.I. Sour Sisters
G.I. Coffee
G.I. Barley Wine
G.I. Fleur
G.I. BCS
G.I. Madame Rose
G.I. Gillia
Harviestoun
Left Hand Wake up Dead B.A. RIS
Porterhouse Oyster
B.A. Rasputin

There are some pretty heavy hitters here and it looks like an extra fun line-up. If you don’t want to break into your own cellar, here’s a chance to raid Llywelyn’s instead.

PrintIf you check Twitter and other social media sites, one of the most asked questions of 4 Hands Brewery is when Cuvee Ange is coming back. Well I’m here to tell you that the time is almost upon us.

On Monday December 9th at 3PM, 4 Hands will release the 2013 version of this beautiful funky beer. Cuvee Ange is a barrel aged farmhouse ale with raspberries and blackberries. The 2013 version spent 10 months in French Oak barrels to enhance its complexity. This year the brewery changed up the packaging a bit, offering it up in stunning 750ml wax dipped bottles with a unique wood label.

The bottle limit for this release at the brewery will be 6 bottles and they’ll go for $14.99 each. For $6 you’ll also be able to grab a 12oz pour in the tasting room while you grab your bottles. So head on over to 4 Hands on Monday afternoon and grab this much anticipated release.