As I mentioned, I’m in St. Louis for another mini-micro tour with my friend Joe (meaning we hit a bunch of St. Louis’ microbreweries over a weekend, which there have been several new ones in the last year or so. I got in late, but we had dinner and I had an Oatmeal Brown from 4 Hands. Now we’re on to Perennial Artisan Ales. I stopped here very briefly over the holidays and picked up a few beers to go, including their Fresh Hop Red Saison. So, it was nice to spend some time in their tasting room and soak in the atmosphere a bit.
Location: On draft, in a large goblet glass, at Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis, MO.
Numbers: 6.2% ABV, ~ 200 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It was a rusty brown color and fairly cloudy. As you can tell, it had a very thick, creamy head, which stuck around and left some nice lacing on the glass. There was an earthy and piney hop aroma, as well as a light caramel malt smell as well.
Taste & Feel: It had a medium body and the mouthfeel was fairly creamy from the thick head, with a bit of crispness and the end of each sip from the carbonation in it. There was caramel maltiness up front, with a fair amount of earthy hoppiness. The hop bitterness grew during the middle and finish, but the caramel malt backbone stayed present throughout. The finish was a bit dry with the hop bitterness.
Food Pairing: There was a good amount of caramel maltiness and earthy hop bitterness in this beer. For some reason, as I drank it, I though it would go very nicely with a bowl of French onion soup coated in melted cheese. I think the caramel maltiness would go nicely with the soup, and the earthy hop bittereness would add a different dimension to the meal.
Overall Impression: Over the past year or so, I’ve really started to enjoy red IPAs more, as they bring a very healthy dose of maltiness with a good amount of hop flavor. This beer seemed to fit the bill quite nicely with both of those balanced fairly well. With such a big, creamy head, I was expecting the creaminess to continue throughout, but was a bit surprised with the light carbonation bite. Overall, it was a pretty good beer that I’d definitely try again if I get a chance to go back.