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New Belgium/Perennial Artisan Ales | Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

New Belgium Perennial Artisan Ales Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

ABV: 9%
IBU: 35

It seems like every time I talk to someone outside St. Louis about the craft beer here, they ask me about Perennial Artisan Ales.  Either they’ve had it and are raving fans or they’ve heard about it and want to get their hands on some. It’s understandable considering the quality of the brew Perennial puts out and their participation in the overall scene. If you follow them around the labyrinth of the internet, you know they’re up to a LOT of good things. Brewer meet and greets, beer dinners and festivals all over the country. Not to mention collaborations with the likes of Evil Twin, Half Acre, Prairie Artisan, et cetera, et cetera. But if you aren’t familiar with them yet, you’re likely going to be thanks to this new bomber of delicious teamwork – New Belgium/Perennial Artisan Ales Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout, the latest addition to the Lips of Faith series.

I am a total sucker for dark, chocolaty stouts and the like. So when New Belgium’s app alerted me to the countdown for this new beer, I will admit that I plugged the release date into my calendar. When I heard it was hitting shelves, I calmly slammed my car door, dumped the clutch and left rubber tracks at least 30 feet out of the driveway. I nearly tripped and cleared the counter at my local bottle shop as I casually reached for 2 bottles. And I drew sideways looks from dog walkers in my nonchalant efforts to get the above porch photo so I could sip and contemplate the nuances of this dessert in a bottle.

Although I clearly have a slight tendency to get over excited about beer, I can say it was worth it. It pours super dark and leaves a thick, creamy head. Putting my nose in the glass, I picked up roasty, yeasty smells with that distinct Belgian note. The taste was not sweet as I expected but more like a fancy piece of dark chocolate where you really get the cocoa, not just a pile of sugar. I’ve had other chocolate stouts that do taste like a chocolate bar but I’m thinking the Belgian yeast in this brew is what gives it that different dimension – and I really enjoyed it. Now, I may have been looking for it given the name, but I can honestly say that on sip after sip I picked up hints of salt on the finish. Frankly, I have no idea how that’s possible but that’s probably what makes these two breweries so successful.

Perennial turns 3 this week which is pretty rad and they’ve got a whole lot of cool events lined up to celebrate. One of these shindigs will include the Wood Cellar Manager from New Belgium, Lauren Salazar, and the Brewmaster & Co-Founder at Perennial, Phil Wymore, going through tastings from the respective breweries and of course the Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout on draft. I can’t imagine a better way to get your hands on this delectable beer but if you can’t make it, do yourself a favor and track one down in your nape of the woods. Just be sure to remain calm, causal and nonchalant in your efforts.

Follow Niel on Twitter @WaveTrainLLC

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