Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BEER MANIA PAYS OUT BIGTIME: PERENNIAL / HALF ACRE “PLAN B”

I had a morning of extreme (or, if you will, “xtreme”) beer dork mania about a month ago. My nominal hobby kicked into overdrive during a two-hour break in a café waiting for my son to finish a class, and ironically, without even a drop of alcohol being consumed, I set the wheels in motion for a boatload of beer landing at my front door. First, I begged Dave over at The Drunken Polack to do a beer trade with me. He consented. I spent some time flicking through the iPad to figure out what they drank out there in Virginia that I might want in my belly. I made a list, I checked it twice, and sent it off to Dave. An hour ago, his bountiful east coast gifts unto me arrived. Thank you, Dave.

I wasn’t even close to being done - no way. I then scoured eBay and made my first purchase of un-findable beers, getting four double IPAs like The Alchemist’s “Heady-Topper” and Surly “Abrasive Ale” for what I thought was a helluva bargain. In my closing moments – oh my god my son’s waiting for me but goddamn it I have to buy more beer – I plunked down sixty bucks over at THE WINE & CHEESE PLACE, an online seller of gastronomic delights, including craft beers from across the Midwest. Why? I was on fire, that’s why. Rare! New! Can’t find it here! Gotta drink it! More more more!!!

Normally I’d figuratively “wake up” a few hours later, find my bank account lighter and then start kicking myself for my tomfoolery. I mean, I don’t drink every day or even every other day. What do I need with all this beer, right? But man, that was a lot of fun. Going through that frenzy of acquisition hit all sorts of pleasure centers in my brain, and like I said, it was weeks before I even got a drop of it. That mania is paying off big-time, too. You’ve seen it in some of the beer reviews lately on this site. It really delivered a couple of nights ago, when I unleashed a bottle of awesome-looking beer I’d ordered with zero forethought – a total random purchase – from The Wine & Cheese Place.

It’s a collaboration beer that started with PERENNIAL ARTISAN ALES, a new brewer in St. Louis, and their pals at HALF ACRE BEER COMPANY up in Chicago. I hadn’t heard of either, but here’s how their PLAN B ale was described (and still is described) as a “Sour Mash Belgian Dark Ale with Black Currants”. Let’s take a chance on love, right? OMG U GUYS THIS BEER IS INCREDIBLE. I love paydirt moments like these. This is one of the finest beers I’ve had in a year and then some. Again, it’s called PLAN B. It’s an 8% ABV ale brewed with black currants, and yes, you can taste them in a jammy sort of way, along with plums. It’s malty, with high carbonation and medium body. Really yeasty, like a good Belgian should be.

It is just incredible flavorful and beautifully simple and complex at the same time. I daresay it ranks up there with THE BRUERY’s best beers, and we totally love those guys. An exceptionally special Belgian-style dark ale. You need to order one right about now. I'm going to make it my life's work to drink every Perennial beer I can get my hands on. 10/10.

2 comments:

Dave said...

Glad it came ok. If something good comes out around here and it's local I'll be sure to hook you up sir.

Jeremy G said...

That sounds really good. Any left?