Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I've waxed rhapsodic about PERENNIAL ARTISAN ALES before. Oh yes. Their collaboration with Half Acre Brewing, "Plan B", still ranks in my book as one of the best twenty beers of the last five years or thereabouts. I'm still trying to find more bottles of it, as it's a total knockout. Perennial are starting to get some distribution in Northern California, where I live, and I've made it a point to seek out the rest of their lineup wherever I can, even if it means sometimes revisiting something that didn't really make me squeal the first time. Like, oh, say, this "HOMMEL BIER" that I reviewed 3 years ago and only rated a mere 6.5/10. This time I grabbed it on draft at San Francisco's Fat Angel, and the results, as they say, were most impressive. 

Hommel Bier is as Belgian as Walloon and Flemish. Except it's made in St. Louis, Missouri is all. I was totally floored by it this time on draft, served in the appropriate glassware and at the right temperature. It's like another ale from another era, man. What really stands out is a sizzling spicy zing that combines with the earthiest of earthiness to create the floor model for the Belgian Bier 101 showroom. Fruits are warm and lush, and there's a hoppiness to throw out just the right amount of bitter to balance it all out. American brewers try and come close to this level of craft all the time - hell, Belgian brewers do as well - but this is right up there with your Orvals and Westmalles, for real. At least the one I had two nights ago was. 10/10!


Barleywhiner said...

Perennial is pretty hit or miss for me. Some of their Belgian stuff is a little heavy and sweet. I never really get a lot of brett from their brett beers.

Jay H. said...

I can understand that. They've now created two Belgian-style ales that have truly blown me away, though....perhaps the smartest move is to stay away from the wild ales/Brett beers and go for their more traditional Belgians....?