The draft list at Perennial Artisan Ales is an all-star lineup of beers, demonstrating the creativity and inventiveness that has gained the brewery a devoted following. Running the gamut from the rich 17 Mint Chocolate Stout to the refreshing Saison De Lis, the always-rotating taps at Perennial's tasting room require a willingness to expand beyond your typical lager or IPA and embrace unique, experimental flavors and styles that often have their origins in local products. The Black Walnut Dunkel, for example, is brewed with 250 pounds of Missouri black walnuts, and the Peach Berliner Weisse involves more than 750 pounds of Missouri and southern Illinois peaches. Perhaps the best evidence of the genius found at the small-batch craft brewery in south city is the Barrel-Aged Abraxas — Imperial Stout that's aged for nearly a year in Rittehouse rye whiskey barrels along with cacao nibs, ancho chiles, vanilla beans and cinnamon. The Abraxas even has cracked Beer Advocates' esteemed list of the top 250 beers (the only St. Louis beer to do so), coming in at No. 41. The Abraxas is brewed only once a year in a very small quantity and is in such high demand that on release day, beer devotees stand in line for hours just to get their hands on a bottle. You get the feeling that the brewing minds at Perennial spend late nights sitting around thinking about what else they can throw into the kettle to produce new kinds of deliciousness, so who knows what they'll come up with next? But rest assured: Beer drinkers will be ready...and waiting.
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