Perennial Artisan Ales' Hommel Bier
STYLE: Belgian Pale Ale (5.9% abv)
AVAILABLE AT: Perennial Artisan Ales, 8125 Michigan Ave., Ste. 101, Carondelet, perennialbeer.com; $5 (16-oz draught)
PAIRINGS: Grilled grouper • Provolone
One of St. Louis' newest breweries, Perennial Artisan Ales has promised to constantly push the envelope and make beers that are unique and tasty. Its first creation is a Belgian pale ale that combines a complex Belgian yeast strain with some bold American hops. It's a delicious marriage of New World and Old.
Brewery Ommegang's Rare Vos
STYLE: Belgian-style Amber Ale (6.5% abv)
AVAILABLE AT: Whole Foods Market, multiple locations, wholefoodsmarket.com; $7.99 (750 ml bottle)
PAIRINGS: Mussels • Chorizo
This amber, Belgian-style beer is as interesting as it is decadent. The unique Belgian yeast strain gives this beer a fruity, almost pear-like character. Luckily, the high, but not overwhelming, amount of carbonation on the beer keeps it feeling spritzy and keeps you coming back for glass after glass.
Odell Brewing Co.'s IPA
STYLE: American IPA (7% abv)
AVAILABLE AT: The Wine Merchant Ltd., 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton, winemerchantltd.com; $9.99 (six-pack, 12-oz bottles)
PAIRINGS: Torta al pastor • Green goddess salad
This IPA could have been called Fruit Punch. One whiff of this beer is a haymaker to your senses. It has a huge orangy and lemony aroma that will make you think you're standing in a citrus field in Florida. Although it has enough malt to help balance the beer, the bitterness certainly shines through.
When not using his spare time to make fun of people who write blogs, Michael Sweeney writes the beer blog STLHops.com. The irony is lost on him.