Founders Brewing Co.’s Red’s Rye P.A.
STYLE: American IPA (6.6% abv)
AVAILABLE AT: deVine Wines and Spirits, 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road, Des Peres, 636.825.9647; $9.99 (six-pack, 12-oz bottles)
PAIRINGS: Sausage and onion tart • Grilled romaine salad
I’m never a fan of the question “What’s your favorite beer?” But if you were to ask me what beers I would take to a desert island, the Red’s Rye PA would be at the top of the list. Founders has perfectly paired rye malt with a citrusy hop character, making the finest rye IPA in the United States.
Perennial Artisan Ales’ Saison de Lis
STYLE: Saison (5% abv)
AVAILABLE AT: Local Harvest Grocery, multiple locations, localharvestgrocery.com; $10.99 (750-ml bottle)
PAIRINGS: Bacon-wrapped scallops • Camembert
This beer was originally created to be a seasonal brew, but after the first taste, Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore decided it was too good to hold back. This Belgian-style farmhouse ale has yeasty spiciness that accentuates the floral aspects of the chamomile flowers added to the beer. This is one of those eye-opening beers for all your friends who claim to not like beer.
New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Shift
STYLE: American Pale Lager (5% abv)
AVAILABLE AT: New Belgium Brewing Co., multiple locations, friartuckonline.com; $8.49 (four-pack, 16-oz cans)
PAIRINGS: BLT • Fresh pea soup
After a long day at work, many people will reach for a fizzy yellow beer in a can. Even the guys and gals at New Belgium were looking for something easy-drinking come quitting time. And with that in mind, they created Shift. Unlike many pale lagers, this is a beer with character. It’s smooth and quaffable but still has enough complexity to keep you coming back.
The creator of STLHops.com and founder of St. Louis Craft Beer Week, Michael Sweeney is also the craft beer manager at Lohr Distributing.