Welcome to "Draft Pick," a column by Gut Check contributor and craft-beer aficionado Richard Haegele. Each week, Richard will profile the most exciting new draft being poured in St. Louis, how it was made and where you can find it.
Washing down Thin Mints with a hearty stout is all well and good, but what if somebody could save you a step and and brew a beer that captured the taste of that winning combination? It just so happens that Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 Michigan Avenue; 314-631-7300) brews such a beer, simply called "17." Released around St. Patrick's Day each year (hence the name), "17" is a stout aged on cacao nibs and dried peppermint leaves.
"17" pours into the snifter with a deep black color. Rich, roasty chocolate dominates the aroma and the initial taste, but a subtle, earthy mint lingers on the back end along with a touch of alcohol heat from the 9.3 percent ABV. The flavors work amazingly well, without the cloying sweetness of mint chocolate candy one might expect from the description.
"17" is available now at the Perennial tasting room on draft and in bottles. It can also be found on draft at a few bars around town. Starting March 23rd at midnight and ending March 30th, you can also enter a lottery on the Perennial website for the ability to purchase two bottles of the barrel-aged version when it is released on April 4th. This will be a very limited release, so the lottery is most likely your only chance to purchase any bottles.
Box Score Beer: 17 Brewery: Perennial Artisan Ales Style: Stout ABV: 9.3 percent Price: $9/draft, $15/bottle