Careful with the Old Peculier: After drinking a few of these beers, lesser souls than you have ended up with their pants around their ankles, groping some imaginary lover, only to be found the next morning hugging the toilet. The Old Peculier will fuck you up, fuck you up to the extent that even asking for one becomes a herculean task. The "old" part is easy, but the next word's a tongue-tangler, and Prez G.W. Bush would probably have a seizure trying to say it. Say it: Pick-yooo-lee-yerr. Old Peeekyooleeyer. OK, got it? Now run to the Way Out Club, toss a fin on the counter and ask proprietors Bob Putnam and Sherri Lucas for an Old Peeekyooleeyer. Now drink it.
But don't pound it. This isn't Rolling Rock, man, and you're not in this to quench anything. Drink it long, drink it hard. Drink it as if you're one of the a goddamn Brits, who, through the Theakston Brewing Company, are the proud creators of the Old Peculier brand. (Yes, the name of the ale is spelled with an "e," not an "a"; peculier is a Norman French word meaning "particular" -- not odd.)
Old Peculier's the bridge linking two more prominent beers: Newcastle (whose maker owns Theakston) and Guinness. If Newcastle's light enough to be considered a sort of appetizer and Guinness is more like a nice rich dessert, Old Peculier's an entrée: hearty and deep enough to fill you up with a hefty sweet-dirt (mmm ... sweet dirt) flavor. But be careful: It's revealing that the official Old Peculier Web site (www.theakstons.co.uk) offers hangover advice. Its makers know what they're brewing, and they advise accordingly.
Though many places around St. Louis offer the beer, the Way Out's a good place to sample it because it's got the feel of a neighborhood pub -- all that charming, priceless '50s ephemera on the walls, the St. Louis vibe, all the tattooed ladies (ladies with the guts to brand themselves on the arms, where it shows, not hide their art away on the small of the back or an ankle). Yeah, the rock bands are pretty loud at the Way Out, and you're gonna have to scream to make your point. But loud's OK at midnight here, especially if you're feeling Peculier.