"A living link to the age of dinosaurs, ginkgo is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity." - Peter Crane, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot
You only need to talk with Phil Wymore, Co-Founder and Brewmaster of Perennial Artisan Ales, for a few moments to realize a similar reverence for the Ginkgo tree. He’s surrounded himself with the symbol; a simple leaf etched into glassware. It’s an icon which adorns every bottle from the brewery.
His respect for brewing is more convivial. “I think the atmosphere that we have here and the food that we have here in our (tasting room) is a special offering for St Louis. A unique offering.”
His upbeat manner is reflected in the bar and seating area. It’s a bright, clean, reclaimed industrial space. The patrons are Midwest-friendly, so conversations startup throughout.
Wymore worked at Goose Island and Half Acre before opening shop in St Louis. When asked about the move, he mentions family. When asked about timing, he explains, "In 2011 (a year after Anheuser-Busch sold to InBev SA), we call it The Class of 2011, there were four of us that opened up in the city limits of St Louis with tap rooms and distribution. That was Urban Chestnut, us, Civil Life, and 4 Hands.
“We all add a lot of diversity to the scene and I feel like it's started to put St. Louis on the map in terms of craft beer destination.”
If you've only got two hours? Perennial's perfect.”
They make a fantastic Imperial Stout. It’s appropriately called Base Stout as they use it for other brews, most notably their Mexican chocolate variant Abraxas, their Sump coffee stout, and the mint chocolate stout ‘17.' Each member of this trio also has a barrel-aged sister. They even go so far as to provide the whisky barrel-aged, adjunct-free Maman.
While that series alone is enough to visit, they also make some excellent saisons. The list is double-digits and counting.
The Tasting Room is open Wednesday-Saturday. You can sample the current production beers and tasting room only releases, fill your growlers, or purchase bottles to go.
All four of the breweries Wymore mentions are worth visiting if you've got a full weekend in St. Louis.
If you've only got two hours? Perennial's perfect.