Brewery: Perennial Artisan Ales (St. Louis, MO)
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
6.2% ABV / N/A IBU
This remarkable–but not particularly emblematic–saison from Perennial Artisan Ales is an ode to the extreme lengths American brewers are going to innovate with styles. We’re at a point in 2019 where just adding additional hops and crossing your fingers is adorably antiquated–now it’s all about using S-C-I-E-N-C-E to perfect the perfect brew. Distant Land benefits from alterations in flavor at three different stages in the brewing and conditioning process. First, it’s brewed with flaked oats (we have no idea what the fuck this is but it sounds super fancy) and Perennial’s house saison strain. Then it’s bottle-conditioned with Brettanomyces claussenii, or, in other words, fermented with yeast – giving it a bit of the funky flavor pervasive in Brett saisons. Then, to top it all off, it’s dry-hopped with Mosaic hops, the go-to choice for IPAs these days.
If all of this sounds like overkill, well, it probably is, but Distant Land totally justifies the effort. This saison pours with an awesomely gigantic head and a strongly floral/botanical nose. It’s pleasantly sweet at the front of the palette and has an appropriate level of funkiness, but its dominant characteristics are decidedly un-saison-like: Distant Land boasts the crispness of a Czech style pilsner, with a super drrrrrrry finish. Not dry like a brut style IPA, but dramatically dry like a bottle of champagne. This is quite unexpected and owes a lot to Perennial’s choice of saison as style; previous iterations of the company’s Brett series have swapped out brett strains and hop varietals, but with less neutral styles like pale ale as the canvas. Distant Land would be perfect to keep on hand for a beermosa, or if you aren’t into ruining perfectly good beer, any situation that requires a toast. “Here’s to Tuesday.” Something like that.