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Jan 23, 2018
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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4 last-minute bottles for your beer nerd

December 22nd 01:12pm, 2017

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If you spent the past three weeks pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-ing and not shopping like most, than you’re probably in need of some last-minute gifts for the host with the most or your Secret Santa. ’Tis the season for vibrant, bright flavors and bubbles (all the bubbles!), but not just in the form of sparkling wine.

Many beers come in large-format bottles, and just like wine, they are meant to be shared. To recreate the festive nature that comes with brut and bubbly, opt for lighter-bodied, tart and funky beers served in a wine glass or Champagne flute. They’re best accompanied with friends, yuletide cheer or a New Year’s Eve countdown.

1. Side Project Rose du Blè
The base, Saison du Blè, showcases lovely tartness and mild funk with an exquisitely fluffy texture from the loads of wheat in the malt bill. Brewer Cory King took this Missouri oak foedre-aged saison and racked it onto Missouri chambourcin grape skins for several months. It not only altered the straw-yellow hue, but also it also produced earthy funk, fruit and a light tannic note. $25. The Side Project Cellar, thesideprojectcellar.com

2. Crooked Stave Nightmare on Brett
More like a dream come true, if you ask me. Loads of roasted malt and tart cherry on the nose wake up your senses. This dark sour ale is complete with layers of fruit, chocolate, Brettanomyces funkiness and wood and whiskey from the Leopold Bros. whiskey barrels it slept in before bottling. $21.50, Fields Foods, fieldsfoods.com

3. Goose Island Gillian
One of my first true loves in the sour beer world, this wine barrel-aged farmhouse ale is delightful. A high level of carbonation exudes deliciously juicy notes of ripe strawberry and stone fruit up front, underlined by notes of white pepper. An adequate amount of honey allowed this beer, as fruit forward as it is, to finish dry with just a touch of oak. $24. Friar Tuck in O’Fallon, Missouri, friartuckonline.com

4. Rodenbach Caractère Rouge
This Flanders red ale is aged on raspberries, cherries and cranberries to give it an incredible fruit-forward character that eloquently pairs with the style’s rich malt bill. Funky floral notes, yogurt, light vinegar and fruit dominate the aroma, while a rich berry character evolves across the palate. Bright acidity all the way through leaves the drinker wanting sip after sip. $25. The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, wineandcheeseplace.com

Photo courtesy of Side Project Brewing

Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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By Katie Herrera

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