Terry and I were up and out the door before 8am, as both Brad and Doug had an early start on this Friday. I slept well on their cushy sofa, and grabbed a shower (which is my morning coffee) before heading out the door. Doug recommended a nice neighborhood about two miles away which had cafes, places for breakfast, wifi, etc. Terry and I loved the neighborhood: wide sidewalks with shady trees, outdoor cafes, young professionals ordering coffee before walking to work… it reminded me somewhat of Europe, and there was a good mood in the air.
Today Terry and I were visiting Perennial Artisan Ales, another up and coming Craft Brewery, with a stellar Tasting Room. Again, my friend Claire was the one who introduced us to Perennial, as she has frequented their place and loves their Craft beer. Later that day, I would find out how true Claire’s statements were. As it was Craft Beer week in St. Louis (nice timing for our arrival!), Perennial had some fun lined up for this day, Friday. They were expecting hundreds of patrons, and promoted their having a party—with DJ—at their establishment in the evening. Therefore, so we could have some time to interview, and not be overwhelmed by the crowd, we arrived at 3pm. I know I keep throwing out positive adjectives about the owners and brewmasters of each Brewery I’ve visited, but it’s true. They are some of the most fun, dedicated, committed, humorous people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to hang out with Phil Wymore, the co-founder *and* brewmaster of Perennial Artisan Ales. Instead of beginning the interview in normal fashion, ie, an introduction and interview in front of the camera, we began the interview by throwing some darts. Yeah, it was fun to just be casual in the beginning and I think it made the rest of the interview flow more easily.
Between takes, Phil introduced me to his wife Emily, who also runs their business. They have two small kids, a 6-month old son and a 3-year old daughter (she had enough energy to light up Manhattan). We got some footage of the whole family. That’s the thing too….many of these new Craft breweries and brewpubs are run by moderately young families (although Phil and Emily’s is the youngest). They have put a lot of financial and sweat equity into creating their businesses…alot is riding on the success. The good news is that there is still so much room for having a successful Craft brewery/brewpub. Phil and Emily seem like such solid business people—and great people in general—they *will* flourish. Most of Perennial’s beers are Belgian style, but they add some of their own techniques and ingredients to make their beers unique and delicious. My friend Claire showed up to Perennial after the filming, and we joined the ever-increasing number of patrons for some more delicious beer. Thanks Phil for a visit and great footage at Perennial! I wanted to take Claire out for a thank-you dinner, so we found a local Italian restaurant, and chowed like lions in Kenya. I was looking forward to biking the following day, as I put away some serious calories from dinner–a damn good dinner. There was no room for dessert, but Claire and I decided to have one final beer at another craft brewery (of course!) called Civil Life. Good beer there as well.
It was another great day in St. Louis, and tomorrow I was going back onto the TransAmerica trail, heading east, for Brooklyn, NY. But it’s one state at a time, and tomorrow I’d be biking into Illinois (southern). Catch you there, on my next blog!