I am not a born fisherman, but once my father-in-law took me out on the Louisiana bayou outside New Orleans, and showed me how to bait my hook with live shrimp, cast, and slowly reel in, waiting for the pull, I became addicted.
Countless fishing trips later, I’m still numb that these good ole boys don’t drink beer while fishing. The two just seem together in my mind. Perhaps the problem was that they could not find the right beer. That problem is solved.
Who knew there were others in the world looking for the perfect fishing beer, but apparently the idea was top of mind with Scott Peterson, the Quality Manager + Technical Operations Manager at Perennial Artisan Ales.
“We have been wanting to make a lager that is under 5% abv and which will satisfy our thirst at the end of a long day on our feet at the brewery while being equally good to pack along for a fishing excursion,” said Peterson.
Meanwhile, their friends at Heirloom Rustic Ales had been producing excellent lagers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and with them, they all became inspired to brew Fish Drifter as they planned for another summer in the Ozarks.
Fish Drifter is a collaborative expression of love and terroir between two breweries that strive to make delicious suds connected to a time and place. It has a smooth, round mouthfeel and a sly riff of Hallertau Blanc hops, which are some of the most interesting lager hops available today.
“Fish Drifter is the next installment in our series of 10th-anniversary celebration beers, all brewed in collaboration with breweries we admire,” said Peterson. “The artwork for the series is made by local artist Anisa Tabtiang, whose process involves hand-drawing the label concepts.”
Tabtiang’s label features an astronaut drifting serenely through space in their cowboy boots, casting into a galactic backdrop and ready for the big one.
Jake Miller of Heirloom Artisan Ales inspired the name of the beer. He is an avid fisherman and river conservationist who educates and promotes the conservation of fish habitat. Give him a follow @fishdrifter_
This is an adjunct lager, brewed with organic corn grits from War Eagle Mill in Arkansas. Between them, Perennial, and Heirloom, Fish Drifter has major elements from each of the three main Ozark states. It is as much an expression of place as it is anything else.
Fish Drifter is available onsite and to-go at the Perennial taproom (8125 Michigan Ave) right now.
In The Glass: Fish Drifter pours pale gold with typical unfiltered cellar haze and a soft, pillowy meringue of foam.
On the Nose: Delicate threads of honeydew, prairie grass, and marigold accent a backbone of flaky biscuit and fresh cream.
Flavor: Classic light pilsner malt with a hint of corn, plus grassy and mineral whispers from the Hallertau Blanc hops. The body is remarkably smooth, round, and soft. It drinks clean and crisp, before rolling into a refreshing bitter finish on the exhale.
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