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Perennial Artisan Ales Woodside Tripel

Where In Town: D’Vines, 3103 14th St. NW

Price: $17.49/750 mL

Hop Choice

Spending money to try a fancy bottle of beer is easier when I’m confident I won’t end up pouring it down the drain. The knowledgeable staff at D’Vines in Columbia Heights usually steer me straight. On a recent visit, they helped me choose from a selection of Perennial Artisan Ales. I had been impressed by the St. Louis microbrewery’s Abraxas Imperial stout and a few of its barrel-aged variants, as well as Hommel Bier, the two-year-old startup’s dry-hopped Belgian-style pale ale. With guidance, I walked away with a pair of summer debuts for which I didn’t mind splurging.

Sweet as Honey

Perennial Woodside is a prime example of founders Phil and Emily Wymore’s commitment to seasonal, local ingredients. This 9 percent alcohol tripel borrows its name (and label design) from a nearby honey producer. The Belgian yeast and honey create aromas of candied orange slices and honeycomb, as well as mildly sweet, spicy flavors. Woodside is adequately balanced with a dry finish that hints at clove and pepper. Some is being aged for later release in bourbon barrels from Washington State’s Woodinville Whiskey that were used to condition honey. Also worth drooling over: head brewer Cory King’s new wood-aging venture, Side Project Brewing, whose aptly named, one-time-only The Origin will be the label’s first brew. A blend of three strong, dark ales aged for 20 months in rye whiskey barrels with Madagascar vanilla beans, The Origin is due out later this month. Beer handlers need not worry; this bottle will sell itself.

Photo by Tammy Tuck