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After a three-year hiatus, Central Waters recently announced the return of a barrel-aged standout.

There are certain “wow” moments that happen as a craft beer drinker. One of my first came on a cold January night six years ago when I bellied up to a sparsely crowded bar at The Bomb Shelter (the outstanding beer bar that used to occupy the space at 1517 S. 2nd St.). After talking for a while to owner Greg Landig, he reached into a cooler and pulled out a bottle of Central Waters Peruvian Morning, slowly poured the dark black elixir into a snifter and said, “Try this.”

The barrel-aged coffee stout was one of the richest and most complex beers that I’d ever had. With that one pour, the late Landig had introduced me to one of the best barrel-aging programs in the United States.

Sadly, the fantastic brew was discontinued three years later due to issues that occurred during the difficult process of barrel aging. The experience led Central Waters to build an on-site lab and improve the overall brewing process.

Peruvian Morning fans can rejoice, because the beer is back. This week, Central Waters announced its glorious return and that distribution in Wisconsin will start March 26.

Stubby’s Gastrogrub and Beer Bar (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.) is giving local beer lovers a preview by tapping a barrel of Peruvian Morning on Saturday, Mar. 24. at 11:59 a.m. If you haven’t tried it before, be sure to go. If you have, then you’ll likely be there anyway.

So, how does the new batch hold up?

“I think it’s excellent,” said Central Waters co-owner and head brewer Anello Mollica. “I love the combination of the locally-roasted coffee from Emy J’s and the barrel-aged stout. They play off each other nicely. We’re very excited. After trying it again for the first time in years, I forgot how much I liked this beer.”

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