I don’t know if it is the lack of snow but there are not too many Christmas beers coming from SoCal. Los Angeles Ale Works is changing that with a double holiday release with one hoppy and one Belgian. Available at their Hawthorne brewery to-go.
Rounding out our trio of Winter beers is a lager filled with Carolina grown malt. The maltsters are name checked on the label of Winter Bock from Hi-Wire Brewing.
Not all holiday beers are Norman Rockwell, coming from Abomination Brewing. Santa’s Black Blood is a double (?) pastry stout brewed with vanilla beans, lactose and eggnog spices.
12 days of any style of beer is better than the Yuletide song. Even better is a style master like Stone giving a gift of hops in upside down mode. Just the right size for a post present party.
Seems like Trader Joe’s has switched from the generic Winter Brew to a more whimsical Winter Ride. I tried this recently and for the Josephs Brau brand, it is pretty good I feel you don’t believe it is a Dopplebock. A tad too slight for that but it has a nice caramel taste to it. I would buy it again.
Next up is what to wear when holiday weather starts to chill the fingers that hold the beer. Mount Tabor’s Checkered Flannel Brown Ale.
It does feel like Christmas when the Christmas beers from foreign shores show up on shelves and one that I haven’t had in awhile is the Samuel Smith Winter Warmer.
This Shakespeare labeled beer pours a bubbly light amber color. Very British from the first wafts of the aroma to the first sip. For a beer low in ABV it is surprisingly a bit warming too. I am also getting a small touch of metallic note here. More dominant are notes pear and a bit of spice. Earthy with a good amount of hop bitterness.
This month we take a tour of Trappist beers from the East Coast and The Spencer Brewery.
Spencer Brewery / German Pils 4.7% ABV
“Straw colored with a light, creamy head, Spencer Premium Pilsner is an authentic German-style Pilsner. Traditional noble German hops provide herbal notes, a floral nuance and the classic closing bitterness. Crisp, clean and refreshing – perfect after a day at work.”
Spencer Brewery / Trappist Ale 6.5% ABV
“Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish) in Belgium. These sessionable beers are brewed by the monks for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast that naturally carbonates the beer in the bottle and keg and contributes to the beer flavor and aroma.”
Spencer Brewery / Trappist Holiday Ale 9% ABV
“Mahogany in color, wholesome in body, lightly spiced, a heart-warming feast day ale from our table to yours”
All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)
Off to North Carolina for our penultimate beer of the holiday season, Christmas from Olde Hickory Brewing.
“We believe our Christmas beer is the perfect beer for a merry season. Brewed from fond childhood memories of fresh baked cakes and cookies, Christmas Ale is made with Local Honey, Fresh Grated Ginger, Cinnamon Stick, and Fresh Orange Zest together with the finest two row barley, pure water, hops, and love. “
Next up is a Christmas Ale, named Christmas Ale from Sly Fox in Pennsylvania…
filled with, “Expressive mulling spices swirl and mingle in this full-bodied red ale” and covered with gingerbread men on the can.