We are at Christmas Eve and Santa has to work and not kick back with a pint, but there is one last beer to be had, Stay Frosty from Reuben’s Brews.
“Stay Frosty IPA is the perfect beer for the tail end of Summer and the return of crisp, cool, fall air to the PNW. It’s clean and refreshing like a lager, but with the higher ABV and bold hoppiness of a classic West Coast IPA.
Instead of using traditional ale yeast, in this hybrid IPA we use lager yeast and ferment at cooler temperatures than normal IPAs to deliver a clean body that allows the hops to shine without any of the usual ale yeast aromas. The addition of flaked rice to the grain bill imparts additional clarity and crispness. Gobs of hops build an assertive bitterness, and we also dry hop at the tail end of fermentation to deliver even more hop boldness.”
Nearing the end. Hard to pick at this point but I lean again, like yesterday to spices associated with the season, something nice from Ommegang.
“Lightly dusted with spices of the season, Everything Nice is a warming, wintry Belgian-style blonde ale. This supremely cozy confection pairs perfectly with any traditional holiday treat. Note the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and white pepper as you sip next to the fireplace. We hope this fresh-baked offering brings warmth and light to you and yours.”
Back to California as fast as we can because we have to catch up with The Bruery…
“Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout with molasses, ginger, graham cracker, and spices
Run, run, run, as fast as you can… it’s gingerbread season, and we’re feeling festive! What better way to celebrate than with a delicious gingerbread-inspired imperial stout. We added a bit of molasses to the boil before aging in bourbon barrels. Then we added all the classic spices— cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg— along with graham cracker to capture the rich sweetness of a fresh gingerbread cookie.”
We head to merry Old England for a Scandinavian styled holiday ale from Thornbridge Brewing…
“A dark mild with Low Colour Maris Otter, Crystal, wheat and chocolate malt, hopped with Goldings. A brand new beer to provide comfort in deepest darkest December
Knäck is a 4% dark mild, with a rich malty soul giving notes of hard toffee and roasted nuts, much like the Swedish Christmas treat of the same name.”
I am accustomed to the big Belgian bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale so it took some getting used to it being in a twelve ounce can.
Here is how the brewery describes this Quad, “St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is an intensely dark beer with a full, yet slightly fruity flavour, overflowing with the tastes of winter and zesty seasonal aromas. Aniseed notes are complemented by hints of creamy caramel and fire-roasted chestnuts. This zestiness shows no signes of abating, pushing through to a magnificent finish of dried fruits and chocolate.”
Will the can compare to that? And will my comparison bottle taste similar, let’s get to the results…
A little toffee, a little fruit. Bang on fruitcake with this. There is a nice bite to it as well. It is too light for chocolate and roasted nuts aren’t there for me but has a zest and a malt backbone to it that means it could easily pair with practically any food course from salad to turkey to dessert. Just lovely.
Next up is a dickens of a beer from Silver City Brewing.
“Old Scrooge Christmas Ale is the brewery’s most award-winning beer. Through the years it has been awarded 13 medals that includes 6 from the Great American Beer Festival and one award from the World Beer Cup.
This take on an English-Style Barleywine is a malty ale that derives from a long boil time, cool fermentation and extended aging. Silver City uses a malt bill of NW Pale, British Pale, Caramel, and Munich with Columbus and Willamette hops.”
Let’s jaunt back to Hawthorne, CA to get a scaredy cat…
That is the face of a cat bored of holiday shopping. So it is good tidings to have a Hoppy Holiday Ale from Los Angeles Ale Works.
Who here hasn’t been on this list at some point this year? But maybe it isn’t such a bad place to be if there is a Victory barrel-aged beer available for you. I think 11% abv will leas to more naughty, not less.
“Rum Barrel Aged Winter Warmer small batch ale gives off alllll the vibes; a luscious medium bodied copper ale, with warming notes of vanilla, rum, brown sugar and cinnamon that will seduce your taste buds. “
Our American Trappist brewery, Spencer goes a different route to Santa’s glass with an amber lager. They have brewed it with honey and spices to add that festivity.
Time to add the seasonal flavor flair. The Great Divide Yeti has us covered with peppermint bark in their imperial stout.