Off to Cincinnati and their local brewery, Rhinegeist who go the White Ale route (get it? snow) that many breweries take to avoid the Winter IPA or Stouts that dominate US winter warmers.
“Fresh additions of grapefruit peel and zesty ginger make for a bright and balanced White Ale with a refreshing nip.”
Our next seasonal comes from, right here in Los Angeles. A city that eschewed Christmas beers because, I guess, lack of snow?
Common Space Brewery is bringing cranberry and cherry to their Chubby line of Milkshake IPA’s. They are also decorating cans of some of their core beers with holiday trimmings.
AleSmith wants to honor the Christmas warrior with their Holiday Hero. It is an Imperial Stout with Vanilla, Chocolate and Nutmeg hitting 10% ABV.
Next winter stop is in Eastern Oregon and Bend Brewing for their Sno’d In. A little winter malty and hop mix for the snow lovers.
Off to Hood River and the wonderful beers of Josh pFriem and his pFriem Family Brewers. Here is how their website describes the seasonal, “Cozy up to the fire with a pint of pFriem’s Winter Ale and gift your taste-buds with hints of spice, orange zest, caramel and a touch of spruce tree. You may even sense the subtle notes of fruitcake, which might encourage you to share this Winter Ale with your family and friends. Unlike fruitcake, this is a beer that will not be re-gifted.”
This Alaskan Ale seasonal was draft only – Alaska only last year but returns to distribution this year. The brewery touches on the signature ingredient, “Winter Ale is brewed with spruce tips: the fresh new growth that emerges from the branches of Sitka spruce trees in the spring.”
Next up for the holiday ales, we head to Bellingham, Washington and Kulshan Brewing for their winter ale, Kitten Mittens.
A classic warmer, “The perfect beer for those cold months; this rich, medium bodied beer elicits nuances of chocolate, dates, and figs. Balanced bitterness and playful hop aroma fit like a mitten.”
Back to Oregon where they have a better chance at snow than we do here in SoCal. This next beer is from Hood River’s pFriem Family Brewers. Winter Ale has “hints of spice, orange zest, caramel and a touch of spruce tree. You may even sense the subtle notes of fruitcake, which might encourage you to share this Winter Ale with your family and friends. Unlike fruitcake, this is a beer that will not be re-gifted.”
I saw the re-branded Private Reserve and decided to give it a whirl for the first time in a long time.
This Rogue Brewing beer tastes a little thin for a Belgian dark. Little sour tang and very fruit forward which I wasn’t expecting despite the label clearly stating it. I guess my brain was expecting more barrel notes. The holiday ale pours a near black color with red streaks. Raspberry first then yeasty esters.
Scotch Ale is the order of the day with the annual Bell’s Brewery release of their Christmas Ale. Thanks to increased distribution a lot of the country can now have this malty treat.