PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Few breweries have the storied past of Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, California. Brewing beer since 1896 and bought by Fritz Maytag in 1969, Anchor has been a staple in brewing history for more than a century. One of their longest-running beers is the seasonal Christmas Ale, available from November to early January.
Like an adult candy cane, Lloyd Christmas Peppermint Chocolate Porter from 3 Freaks Brewery in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, offers a minty, tasty holiday treat that captures the spirit of the season. Each year the brewery tweaks the recipe to explore new flavor profiles; the 2019 version seems more mint-centric and somewhat lighter on the chocolate than previous incarnations.
As I was using a plastic snow shovel to chip away at the glacier-sized chunks of hardened ice in my driveway the other day, I was reminded of just how much I loooove the holiday season. And what’s not to love? Dry, cracked hands that look like a relief map of the Mojave Desert? Check. General sense of terror every time I walk in public because no one got the memo about covering their coughs and sneezes? Double check. But at least there’s good beer.
It’s great that St. Nick takes care of the kids. But, for grown-ups, it’s all about St. Bernardus. He doesn’t need to send his elf for your shelf because his smiling face and festive hat adorn every bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. One sip of the exquisite Belgian beer will surely bring an abundance of holiday joy to any beer fan.
Winter is here and it’s time to enjoy the best seasonal style around (in my opinion), the Winter Warmer. For this year’s Christmas Classics, I reached out to my Texas beer community via the internet for advice on a great Texas seasonal and I got an overwhelming response to try Rahr & Sons Winter Warmer.
At 8.3% ABV, “Old Jube” (as the folks at Avery Brewing like to refer to their Old Jubilation Ale) is strong and rich, but not overwhelming. Not a typical heavily spiced Winter Ale (it actually has no spices), it is rich, dark and malt-forward. Because of the avoidance of spices, the malts really get to shine. With a combination of five specialty malts (Two Row Barley, Honey, Bonlander Munich, Chocolate and Black), we get a flavor that is rich, velvety and a bit fruity.
The annual release of Great Lakes Brewing Co.‘s Christmas Ale is a big deal in Ohio, and that excitement extends all the way up to the man responsible for its creation.
“When I take a sip, it’s like I’m wearing a sweater,” says Pat Conway, co-founder of Great Lakes in Cleveland, Ohio.
His brewery first brewed Christmas Ale in 1992, but Conway is still like a kid on Christmas when asked about this celebrated holiday seasonal. The beer helped define the Christmas beer style for the early craft beer movement.
Bruz Beers in Midtown, just northwest of Denver proper, is pumping out some delicious, true-to-style beers. With several medal wins in brew festivals including one at GABF this year, they are aiming to brew high-quality beers across all Belgian beer styles. Quads, Saisons, bottle-conditioned Sours, and everything in between keep brewers Charlie Gottenkieny and Dave Olson (formerly of Ursula Brewing), and Brewery Operations Manager Ryan Evans very busy!
Arguably the best part about craft beer? The label art. “Label buying” is a phrase among some craft beer drinkers for when a person purchases a beer just because of the name or label art. Many beer labels produce a recognizable identity for the brewery, which can, in many cases, encourage the purchase of a particular beer. Advertising is a powerful thing!
I’ll admit I’m one of those people who succumbs to the “label buys,” and Foreign Objects is a label buy I will always make. It comes as no surprise to hear that when I saw a can of Psychomantic Cult Worship, my hands were right on it.
Minnesota’s Hammerheart Brewing Company is devoted in every facet of their existence to the holy trinity of Vikings, heavy metal and beer. These are all passions I share, so when I first caught a glimpse of a row of their …
You’re looking to impress if you include the word “pure” in the name of a beer. Pure Tropics from Parish Brewing is one of the newer IPA offerings out of Broussard, LA and further proves this brewery’s superiority of the style.
As barrel-aged beers go, Firestone Walker is one of the most consistent producers out there. When it comes to their anniversary beer, it’s hard to pass this one up.
Firestone Walker just released XXIII, the fourteenth beer they’ve released as part of their anniversary series, which dates back to 2006. As with all of the previous anniversary beers, it’s a blend of many of their well crafted barrel-aged offerings.
You know the scene in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure where he’s saving pets from the burning pet store, and he keeps passing over the snakes because they gross him out? Eventually he bites the bullet, grabs the snakes and runs out screaming. Sometimes that’s how I feel about the Sours in my cellar. I know I’m going to drink them all eventually, but aren’t there any Barrel-Aged Stouts I can rescue first?
That’s probably a little dramatic. Just like with Sours, some snakes are pretty cool. I used to have an empty field by my house where we’d go and collect garter snakes to take to school and put them in teachers’ desks. That’s not really relevant other than now you know I was kind of a dick as a kid. I’m sure I’ve outgrown that through the years. Anyway, to push myself out of my cozy, hoppy, comfort zone, several times a year I like to sit down and get personal with a bottle of funky tartness. This month’s offering to the Sour Gods is Karl Strauss‘ fan-favorite Queen of Tarts.
The fourth annual release of Santa’s Cookies Imperial Milk (and Cookie) Stout, a collaborative effort by Hailstorm Brewing and The Open Bottle in Tinley Park (Chicago), arrives November 30. Since its first release in 2016, Santa’s Cookies popularity has grown and expanded to include variants, which is good news because part of the proceeds of the beer goes towards the Tinley Wish Foundation, who help local, needy families.
Being a fan of spicy food, I’ve tried to like chili beers. Some are too mild, some blast out my taste buds; I rarely finish a full pint before tapping out. But when I heard that the GABF Gold Medal Winner for Chili Beer was a quick drive away in Omaha, Nebraska, I knew I had to try it.
When you take your first sip of Brickway Brewery & Distillery’s Jalapeno Pineapple Pils, you will set down your glass and say, “Oh, I get it. That’s what a chili beer is supposed to taste like.”
Always one for brewing with unusual ingredients like squash or ginger, 3 Freaks Brewery delivers another unique brew just in time for Thanksgiving. Adam’s F%&#in’ Turkey Beer brings intense spice flavors and a hearty body to capture Thanksgiving in a glass.
3 Freaks, located near Denver in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, adds five boxes of Stove Top Turkey Stuffing to each 2.5 barrel batch to achieve the savory holiday flavors. Additions of sage, rosemary and thyme round out the herb profile.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebrations are vibrant, unique events that inspired TUPPS Brewery out of McKinney, Texas to release a beer in honor of the holiday. Day of the Dead is a juicy, hazy Pale Ale dry-hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Mosaic, resulting in a citrus aroma and stone fruit flavors. At only 5.5% ABV, it’s compared to a crushable version of their wildly popular TUPPS DDH series. To capture the spirit of the holiday, all of the cans were designed by local artists. I caught up with Head Brewer Chris Lewis to talk more about the beer and what’s on the horizon for TUPPS.
It’s baaaaaack. At the beginning of the month, Fair State Brewing Cooperative reintroduced its highly regarded seasonal collaboration with San Diego’s Modern Times Beer – Spirit Foul, a double dry-hopped hazy IPA for the ages.
On a rainy May 19, more than 1,000 people showed up to the sleepy, lake town of Bridgman, Mich., all because a dog tricked his owner to get out of bed, so he could have the warm spot.
They came …
It’s November in Chicago and stout season has arrived and it’s not just because Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers (FOBAB) brought a deluge of fabulous new barrel-aged beers. Rather, the 3-5 inches of snow and single-digit temperatures are really putting the city in the mood for a beer as dark as the sky at 4:45 p.m. (sigh)
Luckily, Saint Errant Brewing has an indulgent option for Chicagoans: Cauallier, an imperial stout brewed with cacao nibs and roasted peanuts. This brew starts with a dense black pour, visually preparing you for its richness. With a burnt but chocolatey aroma, the first sniff does its job of pulling you in with sweet, warm vanilla notes while still letting you know this imperial means business.