#winterale – PorchDrinking.com
By far, my favorite holiday beer is Brasserie Dupont’s Avec Les Bons Voeux (translated as “with good wishes”). It’s made year-round, but only brought to the United States during winter. The beer began as a treat to brewery visitors during the holidays and, as it only makes its way to the United States around the holidays, it remains a special treat for us.
When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, our taste buds seem to sense the change in barometric pressure and start to crave those darker, roasted malts. There is a coziness that is associated with a stout by the fireside or watching rainfall while sipping on a malty winter mistress of a Cascadian dark ale. The winter seasonals start to hit the shelves just in time for the holidays and are invariably associated with happy, festive memories.
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.
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.
Thanks to the amazing array of barrel-aged brews and hearty ales available in December, many of us are growing bellies that even the man at the North Pole would be proud of. While many of us don our own red hats and honor the big man with our own gift-giving exploits, it feels like Santa might be extra stressed this year for a myriad of people-produced reasons. I’m sure Santa still appreciates a good batch of cookies and a tall glass of milk, but this year, I think Mr. Claus might appreciate something with more of a bite to quell his nerves during the big night. Here’s a look at six beers that are sure to put you on the nice list with Santa Claus this year.
ABV: 6.4% | IBU: 20
The end of the year brings holidays, reflections about the year behind us, plans for the year ahead and some of the best seasonal brews around. In the northern hemisphere, this coincides with winter, darker days, colder temperatures and snow (usually). Lights go up on houses, relatives come down to visit and there’s little doubt you’ll make it to at least one brewery to while away the hours in avoidance of going to the mall to pick up that one last gift for the second uncle of your mom’s cousin thrice removed. Similar smells of cinnamon, pine trees and allspice waft out of stores and restaurants and even your neighborhood brewery.
ABV: 14.0% | IBU: 65
Fremont Brewing delivers another liquid giant to liven up another holiday season. Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb is the awesomely adjunct-ed, cooler and even more popular older cousin of Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Ale, Fremont’s flagship bourbon barrel aged beer. It can be found lounging around the MoonTower, slicking back it’s long golden waxy locks, and murmuring phrases like: “Alright, alright, alright.”