Friday, January 8, 2016

Winter Beer Picks!

By: Katie Grandy; Beverage Buyer

There are summer beers and there are winter beers. Just like we enjoy lemonade in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter, we tend to enjoy lighter beers in the summer and heavier beers in the winter. Summer beers are typically light golden with a lower alcohol percent, to ensure a more refreshing brew. When the snow hits and the temperature drops we are looking for something to warm our bellies and fight that winter chill.

Darker complexions and higher alcohol percent separate the winter beers from the summer beers. Flavor profiles are more malty than hoppy. Seasonal touches such as chocolate, coffee, nuts, and dark fruit are often present. Some beers will add spices like ginger and nutmeg, making them a great seasonal pairing for seasonal pies.

If you have not checked out our beer selection lately, you should come in and see what you have been missing. We have a great winter selection. From 10 Barrel Brewery we have ‘Pray For Snow’. This is a traditional winter beer. It pours deep chestnut brown in color, slightly muddy, with a giant beige-yellow head. Lots of webby lacing left behind as the head recedes and smells sweet with notes of Molasses, cola, and a hint of raisons. The taste is less sweet than the smell led on. The flavor replaces sweet notes with spicy ones for an overall great tasting winter beer. It’s sure to warm you up after a day on the mountain!! Next from 10 Barrel Brewery is their ‘Apocalypse’ IPA. A Northwest American-Style IPA. The color comes through a deep gold with orange hues. The medium-white head persists, and some sticky lacing. The aroma has a citrusy hop with hints of pine resin. The taste is fruity, but maintains hop bitterness. This is a great example of a west coast IPA, and a favorite among our IPA drinking staff.

From Lost Coast Brewery, we have a new Double IPA called Fogcutter. This beer pours regular, but leaves a nice sticky webbing all the way down the glass. Smells very citrusy, and when you taste it the bitterness is in perfect balance with the malt flavors and aroma. Not a big “in your face” IPA but at 8.7% ABV it gets the job done, and all for just $9.99 a six pack.

The last new items that we have in are from Oskar Blues Brewery. We have the last case available of ‘Death By Coconut’. This Irish Porter pours a thick black, with a tan head. It recedes quickly, with not much webbing. It has rich aromas of coconut and chocolate, with an almost liqueur smell. The taste is very smooth and creamy, well jammed, with coconut and a slightly roasted bitter finish. This beer promises and delivers; you will not be disappointed! Also by Oskar Blues, we have ‘Hotbox Coffee Porter; this beer is a collaboration between Hotbox Coffee Roasters and Oskar Blues. It is cola brown in color, with a soft dense tan froth that shows moderate, soft retention and abundant dense sheet lace. It has an aroma of smooth roasted coffee with chocolate, toasted malt, and vanilla. Its big and rich coffee flavor finishes on the dry side and is overall highly drinkable.  This is one of my personal favorite beers (right now as I am forever changing!).

Come on in and try some of these new beers. Feel free to let me know what you think of them. What’s your favorite style of winter beer?

Cheers, Katie

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