Sunday, December 26, 2010

I didn't mean to forget about you!

For whatever reason, and I can't really blame this on anyone but myself and sheer laziness, I haven't been posting. Maybe it was because there were all kinds of cask and free glassware nights, maybe it's because I was too busy drinking beer instead of writing about it, but probably because I've spent very little time on the interwebs doing beer related things. Simple nerdery has kept me a bit occupied...but I'll never tell!

So, because the most wonderful time of the year has passed, and to be real, there weren't very many winter ales I tasted this December that totally impressed me, this post will cover the brews that have touched me as of late, or at least, since my last post.

Brown Shugga by Lagunitas in Petaluma, California. According to their website, this beer was originally supposed to be their Olde Gnarly Wine that somehow received too much brown sugar. That said, sugar equals higher alcohol content, and that's very obvious in this brew. Sweet labeling aside, this beer is both hoppy and sweet. Typically I don't care for sweet drinks, booze content or not, but I like how this American strong ale starts off with a nice hoppy tang and ends with a sweeter note. Neither end of the spectrum is too overwhelming with this one.

Old Man Winter Ale by Souther Tier of New York. Nearly 8% ABV but doesn't really feel or taste like a high gravity beer. There's also nothing about this old ale that says Merry Christmas if you ask me, but the hop varietals and barley used def provide the warmth you may be looking for in this very cold winter upon us (yes, guys, it snowed in Florida today). If I wasn't such a lush I would have put some away for next year as Southern Tier suggests, but, where's the fun in that?

Homegrown Ale Estate by Sierra Nevada of Chico, California. An organic American IPA that the hippy within me just had to try. Being a gardener I was totally drawn to this beer that was created with hops and barley grown organically on the brewery's property. Growing your own ingredients means that you can control exactly how you want your beer to taste, and I found this brew very drinkable and an excellent example of what we can do here in the good ol' U.S. of A. A bit citrusy and smooth as well as highly complex as it warms in the glass. The wax seal is a nice touch too. Try this as soon as you can get your hands on it, guys, you won't be disappointed.