THE EDITOR’S DESK :: The YBN Christmas Beer Fridge

by admin on December 24, 2014


This is going to be a very fLuid (yeah, I know) piece as we try some of the brews below throughout the evening and the next day or two. As we have observations, we’ll edit them in and let you know via facebook and Twitter. But let’s get to it… cut to the chase, as it were.

Chase Cutting

Chase Cutting

Thought I’d share what, going into Christmas Eve, is in the YBN beer fridge! As many of you know, I’m not big on super spiced/infused seasonals. I’ve found a couple Fall pumpkin based ales that are lovely, because they don’t make me feel like I’m drinking a liquid pumpkin pie, but there’s a narrow tightrope being walked on that subject, if for no other reason than a lot of folks LIKE that kind of brew.
I’ve had a couple Christmas brews over the years that I’ve liked, but I still go with brews that might better reflect the season in terms of weather, temperature, the type of foods that might be devoured… less looking for Egg Nog Ale here.

So, this is what we just bought to get us through the holidays:
index6) North Peak Blitzen Festivus Ales
We have very much liked a couple of North Peak’s IPAs in the past, so figured it was a benign enough name we could give it a try. Beyond benign by miles. Dark, sweet, hoppy wonderfulness. These guys simply know beer!

1) Fort Collins Chocolate Stout
Tried this while a visitor was trying one of the Festivus Ales, so I could compare a little. It was darker, drier, and less bitter. The chocolate melding with the traditionally edgy toasted grain flavor we come to associate with many stouts made for a delicious beverage. Fort Collins rocks it.

1) McChouffe Artisinal Belgian Brown
1) Houblon Chouff Dobbelen IPA Tripel
Tried their brown stuff before and enjoyed it. The eyebrow clearly raised over the belgian IPA business, a fave of mine. Flavorfull, floral, spiced, with a bite. Just started with the Brown, a big (8%) Strong, and it’s every bit as good as remembered, spicy, stewed raisin, brown, caramely… delicious. 8% ABV, so will likely not be reporting on another until after dinner.

1) Southern Tier Dark Robust Porter

1) Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout
1) New Holland Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout
I’ve had pretty bad things to say about Altech’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. But first, this is a stout. Second, an old friend is now running things down in Lexington, and he’s a guy who knows his stuff, so we’ll do a comparison between his and the New Holland… which was more expensive, so it better be good, right? Yeah, sure.

Having happily run through a 12 of Goose Island’s seasonal Red IPA, this is what’s left from the Turkey Day holiday:

1) Hop Crisis Imperial IPA
2) Full Pint’s Night o the Living Stouts
1) Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale
1) Great Lakes Elliot Ness Amber Lager

 And you….?

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