Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that you have a safe and happy holiday. Thank you so much for visiting BreweryReviewery. I hope Santa brought all of the beers that you were looking for this year.
Every year Anchor Brewing Company out of San Francisco, California puts out a Christmas Ale. They have done it every year since 1975 and each year they use a different recipe. Very cool of a brewery of their size to do something special each year. I reviewed their summer ale a few months ago, let’s see how their Christmas Ale measures up.
2010 Christmas Ale pours a deep, dark ruby color with a solid tan head. The nose is very complex and brings up feelings of the holiday season. I’m reviewing this beer a month after Christmas, and I was transported to the thoughts of Christmas trees (which still needs to make its way to the dump) and lights. The aromas are very earthy and herbal. Anchor’s beer had a bit of berry in the mix. I got a bit of mint in there, but there so much happening that I’m not sure if that is the exact smell I was getting. There is also some slight sweetness in there as well. I actually got a slight tingle on my nose when smelling this beer. No idea where that came from.
The taste doesn’t have a ton upfront but some really nice roasty flavors kick in about halfway through. The herbal flavors from the smell are in there as well. The mouthfeel is creamy and wonderful. 2010 Christmas Ale comes in 5.5% ABV so it is a beer that you could have a couple of. I really dig this beer. It is complex and tasty. I could drink this all winter long and it is an excellent example of a winter style beer. Grab this one while you can! (more…)
I did a post back when the Obama administration took office on the beer that I would be drinking for the Inauguration. That lead me to think about the beer that I would be having for New Years. I have been scouring the store shelves looking for the right beer to fit for the day. I finally came across it while at the World Market the other day.
I have decided to go with Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. What other time of the year gets celebrated as much as New Years. While I can claim that I have never been to a New Years party (is that sad) I can say that I have enjoyed many a tasty brew from the safe confines of my house. Last year I had a helping for three different stouts and a nice barleywine. Celebration Ale is on tap this year and I am super excited. I haven’t had it in just over two years now, which is right around my awakening to craft beer.
So I am excited to get to taste it again and see if I like it as much as I did before. The biggest thing I remember it tasting like is a Christmas tree, but we shall see if that still holds true as my tastes have evolved. Celebration Ale is also appropriate becasue January 1st marks the one year anniversary of BreweryReviewery. Have a happy and safe New Years everyone, I have a bunch of fun plans for the site coming up this year.
Christmas is just a few weeks away and I thought it might be a good idea to put up a few gift ideas for the beer lover out there. There are thousands of different products out there to suit any beer lover. My suggestions are from things that I own, use, and drink. I know the economy is puttering along right now, so all of these suggestions come in at under $30.00, which should suit almost any budget. So lets get started.
#1: Beer a Day calendar
What beer way to celebrate beer than to look at a new beer everyday. Not only does it let you learn about a new beer, but it gives tasting notes, some food pairings, and a random beer fact. I had one of these last year and it put a few ideas in my head on beers that I wanted to try and styles that I wanted to homebrew. And do you want to know the best part? This daily giver of joy can be found on Amazon for under $12 bucks. That should make your wallet smile a bit
#2 Beer of the Month Club
I was briefly a member of a Beer of the Month Club at one point last year. The main reason I stopped was becasue I was moving and it got a tad bit pricey. Most BotM Clubs give you the choice of how many months you want to join for and how many bottle you receive. Most of them send out about 12 bottles a month, but there are those who give you a full case each month. The nice thing is that all of the clubs focus on mircobrews (probably becasue they run out of macros). They start at around $20.00 a month and move up from there. Some also allow you to go month to month while others make you get a subscription. In either case, just do a bit of researching to see what fits into your budget.
#3 Mr. Beer Kit
On of the first articles I ever did on this site was about my Mr. Beer experiences. Mr. Beer is perfect for the beginning homebrewer. It allows you to get an idea about the processes involved in making beer and gives you a sample of what can be done. Mr. Beer makes making beer very simple and allows for a lot of variety. I really enjoyed making beer with these kits. At one point my roommate and I owned four of them and we were pumping our 2.5 gallons of beer every half week to week. Needless to say we had a lot of friends.
Mr. Beer is having a sale for the holiday season where you can get the whole deluxe kit for $29.95. The kit includes bottles, fermentor, sanitizer, and a ingredient kit to make your first batch. Not a bad deal and if you decide you don’t like homebrewing, you didn’t drop a lot of money on something you are not going to use. Check it out here.
#4 Spiegelau Beer Glasses
Every beer drinker should have a proper glass to drink out of. I recently received my first pair of Spiegelau glasses courtesy of the Beer Tap TV and I don’t think that I will ever drink out of another glass again. They are sure thin and they give you a more accurate idea of what the color of the beer is. The idea behind it is that the thicker the glass, the more distortion that it causes when looking at the beer. They also have a nice wide top to let you get your whole face in there to smell a beer. This is the same company who makes those nifty Sam Adams glasses. You know the ones that make their beer better becasue of the glass design. Who knows if that is true, but it is a good story and a really cool looking glass. You can get a set of two for $19.59 from here.
#5 Any Michael Jackson book
Any beer lover should own a book by Michael Jackson. Not the King of Pop, but the King of Beer. While Mr. Jackson has moved on, his books provide a powerful reminder of his love and passion for great beer. He is widely credited with being the first journalists to write about beer and helped open a whole generation to the great beers of the world. Michael Jackson’s Great Beer Guide and Ultimate Beer are two of my favorite from him, and both are coming in at under $20.00 right now.
I highly suggest both books and I be you will find a ton of beers that you did not know about, but now want to try. I know that I did.
I’ll be posting a homebrewer gift idea post very soon, so check back. And just as a shameless plug, you might want to think about Beer Tasting Notes that was made by the same people who bring you this website. It helps fund this site and will also help you keep track of your beers.