So the holidays are over, should that stop us from being merry? Surely not. It’s NFL Wild Card weekend and there’s a local merchant on Hertel that sells quality beer to help fight the lurking winter blues.
I decided to take Jimmy Griffin‘s advice this weekend, but I didn’t want to go at winter beer sampling alone so I gave my beer connoisseur brother-in-law an offer he couldn’t refuse – free beer. When it comes to beer he means business, just look at his twitter avatar (@BobStrusa) – it’s a beer drinking a beer!
We picked up a mix six from Village Beer Merchant. Bob and I enjoyed each of the six beers this afternoon (don’t judge), and here’s our amateur review:
Winter White Ale (Bell’s Brewery, Comstock, MI)
Started light. This one is an alternative to the heavier “winter warmers”. In my opinion, this is a glorious beer. Cloves. Bananas. Bright color. Easy finish. ABV 5%
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale (Anderson Valley, Boonville, CA)
A spicy, copper colored beer. Bob said he tasted raisins in this one. I said he was crazy. Then Bob’s beer app mentioned that there were currants in this brew. We proceeded to google “currants” to learn that they tasted like a cross between cranberries and raisins. Bob wins. ABV 6.9%
Hibernation Ale (Great Divide Brewing Co, Denver, CO)
This is a darker, roasted beer, not your typical ale. It could have almost a stout flavor, which could come from the lengthy aging process for this brew.
The flavors hide the power behind this beer, leaving the 8.7% ABV feeling a bit more subtle.
Celebration – Fresh Hop Ale (Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, CA)
Hoppy but not the bitterness you’d find in some of the strong IPA’s out there. Instead you get citrus and pine taste and aromas.
Celebrate we will! ABV 6.8%
Mad Elf Ale (Troegs Brewing Co, Hershey, PA)
The label says it’s brewed with honey and cherries which is definitely a statement of the obvious as you seemingly can smell and taste both in this reddish tinted ale. Very sweet finish.
And by the time you’re done smelling and tasting, you may forget your name because this one packs an 11% ABV. This one may have been my favorite!
Blackout Stout (Great Lakes Brewing Co, Cleveland, OH)
We wanted to throw in something other than an ale for good measure, but this is average at best. I’ll admit I’m not a stout fan so this just tastes like burnt crayons to me, but even Bob said this left much to be desired. It’s probably because it’s brewed in Cleveland. ABV 9%
Well that’s it folks. Good beer, good football, family. That’s what winter Sunday’s are about…
A stout is an ale and Blackout Stout is an exceptional representation of a Russian Imperial Stout.
Good to know, thanks for the comment!