26 Great Lakes Brewing News • December/January 2017-18 Holiday Ale – Two Roads -7% Deep rich malt complexity. Caramel and dark candied fruits with a touch of yeast esters. A bit of earthy hops provide a counter balance. Just enough hop bitterness to not leave it cloy-ing in the finish. Old Jubilation Ale – Avery – 8.3% By EVIL New Glarus – Snowshoe – Amber Ale Nice malty flavor with a little spice from the hops. Good in cold weather. New Glarus – Black Top – Black IPA G.A.B.F. Gold medal winner. Citrus & Pine in the nose and body. Black molasses and chocolate in the finish. Nailed the style. Prairie – Christmas Bomb 2017 – Imperial Stout – 13% Aged on cinnamon, cacao nibs, chocolate, vanilla beans & ancho chili peppers. The cinna-mon adds that extra bite to the heat that makes you believe in Santa. High Water – Break Apart – Chocolate Orange Cream Ale – 5.4% Brewed with cacao nibs & orange peel. Yes, this tastes like orange chocolate. Very smooth and drinkable. Captain Lawrence – 6 th Borough Pilsner – 5% Dry hopped with Mosaic & Crystal hops. What’s not to like about a hoppy pilsner. Very crushable. Captain Lawrence/Thin Man – Fuzzy Dunlop – IPA – 6.8% Brewed with Bravo, Simcoe & Mosaic hops. Fruity. Sweet & floral. Nice cabbage dank to keep it going. Dogfish Head – Liquid Truth Serum – IPA – 6.8% Hopped in every process of the brewing. Fruity & piney. Could be the best IPA ever made by Dogfish Head. Hardywood Park – Gingerbread Stout – 9.2% Imperial milk stout brewed with ginger & honey. This is my favorite X-mas beer. It tastes like drunken gingerbread men in a blender. Call your relatives in Virginia for a bottle. Evil Twin – A Remarkable IPA – 7% Double dry-hopped for your pleasure. Easy to drink there of these. Evil Twin is step-ping up its IPA game again. Evil Twin – Even More Coco Jesus – Imperial Stout – 12% Maple syrup and coconut added into this chocolatey goodness. It’s a party in your mouth. Hermit Thrush – Green St. SIPA – Sour IPA – 6.8% The sourness may suppress the hoppiness, but I’m not complaining. Kinda boozy. Still great. Special thanx to Hoof Hearted, Fatheads/ Cleveland, the S.N.O.B.S. & Richmond, VA, for putting up with the hijinx that occurred while visiting with my Fiends. Lol. PLEASE SEND MORE BEER! By Dan Karyczak Winter Beers Another season is coming to an end, and with the transition from fall to winter here, our beer selections are also undergoing a change. As we prepare for the upcoming cold and the family get-togethers for the holidays, we can also look forward to some seasonal selections to help get us through these times. Traditionally, winter beers are brewed stronger, lean toward a more complex malt character and have higher alcohol contents. They are often enjoyed in sips, next to a fireplace. Some brewers add some spices into the mix, leaning toward those used in a typical pumpkin pie recipe. The ubiquitous use of cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg has been a tradition many craft brewers embrace. These pair well with rich malt flavors like toffee, caramel, and dried fruits, lending a balance to some of the malt sweetness. Along with spiced beers, we also start to see some old ales, barley wines, imperi-al stouts, and Belgian strong ales finding space on the shelves. And while not being traditional per se, winter IPAs have become a staple over the last 5-10 years, with Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale being a pioneer of this style. For this tasting I recruited my wife, Kristin. Her being a bit of a novice when it comes to the variety of beer styles, provided a nice back drop to discuss further what each beer brought to the table. Drinks were poured, notes were taken, and our take on some won-derful beers are below. Wishing all our beer beacon readers a safe and happy holidays. Another malt forward selection. Toasty notes with a touch of brown sugar. There is a bit of booziness to it on the nose. The flavor follows the aroma but has a medium high bit-terness leaving a nice dry finish. Goes down easy for 8.3% Hibernation Ale – Great Divide Brewing Co. – 8.7% A slight roast malt character with notes of coffee. A bit sweet up front but a bitterness comes through to clean it up. A touch of earth hop presence again giving an almost vinous character. Stiff Mitten – Woodcock Brewing – 7.2% A nice spicy nose typical of a pumpkin pie blend. It is aromatic without being over-powering though. A clean crisp malt bill has it going down smooth and easy. A holiday beer that I could drink a couple at a time. Christmas Ale -Great Lakes Brewing Co – 7.5% A bit spicier than Stiff Mitten. Almost leans towards a gingerbread character. The taste has a touch of sweetness like a cookie as well. The finish is dry with a bit of the spices lingering in the end. 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale – Thirsty Dog – 8.3% Fruit and spices emerge. A touch of anise in the aroma as well. Some toasty caramel malt character gives way to a medium bitterness in the finish. A tad boozy in a nice way.r with notes of coffee. A bit sweet up front but a bit-terness comes through to clean it up. A to Old Man Winter – Southern Tier – 7.5% The aroma has some earthy and floral hop presence. The malts provide some biscuit and toasty notes. Finishes dry with medium hop bitterness. Mad Elf – Tröegs – 11% Some spicy hops and Belgian phenols are in the initial aroma adding some pepperiness. A touch of tartness from the cheery quickly gives way to some sweet malt character. A definite fruity, cherry finish. ABV hidden well. The Brewing News offers maps on the web showing you locations of Breweries, Brewpubs, Good Beer Bars, Beer Stores, and Homebrew shops. A great tool for the beer lover! Log onto the web and select your area of travel, then select a state. A PDF will then download to your computer. It’s that easy to find great beer! Happy Beer Travels! BEERS to US! c/o Brewing News 571 S. Park Ave. Buffalo N.Y. 14204 Accumulation – New Belgium – 6.2% A bright and citrus hop nose hits you at first, with a hint of resin and pine. I don’t get any Belgian yeast notes that some white IPAs lean towards. The white comes from the wheat, which adds a nice malt balance. The finish is crisp and easy with a bit of lingering hop grassiness. Black Forest Cake Stout – Victory – 7.5% Nice and strong stout character here. Roast malt up front. The flavor is dark and complex with a bit of slickness to the mouth feel. Cherry fruit and roasted malts linger in the end. Tastes indulgent. Winter IPA – Peak Organic – 6.2% Tropical fruits with notes of pineapple provide a nice bouquet. The taste has a little hop dank and slight grassiness. The appearance was bright with a fluffy head and a slight hop haze. Little more malt and bitterness balance than some NE juice bombs. Up Next: Porters & Stouts Please send your Porters & Stouts by Jan. 1 to: Beer Beacon c/o Brewing News 571 S. Park Ave Buffalo, N.Y. 14204 Celebration Ale – Sierra Nevada – 6.8% Find good beer wherever you are! Piney and resinous with an assertive hop bitterness. Just a touch of sweet bready malt adds a bit of body. Finish is clean and bal-anced. One I look forward to every year.