Ninth Day of Christmas – Weyerbacher Winter Ale

Weyerbacher Winter Ale Review, Weyerbacher Brewing Company

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Total Score: 61.0

My ninth beer of Christmas is Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, PA. The brewery was founded in 1995 and named for the original German spelling of founders Dan and Sue Weirback’s last name. Despite starting out with the business plan of creating mainstream microbrews like pale ales, the brewery has instead earned widespread acclaim for its big barrel-aged and Belgian-style beers. Continue reading

Posted in 12 Beers of Christmas 2011, Beer Review, Pennsylvania, Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Winter Warmer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eighth Day of Christmas – Columbus Winter Warmer

Columbus Winter Warmer Review, Columbus Brewing Company

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Total Score: 92.0

My eighth beer of Christmas comes from my local Columbus Brewing Company. Established in 1988, the brewery is located in Columbus’ historic Brewery District where they also operate a nice restaurant alongside the brewery. Brewmaster Eric Bean is the man behind the beer, having studied brewing science at U.C. Davis and apprenticed with a German-trained brewmaster. Collaborating with Head Brewer Jamie Feihel, the two have produce some world-class beers, including their amazing series of hoppy beers called “A Hop Oddyssey”. Continue reading

Posted in 12 Beers of Christmas 2011, Beer Review, Columbus Brewing Company, Ohio, Winter Warmer | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Seventh Day of Christmas – Lost Coast Winterbraun

Lost Coast Winterbraun Review, Lost Coast Brewery

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Total Score: 83.5

My seventh beer of Christmas is Lost Coast Brewery’s Winterbraun, which I picked up because I’ve never seen or heard of it before. Located in Eureka, California, Lost Coast opened its doors in 1990 as one of the few female-owned breweries, led by former pharmacist Barbara Groom and former family counselor Wendy Pound. Lost Coast’s psychedelic website and trippy label art make me wonder exactly what kind of pharmaceuticals Barbara was peddling. Continue reading

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Sixth Day of Christmas – Shiner Holiday Cheer

Shiner Holiday Cheer Review, Spoetzl Brewery

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Total Score: 86.0

For the sixth day of Christmas I’m having Shiner Holiday Cheer from the “Little Brewery” in Shiner, Texas, Spoetzl Brewery. Due to a busy day I’m running up against the end of my sixth day, so I apologize for cutting straight to the beer. The brewery does have a long history, and their website does a great job of telling the story.

Shiner Holiday Cheer is a sparklingly clear mahogany with a 2-finger snow white head that fizzles to a film and leaves no lace. Great color, uninspiring head. Smell is primarily toasty and fresh bread malts with a sweet and slightly tart peach undertone. If that peach smell is natural that’s pretty impressive, but I suspect otherwise. Regardless, this smells pretty good. Taste mimics the smell almost perfectly: lightly toasted breads hit first, then give way to the mild sweet peach flavor from the smell. It does leave a bit of a syrupy sweet slick on the tongue which is probably where many get the artificial peach vibe from, but for me it’s actually an interesting twist, so perhaps you’d call this my guilty pleasure. In fact, I could go for a bit more of that peach flavor…if ya got, flaunt it! Mouth is lighter bodied and a bit fizzy for my tastes. Finish is moderately sweet and only slightly dry, almost as if by accident.

Overall this is a solid beer, and another change of pace from the spiced beers that I’ve been calling “traditional” Winter Warmers. Perhaps it’s not so much of a tradition after all. Some will like this beer and some will probably hate it, but it’s at least worth a try.

Look: 8.5/10     Smell: 9/10     Taste: 8.5/10     All-Around: 8.5/10

Posted in 12 Beers of Christmas 2011, Beer Review, Dunkelweizen, Spoetzl Brewery, Texas | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fifth Day of Christmas – Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale Review, Samuel Smith's Old Brewery

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Total Score: 86.0

The fifth day of Christmas brings a beer all the way from the oldest brewery in Yorkshire, Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery. Founded in 1758, tradition runs deep at Samuel Smith’s, which is one of the few independent breweries left in England. Their ales are still brewed using water pulled from the original well, the yeast strain used dates back to about 1900, Shire horses are still used to deliver beer around the town of Tadcaster five days a week, and the beer continues to be brewed in slate “stone Yorkshire squares”, which are purported to give the beer a fuller body. Continue reading

Posted in 12 Beers of Christmas 2011, Beer Review, England, Samue Smith's Old Brewery, Winter Warmer | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Fourth Day of Christmas – Bell’s Winter White Ale – Review #24

Bell's Winter White Ale Review, Bell's Brewery

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Total Score: 89.0

For my fourth beer of Christmas is Bell’s Winter White Ale from Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Although the Bell’s name is relatively new, having been changed from the Kalamazoo Brewing Company in 2005, these guys have been making good beers for a long time. Kalamazoo was founded in 1983 and was originally a homebrew supply store. They started selling their own beer, which was brewed in a 15-gallon kettle, in 1985, and have been going strong since. Continue reading

Posted in 12 Beers of Christmas 2011, Beer Review, Bell's Brewery, Michigan, Witbier | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Third Day of Christmas – Great Lakes Christmas Ale – Review #23

Great Lakes Christmas Ale Review, Great Lakes Brewing Company

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Total Score: 93.0

I have to admit that my third beer of Christmas, Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale, holds a special place in my heart. I’ve so drank many of these (often too many) that I can imagine its taste almost as vividly as if I’m actually drinking it (for about Great Lakes Brewing Company see my review of Dortmunder Gold). To say that people go crazy for this beer would be akin to saying that I like beer. Obviously, it goes deeper than that. Continue reading

Posted in 12 Beers of Christmas 2011, Beer Review, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio, Winter Warmer | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments