By Danielle Cefaro of Brooklyn Homebrew
Anchor, 2010 Christmas Ale: Every year Anchor releases a new version of their Christmas Ale. This happens to be their thirty-sixth release! Many people have taken a liking to collecting the bottles year after year and storing them, only to compare the vintage bottles years later. This years version brings us a light amber ale with great drinkability. It has a delicious pop of gingerbread, making it great to pair with plenty of holiday foods. Everyone at your dinner table will be begging for more!
Rogue, Santa’s Private Reserve: As with many Rogue beers, this one will make the hop heads sing with joy. This ale is a classic example of why people love beers hailing from the Northwest. A VERY well balance American Amber Ale. Great caramel malt notes blend wonderfully with the pine and spruce like hop character. It’s a perfect holiday beer for the anti-holiday beer guy!
Founders, Breakfast Stout: This beer always has me wanting more. Not just because I am a lover of Stouts, but mainly because it blows most Breakfast Stouts out of the water. It tops out at 8.3% ABV, making for a hearty breakfast. But just a taste of the delicious coffee and creamy chocolate like notes, and you will be wanting to drink this beer all winter long.
Unibroue, Maudite: Nothing reminds me more of the holidays than Montreal. A massive amount of snow, giant plates of smoked meat and unbelievably cold temperatures. In the outskirts of Montreal is where you will find Unibroue, keeping true to some of Belgium’s great brewing traditions. While many of Unibroue’s beers are reminiscent of the holidays, the brewery’s Belgian Double, Maudite (translates to “damned”), takes the cake. Its delicious and robustly fruity notes (think cherries, plums, and raisins) along with its spicy backdrop (mmmm, cloves) make for a perfect companion on a snowy night.
Pretty Things, Our Finest Regards: The first thing to draw me towards a bottle of Pretty Things beer was the amazingly adorable artwork portrayed on all of their bottles. They are quickly becoming local favorites, hailing from Massachusetts, with their large array of delicious and sometimes weird offerings. The newly-released “Winter Seasonal”, Our Finest Regards, keeps in tow with what I have come to love about this brewery. This BIG Barley Wine, clocking in at 13.5% ABV, is quite the winter warmer. Mix a bit of warming alcohol, dried plums and malted milk balls, and you have this season’s best fireside beer.
Danielle Cefaro owns and operates Brooklyn Homebrew with her husband Benjamin Stutz. Founded in March of 2009 as a small home based business, Brooklyn Homebrew’s retail storefront location, which opened in January 2010, is about to celebrate its first year of service to area home-brewers, mead, wine, cheese and cider makers. They have an extensive selection of the freshest hops, yeast, malts, extracts, spices, and recipe kits available in New York.