Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Brews - Week 48 - 'Tis the Season to be Drinkin'

Happy Friday friends! It's time to jump right into some tasty seasonal beers. It's winter time, so that means the breweries come correct with beers filled with all kinds of spices and specialty malts. Isn't that nice of them?

I sliced the tip of my thumb off yesterday, so typing is kind of annoying and the camera thing just isn't happening today. Sorry folks. Hopefully my whimsical prose will entertain you just enough. Oh wait, it wouldn't be the holiday winter season without some of this nonsense right? Who wants to be a misfit elfin dentist?

First up is the White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager from the Moylan's Brewing Company in Novato, California. It's nice to have a winter lager for a change. Seems I'm always downing winter ales, so perhaps this will be a good alternative.

The beer is spiced with orange zest, mace, cinnamon, coriander and white pepper. Whoa! Looks like someone decided to clean out the back of the spice cabinet. Mace? Seriously? Who the hell uses that stuff? ha ha ha. And now is the time we talk about the beer ...

The color is a light copper and a bit cloudy. A light and fizzy head pops up fast and settles even faster. There's some good head retention as well. I bend the neck and my nose dives into the cavernous mug ... mmmmm. I smell that orange zest in a big way, followed by the white pepper. Ooooo spicy! I'm not getting much else in terms of aromas though.

Now the moment of truth; the tasting. Huh, not bad for spiced beer. Sometimes those spices can be over the top, but these add a nice flavor to the brew. The mouthfeel is light, smooth and kinda buttery. Weird. The beer finishes crisp. I can dig it.

I have to say this is a pretty good offering from Moylan's. It's not bursting with flavor, but I'm glad it wasn't overpowering as tends to happen with some winter seasonals. I'd buy another one if I had to. Check it out and give me your thoughts.

Overall score of the Moylan's White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager: 3.0 out 5.0

Next up is a beer my friend Adrian emailed me about, the New Belgium 2 Below Ale.

Oh man, I've been waiting to try this all day! Let's go!

I pour it straight into the pint glass and a thick and foamy head says, "hello!" and sticks around as if to say, "that's right fool, I'm a kick-ass beer you're going to love!"

This beer is brewed with roasted malts and Sterling and Liberty hops.

The beer is gorgeous and clear. A perfect medium-bodied amber stares me in the mouth. Oh praise Jeebus! I just smelled it, and it is full of pungent citrus and pine from the hops. Thank you New Belgium!

I've gotta taste it! I'VE GOTTA TASTE IT!!!

Oh for the love of sod! This beer is outstanding. Somehow they've managed to make it full of flavor with those delicious roasted malts, but balanced perfectly with those slightly bitter hops. This beer is one smooth and satisfying mofo. You know you can really tell when a brewmaster and crew nail it, and this is one of those times. This is probably the best winter seasonal I've ever had.

Throw in New Belgium's outstanding ability to care for the environment, the community around them and the designers they use to market their products, and you've got one of the best breweries in America. Thank you.

Go and get this one if you can. It'll only be around for a short while.

Oh, and check this link out ... FRAMBOZEN. Holy shit. I've got to find this beer immediately. I need to drink this while on the way to getting fat and passing out on Thanksgiving. Oh yes. It shall be done.

Overall score for the New Belgium 2 Below Ale: 5.o out 5.o
(Please find me a better winter seasonal, I dare you.)


  1. If you liked New Belgium's 2 Below then you might also want to try their Frambozen, a raspberry brown holiday ale. Makes for a nice after dinner, with dessert, kinda brew.

    I also enjoyed their 2 Below, a nice winter brew. Warning though - it's doesn't pair with spicy tacos too well I found out.

  2. Ha ha. I'll remember the taco warning. I've been trying to find that Frambozen too! That sounds too good to be true.

  3. The 2 Below sounds awesome. I had some Fat Tire Amber Ale's last night, pretty much everything they do is good.