Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Winter Brews

Hate to say this, guys, but 'tis the season. The good news is that this means all our favorite winter brews are on tap in the pubs to take the edge off the holiday jitters (you know, like your mom nagging you about hosting Christmas dinner, or what to get your Uncle Joe). Our perennial favorite and the top winner thus far is Deschutes Brewing's Jubel Ale, a richly satisfying, deep brown holiday brew that has the spiciness you expect from a winter ale with enough hops to lift the malt and give it a bite. It's not bad in the bottle, but if you can find it on tap you've got it made. (Rumor has it that Higgins restaurant has it on cask, but both times we've been in to try it they'd just blown the keg.) Our second-runner-up is Laurelwood's Vinter Varmer, which is only available at their pubs, but is worth the trip. Another spicey-but-well-hopped beer, this goes perfectly with their fish and chips, which we think are some of the best in town. The classic Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is also a good pick, though we've not had this on tap yet. The bottle shows a lighter body than the either the Jubel or the Varmer, but it still has some nice presence. Not so thrilling for me is Full Sail's Wassail, and I have to say that it's not been among my top picks for several years. These guys know how to make great beers, but Wassail is a bit watery and bland compared to the others. So if you're out there sweating over The List, stop into a pub and lift a pint or two. You'll feel so much better!

No comments: