Gigantic Releases High Voltage Winter IPA and Shazoo Imperial Milk Stout

  
Gigantic Brewing Co. is celebrating the holidays with the launch of High Voltage Winter IPA and Shazoo Imperial Milk Stout. Here are the delicious details provided by the brewery: 


High Voltage Winter IPA "Plug in the three phase and the generator! This IPA has huge amounts of citrusy Mosaic, Citra, and Cascade hops, with just enough crystal malt to keep things in check."

For High Voltage we took the traditional IPA and added crystal malt to add a little sweetness for the colder winter months. Some may call this a hoppy red ale, but we prefer Winter IPA because of the pronounced hoppiness and drinkability. Much like Ben Venoms creature on the label, High Voltage is its own beast. High Voltage has a bright citrus and cane berry hop aroma, with a touch of dankness. Beautiful hop flavor with crystal malt sweetness balanced by the loving IPA bitterness.

The label features original quilt made by Ben Venom. Mr. Venom made the quilt of a vicious beast that exists only in his world with Gigantic t-shirts and patches. High Voltage is paired with the song "Flies" from Red Fangs newest album "Only Ghosts (www.GiganticBrewing.com/pages/HighVoltage)


Shazoo Imperial Milk Stout  "Inspired by Europe, we added milk sugar to a rich imperial stout to make an enormously delicious milk stout. With coffee, chocolate, and caramel notes, you can enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert!"

Shazoo features artwork from Travis Millard, a Los Angeles based illustrator who explores various oddities of the imaginative landscape. The beer is paired with Y La Bamba's song “Libre” from their new album “Ojos Del Sol” (www.GiganticBrewing.com/pages/Shazoo). The name of the beer came from Family Guy season 7 episode 3 "The Road to Europe"


Both are limited releases and won't be around for long. For more info, check out the beer dossiers for High Voltage Winter IPA and Shazoo Imperial Milk Stout. In the meantime, if the beers don't give you a sufficed dose of Gigantic's giganticness, check out the premier edition of their new online magazine.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some beers I need to sample....




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December - February Northwest Beer Festival Calendar


Winter in Oregon may bring a fewer number of beer festivals, but they're good ones!

This is by no means a comprehensive list. My focus is on recurring events (held each year).  If you have an event you'd like me to list, send me the details at info@notsoprofessionalbeer.com and I'll do my best to add it.  Cheers!


December
  • November 30 - December 4:  Holiday Ale Festival, Portland    website
  • December 1 - 4:  Bigwood Festival @ Brouwers Cafe, Seattle    website
  • December 9 - 11:  6th Annual St Johns Winter Beer Fest, Portland    website
  • December 9 - 10:  Vancouver Winter Brewfest    website
  • December 10:  Central Oregon Winter Beer Festival @ GoodLife, Bend    website


January '17
  • January 28:  NW Coffee Beer Invitational, Portland    website
  • January 28:  Collabofest 2017 @ Base Camp Brewing, Portland    website
  • January 28:  Artisinful! Portland Beer and Chocolate Festival @ Culmination   website


February '17
  • February 1-4:  Salem Winter Brewfest, Salem    website
  • February 3-4:  Blasphemous Brewfest @ Ringlers, Portland    website
  • February 10-11:  KLCC Microbrew Festival, Eugene   website
  • February 18:  Zwickelmania, Events across Oregon    website 
  • February 18:  Festival of the Dark Arts @ Fort George   website 
  • TBD:  Firkin Fest @ Green Dragon, Portland
  • TBD:  Hillsdale Brewfest @ McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery, Portland
  • TBD:  Blackout Beer Fest @ Lompoc Sidebar, Portland



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Cascade Brewing's 18th Anniversary: December 6 - 11


Cascade Brewing Co. is turning 18 and you're invited to their birthday bash! The 18th Anniversary Party will take place at both Cascade Brewing Barrel House and Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub from December 6 - 11.  Rare vintages will be tapped and available for sale in bottles. For more details, check out the brewery's news release below.

Happy 18th Anniversary to the House of Sour!


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Cascade Brewing will celebrate 18th anniversary with rare and limited draft and bottle offerings Dec. 6 to Dec. 11

PORTLAND, Ore. – In Dec. 1998, Art Larrance and Ron Gansberg opened the doors to Cascade Brewing on the bottom floor of the Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub. This December, they are inviting fans to join them in raising a glass in celebration of the brewery’s 18th anniversary.

Cascade’s 18th Anniversary Party will take place Dec. 6 through Dec. 11 during regular business hours at both the Cascade Brewing Barrel House  939 SE Belmont St., and the Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub  7424 SW Beaverton Hillsday Hwy. There is no cover charge.

The anniversary lineup will kick off with a special Tap It Tuesday live barrel tapping at the Barrel House on Dec. 6 at 6pm, where the brewery will release the 2015 blend of its rare Pater project. Released once every two to three years, Pater is a cuvée of sour reds, imperial reds, blonds, triples and quads aged up to three years with Bing and sour pie cherries; it features some of the oldest and rarest barrels from Cascade’s sour cellar.

The event will feature a number of rare vintage draft beers on tap during the week, including The Bourbonic Plague 2009, Kriek 2009, Sang Royal 2009, Vlad the Imp Aler 2009 and Apricot 2010 (additional vintage beers may be brought out as tap space allows). These vintage beers will only be available in four-ounce pours, and prices will vary depending on the product.

There will also be a number of 750ml bottled products for sale (at the Barrel House only) beginning Dec. 6 at Noon, including, but not limited to, Apricot 2012 & 2013; Bourbonic Plague 2011; Cerise Noveau 2013; Elderberry 2013; Figaro 2012 & 2013; Foudre #1 2013; Kriek 2008, 2012, 2013, & 2014; Manhattan 2013; Noyaux 2013; Sang Noir 2012; Sang Royal 2012; Strawberry 2013 & 2014; Tangerine Dream 2011; The Vine 2012 & 2013; and Vlad the Imp Aler 2011.

Both locations will also pour Cascade's classic winter seasonal, the non-sour Defroster.

About Cascade Brewing
Founded in 1998, Cascade Brewing is best known for pioneering the sour beer renaissance. Its distinctive sour beer blends feature fruit forward, barrel-aged ales that offer a complex array of flavors derived from Northwest grown ingredients, with each release capturing the unique subtleties of that year’s growing season. Its beers are brewed at the original brewery in Southwest Portland, then blended and aged at the nearby Blending House, which holds more than 1,500 oaks barrels and nine foudre tanks. For more information, visit CascadeBrewing.com or call 503-265-8603. Follow @CascadeBrewing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Zupan's Markets and Coalition Brewing Release Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout


Zupan's and Coalition just announced the 4th release of Zupan's private label Farm-to-Market beer. This year's installment, Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, began life as Farm to Market Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout (released last November) and spent the last year slumbering in Bull Run Distilling Temperance whiskey barrels. 20 pounds of Woodblock Chocolate from Tanzania were thrown in for good measure. 

This is a very limited releaseonly 250 bottles (750 ml) priced at $19.99 are available. If you're interested, head down to one of Zupan's four locations and pick up a bottle or two. I expect this would pair nicely with decadent Thanksgiving desserts! 

For more details, check out the news release below.


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Zupan’s Markets and Coalition Brewing Introduce Fourth Farm-To-Market Beer
Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout available on shelves now

PORTLAND, Ore (Nov. 14, 2016) – Zupan’s Markets has partnered once again with Coalition Brewing Co. to release the fourth Farm-to-Market beer in its private label line. This special edition stout was created by aging our Farm to Market Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout (released in November 2015) in Bull Run Distilling Co. Temperance whiskey barrels for a year. The result of aging has produced a silky midnight black stout with balanced notes of whiskey and vanilla supported by chocolate and Chilean coffee.


“Zupan’s Markets was excited to experiment with our first barrel-aged beer and add a product to this fast growing category” said Zupan’s Markets’ President and CEO Mike Zupan. "The flavor profiles of our original coffee chocolate stout together with local whiskey barrels was a natural match."

This special edition Imperial Stout is available now at all four Zupan’s Markets locations in 750 ml bottles for $19.99 With only 250 bottles produced, it will be on shelves only for a limited time. Perfect to drink now and save a bottle to lay down to continue to age.


Profile:  
  • ABV: 9.5%
  • Malts: Flaked oats, Black barley, Chilean caramel, Chocolate
  • Hops: Nugget, Willamette
  • Other Ingredients*: Caffé Umbria Gusto Crema (15lbs), Woodblock Chocolate 70% cacao from Tanzania (20 lbs)

About Coalition Brewing Co.
Coalition Brewing is a 10-barrel brewery and tasting room in Southeast Portland. Born out of a
serendipitous chance encounter between owners Kiley Hoyt and Elan Walsky, both began as home
brewers and received formal brewing education through the Siebel Institute in Chicago. Coalition
Brewing’s handcrafted ales reflect traditional brewing techniques and Northwest innovation. They
strive to provide patrons with balanced, unique, and highly drinkable beers. For more information,


About Zupan’s Markets
Founded by John Zupan in 1975, Zupan’s Markets is a local and family-owned gourmet market that has served Portland’s food-loving community for more than 40 years. Zupan’s Markets has four locations that focus on quality, selling everything from the best meats and wines to the freshest produce, baked goods, gourmet deli products, specialty foods, flowers and more, always emphasizing locally-sourced, artisan products when possible. For more information, visit www.zupans.com.


Pyramid Brewing's 30th Anniversary Snow Cap Collection


It may not officially be winter yet, but winter seasonal beers are here! Pyramid Brewing is celebrating the season with Snow Cap, its long-time winter brew. But this year, for its 30th Anniversary, the brewery is releasing two additional variations of Snow Cap. Super Snow Cap is an Imperial version that is being released in 22 oz bottles for the first time. Bourbon-Barrel Aged Snow Cap is a blend of Snow Cap and Super Snow Cap that was aged in bourbon barrels for 10 months.

Both Super Snow Cap and Bourbon Barrel Aged Snow Cap are being released in limited quantities. So if you see them, act fast! For more details, check out Pyramid's news release below.


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Pyramid Reveals 30th Anniversary Collection of Snow Cap Winter Warmer Ales

SEATTLE – Pyramid Breweries announced the launch of not two, but three special releases in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Snow Cap. Snow Cap, Super Snow Cap and the limited release, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Snow Cap, make up Pyramid’s Snow Cap family of brews to celebrate this meaningful milestone three decades in the making. 

The anchor of the seasonal trio, Snow Cap, is Pyramid’s full-bodied winter warmer and is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Deep mahogany in color and crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the ideal combination of warmth and refreshment. 

“Snow Cap is kettle-hopped with the three Pacific Northwest varieties Nugget, Willamette, and East Kent Goldings,” said Head Brewer Ryan Pappe. “Beer enthusiasts will love the delicate taste of malt notes infused into the brew with a blend of pale, caramel and chocolate malts.”

Pyramid’s Brewer’s Reserve, Super Snow Cap, incorporates the much-loved roasted dark chocolate and caramel malts of Snow Cap with generous hops to produce a rich, bold cold weather brew. With its gorgeous color, this ale is full of malt sweetness and robust flavors and aromas that create notes of dark fruits, nuts and spice with a sweet finish. Previously, this winter legend was available only on draft, but is now being released in a limited number of 22-ounce bombers.

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Snow Cap will intrigue beer and bourbon lovers alike with its thoughtfully curated blend of Super Snow Cap and last year’s Snow Cap aged for 10 months in bourbon barrels. The result is a lush, warming and flavorful holiday brew to be sold in 22-ounce bottles with premium packaging perfect for gift giving.

“Over the last 30 years Snow Cap has become an annual tradition in the Pacific Northwest as the perfect cold weather companion,” said General Manager Robert Rentsch. “I am proud of our legacy and incredibly excited to share this 30th anniversary collection. This is a festive time of year that deserves a distinctive family of brews like Snow Cap to accompany the merriment.”

For more up-to-date news and events, follow Pyramid Breweries on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @pyramidbrew.

About Pyramid Brewing Co.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Pyramid Breweries began as Hart Brewing in 1984 with the flagship brand of Pyramid Ales. In 1996, the company was reborn as Pyramid Breweries and currently offers craft beers produced under the Pyramid family of ales and lagers. With breweries and Alehouses in Seattle and Portland, Ore., Pyramid has earned 17 medals at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), including the honor of Mid-size Brewery of the Year in 2008. The brewery also has been awarded seven medals in international competition at the World Beer Cup. For more information visit, www.pyramidbrew.com.

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Founders Brewing Heads Northwest in 2017


Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders Brewing Co. just announced they will begin distributing in the Great Northwest in 2017. Founders was our nation's 20th largest brewer, based on volume, in the 2015. I've had a handful of Founders beers during my travels to the Midwest, and have enjoyed all of them. I even profiled Founders Breakfast Stout a few years ago.

For more details, check out the brewery's news release below. Welcome to the Northwest, Founders!


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Founders Brewing Heads Northwest

We are humbled and honored to announce that we will be bringing our beer to a long-admired craft beer mecca, the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho! It was westward that our Co-Founders traveled in their discovery of craft beer some 25 years ago and we’ve long anticipated the day that our beers would be available in this region.

With the help of the Great Artisan Beverage (GAB) network of wholesalers, residents of these fine states can expect to see our year-round, seasonal and specialty beers in bottles, cans (as applicable) and kegs beginning in January with our Washington launch. Select limited release beers may also be available at craft retailers following the launch. Idaho and Oregon will be right behind Washington with beer hitting shelves in February.

With a launch this epic you can be sure that we will be hosting some awesome events. Washingtonians can expect launch events in the Seattle area January 10-12. Stay tuned to our events page for more information regarding launch events in Oregon and Idaho.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information.

To see all the states where we are available and to find beer in your area, check out our beer finder. Note that new markets may take up to 60 days to show up on the beer finder.

PacWest, we will see you soon!


21st Annual Holiday Ale Festival: Nov 30 - Dec 4


The 21st installment of Portland's Holiday Ale Festival returns to Pioneer Courthouse Square November 30 - December 4. It looks like another great event is in store! At the end of this post is a list of interesting facts, provided by event organizers, to whet your appetite.

Ticket packages start at $35 per person ($100 for VIP). Check the festival website for details. The taplist, complete with beer descriptions can be viewed and downloaded here. Limited release offerings will be announced as the festival nears.

Check out my Beer Festival schedule page to learn more about other great events!


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Facts about the 21st Annual Holiday Ale Festival

21st year of the festival; it was founded in 1995 as the Winter Ale Festival, ran for two years, then took a hiatus in 1997. It returned as the Holiday Ale Festival in 1998 and has run consecutively ever since.

53 craft beers and ciders are poured in the main festival.

Up to 16+ limited special tapping beers will be available Wednesday through Saturday, typically tapped at two different times per day at the three main bars. These tappings will be promoted via the website and social media.

There will be an additional number of limited specialty beers offered at Meet the Brewer events on Wednesday through Friday at the upstairs Brewer’s Lounge. These events will also be promoted via the website and social media.

The festival has a user-friendly real time mobile website that provides up-to-second updates on beer tappings and locations. Just go to holidayale.com on your phone and choose mobile version (the website will auto-detect a mobile browser).

There are nearly as many beer styles represented as there are breweries.

The lowest alcohol products is 54° 40' Brewing Co.’s de Prune Oud Bruin at 5.2% ABV.

The highest alcohol product is Falling Sky’s Satyr Sauce Smoked Barleywine at 12.5% ABV. 

These are big beers & ciders, with 35 coming in at 8% ABV or higher.

More than 650 beer lovers volunteer at the festival.

More than 14,000 attendees annually visit from all over the country.

All beer and cider will be served in Govino tasting glasses made from a flexible BPA-free polymer that properly showcases the beverages; these glasses are shatterproof, recyclable and reusable.

There are two on-site food vendors, including Urban German Grill and another TBD. There are also fresh roasted nuts and self-guided cheese pairings available.

$20,000 was donated to the Children’s Cancer Association in 2016. The festival matches, then quadruples, the proceeds from all designated driver tickets, the soda garden, the bag and coat check and raffle sales. Those proceeds are donated to the Children's Cancer Association’s MyMusicRx program, which delivers the healing power of music to children battling cancer and their families.

The Oregon Lottery will offer its iClick Photo Booth, which provides instant festival memories with free hard copy photos

Pyramid Ditto Session IPA + $100 Pyramid Taproom Gift Card Giveaway!


Pyramid Brewing Co. recently announced the launch of Ditto Session IPA. To celebrate the release, the brewery sent me a $100 gift card to the Pyramid / Portland Brewing Taproom to give away free to one of my lucky readers!  But before I talk about the giveaway, I’ll give you a few details about Ditto Session IPA, based on a sample the brewery sent me.

“Ditto is dry-hopped with two Pacific Northwest hop varieties, Amarillo and Calypso, and includes three kettle hops, Nugget, Delta and Chinook,” said Head Brewer Ryan Pappe. “Beer aficionados will taste delicate malt notes infused into the brew with a blend of pale, caramel and wheat malts.”

Ditto weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 45 IBUs and showcases tropical fruit and citrus hop flavors. It joins Outbust and Thunderhead as Pyramid's IPA offerings and can be found throughout Washington and Oregon. It's available on draft and in 12 oz. six-packs, 22 oz. bottles, and the Pyramid IPA Collection Variety Pack

Ok, now for the contest. It’s really simple! I’ll conduct a drawing (using a random number generator). To enter the drawing, follow Pyramid on Instagram (@pyramidbrew). Then provide your name, Instagram address, and the name of your favorite Pyramid beer in the comments section of this post.  All entries must be posted by 12 pm (Pacific time) on Sunday, November 13. I’ll check to verify that the winner follows Pyramid on Instagram. There’s a limit of one entry per person. Good luck!

Thanks to Pyramid for sponsoring the giveaway for my readers!




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BridgePort Brewing Releases Siren's Sound Imperial Russian Stout

  
I love Imperial Stouts. Good ones are rich, full of layered flavors, and great for warming up on a cold winter day! BridgePort Brewing Co. just announced the release of Siren's Sound, a new Imperial Russian Stout that will be available on draft and in 22 oz. bottles during November. Check out the press release below for all the details about the latest in BridgePort's Big Brews series.


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Photo courtesy of BridgePort Brewing Co.


BRIDGEPORT BREWING RELEASES NEW BIG BREW, SIREN’S SOUND
An Imperial Russian Stout to Kick Off the Season
  
PORTLAND, Ore. – November 1, 2016 – BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s original craft brewery today announced the release of Siren’s Sound, an Imperial Russian Stout, available in bottles and on-draft in November. With leaves changing and rain falling, this big stout is the perfect dark beer to ring in this season in the Pacific Northwest.

Siren’s Sound was brewed to be a little devious, just like the Sirens of lore. BridgePort’s brewers used a monstrous amount of De-bittered Black Malt, Midnight Wheat, and roasted barley to create a beer with a huge flavor profile and a sneaky 9.0% ABV and 75 IBU. Bringing balance to the brew, brewers used Sterling Hops in the kettle and finished off the beer with a dry hop dose of Mt. Hood’s for a special twist on this Imperial Russian Stout.

“For our big brews, we really enjoy making balanced beers with big, complex flavor profiles,” states Jeff Edgerton, Brewmaster of BridgePort Brewing Company. “Our brewers outdid themselves with this one – it’s definitely one of my favorites. I highly recommend grabbing a couple bottles of Siren’s Sound for a family gathering where you can sit around and really enjoy the beer and the company.”

In addition to the new Siren’s Sound, BridgePort’s distinctive holiday brew, Ebenezer Ale, is back for the 17th year. Derived from four different roasted malts and a blend of local and imported hops, Ebenezer is a strong ale complemented by a smooth complex palate. Pour Ebenezer in your glass and you’ll experience a full-bodied, deep mahogany colored brew with a malty first taste that finishes with delicious caramel notes.

Siren’s Sound and Ebenezer Ale is available in limited quantities on-draft and in 22oz. bombers at BridgePort BrewPub (1313 NW Marshall St., Portland, Ore.) and where BridgePort is sold in the Pacific Northwest.




10 Beers for Fall


Happy Halloween! Fall is a great time of year—for beer drinkers, it keeps getting better. In the recent past, the fall beer season was relegated to a very short window. With more breweries releasing fresh hop beers, the autumn beer season seemed to start a few weeks early this year. That's fine by me!

Here's a roundup of some fall beers I've enjoyed during the past month or so. This is by no means a "best of fall" beer list, but it demonstrates the diversity of beers made for autumnOktoberfests, fresh hops ales, pumpkin brews, among others. Let's get started!


Oktoberfest, Sierra Nevada Brewing:  This year, the brewery partnered with Mahrs Bräu from
Bamberg, Germany for a different take on the Oktoberfest style. It uses the rare Record German hop varietal. Very crisp with toasted malt and spicy hops. It had a pleasant mild sweetness in the finish. Served in a Spieglau Classic Tulip glass.












 


Tuberfest, Lagunitas Brewing:  Many potatoes were harmed during the making of this beer! Yes, spuds were used! It has a gorgeous amber color with lots of sticky lacing. Loads of piny and spicy hop flavors are layered on top of a hefty carmelized malt backbone. It's 7.5% in ABV, but tasted even boozier than its ABV rating, which was a turn-off for me. Served in a Birrateque IPA glass.




8 Pound Pale, Full Sail Brewing:  This is Full Sail's first release of a fresh hop ale in the 12 oz. bottle format.  The brewery packed 8 pounds of fresh (or wet) Magnum hops into each barrel. Grapefruit, pine, and juicy orange ooze from the aroma! I hope Full Sail brings this back next year and showcases a different hop varietal!*  Served in a Spieglau IPA glass.




Hop Harvest Red IPA, BridgePort Brewing:   250 pounds of Amarillo hops were added to the fermenter just hours after they were harvested only 30 miles away at Crosby Hop Farm. Pine and grapefruit hop aromas and flavors meld with a caramel malt backbone and contribute to a resiny mouthfeel.*  Served in a Spieglau IPA glass.




Field To Ferment Fresh Hop Pale Ale, Freemont Brewing :  By the luck of the draw, I tasted batch 40 which was made with Simcoe. Different batches were made that showcased either Centennial, Citra, Mosaic, or Simcoe. Juicy citrus and pine exploded in aroma! The bright aroma in this beer was heads and shoulders above the other fresh hop ales I tastedand my favorite of the three! Next year, I'll try to track down all four of the hop varieties. Served in a Birrateque IPA glass.




Black O' Lantern, Wasatch Brewing:  Subtle pumpkin spice in an easy drinking light-bodied stout. I personally think pumpkin spice works better in darker beers. But that's just me. Served in a Spieglau Stout glass.




Funky Pumpkin, Boulevard Brewing:  Pumpkin doesn't have much flavor, and I can't taste it here. But the pumpkin spice blend comes through and pairs beautifully with the tartness which is the result of kettle souring. Probably the most pleasant surprise of the bunch! Served in a Birrateque Tester glass.




Chai High, Avery Brewing:  A brown ale with chai spice is a combination that works well. Working with spice in beer is challenging, a bit too much and it becomes overwhelming. It is in the case of this beer. I also think a bit of sweetness in the finish would have been a nice touch and could have helped to offset the spice. Served in a Spieglau Classic Tulip glass.




Best Brown Ale, Bell's Brewery:  This is a straight-up version of the style, with no special ingredients. It has notes of coffee, roast, and chocolate. Simple and delicious. Brown Ales are underrated! Served in a Birrateque Cider glass. Yeah, I know it's not a cider, but it's a cool glass!




Black Widow Porter, McMenamins Brewing:  First brewed 25 years ago, this is one of my fall favorites! Full of espresso, chocolate, licorice, and a touch of roast. The porter style is a the perfect canvas for these flavors.*  Served in a Birrateque Stout glass.



So as you can see, there are no tricks herejust treats! While fall will be with us for a few more weeks, winter beers are starting to descend on store shelves. So be sure to find and enjoy a few more fall beers before the seasons change! 


* Sample provided by brewery.


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