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Friday, November 4, 2011

New Beer Friday - November 4 Edition

One mean looking beer
This week's NBF includes over 20 new (and returning) beers, and it's a safe bet that many of the people who produced them began their careers as homebrewers. Who knows, maybe some even got their start at one of the annual events put on by the American Homebrewers Association.

It just so happens that Saturday, November 5, is this year's AHA "Learn to Homebrew Day", a nationwide event where seasoned homebrewers share their know-how with the lesser experienced. Interested Grand Rapidians can learn from the Primetime Brewers, one of the best and most knowledgable clubs around. (Follow this link for details.) Or, check out the AHA website for learn-to-brew gatherings near you.

Strange to think that sometime this Saturday, the next great industry-changing brewer might be pitching his first vial of yeast. Let us know if the beer world feels different when you wake up on Sunday morning. Until then, we bring you...

New (and Returning) Beers

  • Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, $1.89/12oz Can, $2.19/12oz Bottle - "Deep amber in color, with an inviting aroma of spice and nutmeg, it was made for the turkeys, cranberries, hams, and yams of the holidays.Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale evokes a crackling fire, drifting snow, and smells of home. A hint of spice and hop bite to balance out the creamy and smooth mouthfeel, and medium sweetness" (source).
  • Bell's Christmas Ale, $1.89/12oz - "In contrast to many other [holiday] seasonals, Christmas Ale doesn't contain any spices: all of the dry, toasted notes & subtle toffee flavors come from the 100% Michigan-grown barley, custom malted by Briess Malting, while a blend of hops from Michigan & the Pacific Northwest lend earthy, herbal aromas. At 5.5% ABV, it stands as a smooth, highly drinkable beer intended to complement holiday menus, not overshadow them" (source).
  • Bell's Winter White Ale, $1.69/12oz - "Fermented with a Belgian ale yeast, this blend of barley & wheat malts yields a mixture of clove and fruity aromas, all without the use of any spices. Deliberately brewed to retain a cloudy appearance, Bell's Winter White Ale is a beer for embracing winter" (source).
  • Bell's Hell Hath No Fury...Ale, $2.69/12oz - "Blending a pair of Belgian abbey-style yeasts into a recipe more akin to a roasty stout, Hell Hath No Fury... Ale offers up warm, roasted notes of coffee & dark chocolate together with the fruity & clove-like aromas" (source).
  • Goose Island Mild Winter, $1.59/12oz - "Toffee brown, medium-bodied, with a creamy head and an aroma of raisins and freshly baked dark bread. Mild Winter’s rich caramel malt and spicy rye flavors are sure to take the bite out of whatever Old Man Winter brews up for you this year" (source).
  • Goose Island Christmas Ale, 2.99/12oz - "Each year [Goose Island] changes the recipe slightly so that you have something special to look forward to. Traditionally, this Christmas Ale is a complex brown ale that develops well in the bottle for up to five years" (source).
  • Stone Double Bastard, $7.89/22oz - "It is unequivocally certain that your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory" (source).
  • Tommy Knocker Cocoa Porter Winter Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Cocoa Porter Winter Warmer Ale has been specially brewed in celebration of the old world tradition of Porters and European Winter Warmers. The addition of pure cocoa powder and honey to each barrel of this unique ale enhances a winter season filled with warm friendships and good times" (source).
  • Rogue Santa's Private Reserve, $2.59/12oz - "A double-hopped Red [Ale], reddish in color, with a roasty, malty flavor and a hoppy spruce finish" (source).
  • Great Lakes Christmas Ale, $2.39/12oz - "Brewed with honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon" (source).
  • Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic, $1.59/12oz - "Tart and sweet, with complex fruit, maple, and vanilla notes" (source).
  • Sam Adams Griffon's Bow Oaked Blond Barley Wine, $7.19/22oz - "This beer is surprisingly smooth with an ABV of 11.5%. The name goes back to medieval England when barleywines were made and the griffin was a symbolic protector of treasures" (source).
  • Sam Adams Tasman Red Red IPA, $5.09/12oz - "Brewed with Topaz and Galaxy hops grown near the Tasmanian Sea" (source).
  • Sam Adams Third Voyage Double IPA, $6.19/12oz - "The beer is brewed with Cascade hops from England, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest. It is named for the third voyage of Captain James Cook, which visited those locations" (source).
  • Sam Adams The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock, $6.19/22oz - "A chocolate chili bock [that] mixes the aroma and flavors of dark cocoa, cinnamon, and chilies" (source).
  • Arcadia Nut Brown Ale, $1.79/12oz - "An easy drinking medium-bodied English-style brown ale...with a deep mahogany color and rich flavor" (source).
  • Rodenbach Belgian Ale, $8.99/750ml, $2.69/330ml - According to Beer Hunter Michael Jackson, "the world-classic beers of the Rodenbach brewery, and several similar products from competitors, mainly in West Flanders, are a distinct style without a name. They are more sharply acidic, leaner, more reddish, half-brothers to the Brown Beers of East Flanders, with the additional difference that they are often filtered and pasteurized. Their sharpness makes them perhaps the most quenching beers in the world, and their acidity renders them very food-friendly. The sharp acidity, and some of the colour, derives from aging in large, fixed, wooden tuns... The brewery's Rodenbach Grand Cru is aged for between 18 months and two years or more. The regular Rodenbach Bier is a blend containing some younger beer" (source).
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru, 8.99/750ml - See above.
  • Boon Kriek, $6.99/375ml - "A spontaneously fermented beer, made ​​from old and young lambic of Lembeek, matured in oak barrels. Our quality is guaranteed by the use of cherries 240 grams per liter of beer" (source).
  • Boon Framboise, $6.99/375ml - "A spontaneously fermented beer, made ​​from old and young lambic of Lembeek, matured in oak barrels. Our quality is guaranteed by the use of 250 grams per liter of raspberry beer" (source).
  • Boon Geuze, $6.99/375ml - 100% soft lambic. By spontaneous fermentation and maturation of two years in oak barrels, the beer is a very special champagne taste" (source).
  • Ace Pumpkin Cider, $2.19/12oz - Credit for this description: "Smooth full-bodied cider with an all spice pumpkin aroma, and an orangey hue."
  • Samuel Smith Winter Welcome, $4.59/550ml - "This seasonal beer is a limited edition brewed for the short days and long nights of winter. The full body resulting from fermentation in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’ and the luxurious malt character, which will appeal to a broad range of drinkers, is balanced against whole-dried Fuggle and Golding hops with nuances and complexities that should be contemplated before an open fire" (source).
  • B. Nektar Imperial Funky Monky, $13.89/500ml - A "Belgian-inspired hopped cherry melomel; honey wine with cherry juice and hops added" (source).
Picture of the Week

We're about 6 months away from the Homebrew Competition.
Time to start planning your entry?


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