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SBonner

Seasonal Beers

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Less than a week into October and Steams Works Brewpub is pumping out alot of it's pumpkin ale. Alot better this year! less sweet and great balance of spice, fruit, and malts.

Anyone else tried anyother seasonal beers?

Cheers,

Stephen


"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

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Doesn't seasonal just mean switching from lagers and pilsners to ales and stouts?

I don't know if it's technically "seasonal", but I did try the Granville Island hefeweisen this summer (from a communal pitcher), and I was quite pleasantly surprised. With lemon, it is a very refreshing beer. Not something that I would reach for in the winter though.

One of my favourite beers of all time is the now defunct* Red Hook double black stout ("double black" because it was brewed with Starbucks grounds, back in the day when Starbucks had only started to make serious inroads in the PNW). Rich with coffee / chocolate kinds of flavours. I have not found a good winter stout to replace this yet, so if there is one locally, I would love to know.

*Note: the stout is gone, but Red Hook is still going strong in Seattle (and has even expanded to the east coast).

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Doesn't seasonal just mean switching from lagers and pilsners to ales and stouts?

Well, a pilsner is a type of lager and a stout is a type of ale, but you do have a point. When I think of seasonals, this is roughly how I think of them:

Winter - Double stouts and winter warmers

Spring - Bocks

Summer - Hefeweizens, witbiers and wheat beers

Fall - Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales

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Summer

- Hefeweizen with lemon

- Lager + Lemonade (when it's too hot to have a beer but too hot NOT to have a beer)

- Strongbow

Winter

- Guiness

- stouts

- Pale Ale

My roomate brewed beer and he made a wicked "mint" beer one season. Really good with a hint of mint (he used mint tea!!). Then he made a christmas beer featuring nutmeg. Oh my. Way too much nutmeg. Drunk AND hallucinogenic and extra special bitter (yuck!).


"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Creemore re-releases their seasonal UrBock in the next little while.

It may be available in bottles already actually but I'm holdng out for the draught version that's available at a pub nearby and goes so quickly that it's always fresh.

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Living on the Border with Mexico - you can get during the christmas season Noche Buena. Brewed by Carta Blanca, an excellent dark with a good creamy head. I'll have to see if I can pick up a case this year.

Ah, the advantages of the Border, cheap booz and good beer.


The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Typically, seasonal beers are beers brewed for the season. Winter beers, summer beers, Octoberfests and the like. Generally it has nothing to do with ale vs lager. Ales are fermented at warmer temps than lagers and thus have some aromas and flavors that you won't get with the cooler fermented, crisp and clean lagers. If you want the whys I can go into details, but I'll spare you the techie stuff for now. :)

I have tried a number of seasonal beers, mostly due to having to rate them and such. Rough job :) They tend to change annually. I can say I am not a fan of pumpkin beers at all - don't like pumpkin anything. I will try them, but tend to give the same reaction each time. The Holiday/Christmas/Winter beers typically (there are exceptions) are somewhat darker, heavier, chewier (more caramel malts), higher octane (alcohol), low hopped, spiced brews - sometimes called winter warmers. They can range from spruce tip beers to whatever is in the spice cabinet - although nutmeg, clove, and similar holiday spices are the majority of what's there. I am sure each region has its own offerings, being in CA I get the PNW type things.

Another idea for holiday brews is a nice warmed, mead with mulling spices... quite tasty indeed.

Cheers!

Chris


Brew-Monkey.com - Your source for brew news, events, reviews, and all things beer.

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