Archive | Beer

What’s a beer lover want most?

Samuel Adams UtopiasBeer, of course. There was a time that “Real Beer for the Holidays” included a somewhat comprehensive list of holiday beers. That’s become impossible to compile. But beer remains at the top of any beer lover’s wish list, whether it is seasonal or otherwise special.

Pictured here is Samuel Adams Utopias, which has a suggested retail price of $199 when you are lucky enough to find it.

You don’t need to spend quite as much to find a special beer. You also shouldn’t be intimidated by a beer aisle that has begun to look as scary — so many labels, so many varieties, such a range of prices — as the wine aisle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If somebody who works at the store isn’t available there’s every chance that another of the customers will be something of a beer expert. Turns out there are times beer geeks can be of use.

You might even find a beer to take home for yourself.

0

Saying thanks for Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas Ale PosterNot long ago beer drinkers had to wait until the Monday before Thanksgiving to get their hands on the most recent Anchor Christmas Ale. And for more than a dozen years after Anchor first brewed the beer in 1975 it might have been the only American-made Christmas beer they could find. Brewing a special beer for the holidays is still another tradition the San Francisco brewery revived.

Times have changed. Holiday beers have been on the shelves since September. There are hundreds of festive choices.

But there’s still something special about opening a bottle of Anchor Christmas Ale on Thanksgiving, or maybe a different vintage or three. There’s a reason we’ve spread Anchor bottles across the top of the page.

Anchor produces a different label every year with a different tree, explaining “the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.”

The brewery also sells a poster with all 39 labels on it, available at its online store.

0

Lakefront hosts Black Friday party

For the third straight year, Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee will celebrate the start of the holiday shopping season with a Black Friday party that includes the release of its Black Friday Imperial India-Style Black Ale. The beer will be available only on Friday, and only part of the day if last year is any indicator. The beer sold out in 90 minutes in 2012.

The brewery doors open at 8 a.m. and the event features brewery breakfast food (and “beermosas”) from Karma Bar & Grill; a live deejay from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; brewery tours starting at 11 a.m.; and a live band, the Brewhouse Polka Kings, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Lakefront first brewed the Black Ale for last year’s party. Sales will be limited to three 22-ounce bottles per person, while supplies last. Because last year’s supply of Black Friday went so fast, the brewery has more than quadrupled the number of bottles it will make this year from 1,200 to 5,000. The brewery is also adding a “bottle swap” component for the 2013 event – encouraging participants to bring and trade bottles of rare or unusual beers.

“Black Friday is all about one-day-only, limited supply deals, so we wanted to offer our customers an exclusive beer worth getting up early for,” said Lakefront’s director of business development, Chris Johnson.

The first 1,000 people to buy the beer will get a limited Black Friday pint glass. Full details about the event can be found on the brewery’s Black Friday website, blackfridaybeer.com. Patrons can also buy advanced brewery tour tickets online via the website if they want a guaranteed spot on a specific tour.

0

Give a beer your can’t buy at Seven-11

Last year The Rare Beer Club impressed Fast Company magazine so much they featured the club in their December/January issue, stating: “Offering beer as a token of holiday goodwill can be tricky. It’s gauche to put a six-pack under the tree, and nothing says ‘I forgot’ like a brown bag with a ribbon around its neck.” This year Esquire Magazine sings the The Rare Beer Club’s praises in their December issue.

How does it work? Each month, members receive two different 750 ml selections, many of which are corked and caged, and Gift Memberships available from 2-12 months to fit any budget. And the club is offering Real Beer readers $10 off an order of any term. It really is a gift that just keeps on giving.

0

Samuel Adams Utopias

Samuel Adams UtopiasThe tenth anniversary batch of Samuel Adams Utopias might be the sort of “bottle” of beer you wouldn’t buy for yourself — not at $190 (when you can find it) — but it makes a pretty good gift. One you might want to give with two glasses, if you’ve figured out where this is going.

A Boston Beer Co. press release only begins to hint at how complex this beer is: “The 2012 Samuel Adams Utopias brew weighs in a bit above 29 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and was aged in hand-selected, single-use bourbon casks from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery to enhance the beer’s distinct vanilla and maple notes. The 10th Anniversary batch also spent time in a variety of finishing casks: Tawny Port casks and Vintage Ruby Port casks from Portugal, which contribute slightly more elegant, dark fruit aromas, and Rum barrels from Nicaragua, which add flavors of fig, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, and a slight spice.”

The brewers make fewer than 15,000. bottles of this limited-edition beer due to the long aging required. Samuel Adams Utopias is bottled in a specially designed 10th Anniversary black decanter. Shaped like a brew kettle, the exterior is etched with roots.

“This release of Samuel Adams Utopias is proof – 58 proof to be exact – that extreme beers have earned a permanent and respected place in the beer universe, a world now constantly evolving with new craft brewers and excited craft beer drinkers,” company founder Jim Koch said for the press release.

0