Archive | Beer

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.

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.

Holiday beer serving tips

Saint Arnold Brewing founder Brock Wagner offers tips for serving beer during the holidays:

Buy fresh. Be sure to buy beers made by American craft brewers. This will ensure that you are getting fresh, flavorful beer produced with pride right here in the USA.

Use pitchers. Present the beer in a way that encourages sharing. A perfect way to do this is to pour bottles into a glass or clear plastic pitcher that can be passed around the table. Just don’t put out too much beer at one time: one to one-and-a-half beers per person should be enough beer on the table at the beginning of the meal.

Options Are Nice. Just as some like dark meat and some like white meat, you’ll find that some of your dinner companions may prefer one style while the others go for something different. Offering two different choices can help to keep everyone happy.

Glassware. While pint glasses are perfect for the pub, brewers have long used stemware for special beers. A thistle glass or “old-fashioned” glass is great if you have it, but wine glasses work well too. Otherwise, small glass tumblers that hold six to eight ounces have a pleasant feel to them and still help to mark the meal as a special occasion.

Courtesy of a Saint Arnold press release.

Samuel Adams chocolate box made for beer drinkers

Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Chocolate BoxBoston Beer Company has teamed up with San Francisco-based chocolate maker TCHO to create a Samuel Adams Beer Lover’s Chocolate Box, which includes two each of six chocolates designed to pair with the six different beers in the Samuel Adams Winters Classics Variety Pack. “The idea of pairing beer and food has been around for centuries, but many people are just starting to explore the idea and have fun with it while learning what works. From a juicy burger to a rich cheese or dessert, there’s a beer to create that perfect pairing – it’s all about letting the flavor of one enhance the other,” Jennifer Glanville, brewery manager at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, said for a press release.

This package comes with notes about each chocolate and suggestions for pairing with the beers in the variety pack. Those include Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Holiday Porter, Old Fezziwig, Chocolate Bock, a White Christmas. The last beer, an unfiltered white ale brewed with cinnamon and nutmeg spices and orange peel, is a new addition. The chocolate box can be ordered online or purchased in Samuel Adams Boston Brewery gift shop.

Joe Sixpack’s annual beer run

Christmas BeerDon Russell, author of Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews and sometimes known as Joe Sixpack, writes today about his annual Xmas beer run.

He didn’t fly to Norway this year, but per usual he also didn’t settle for shopping in one store. He begins, “This year, I kept closer to home, but the beer run was no less fulfilling. It took me to Whole Foods’ Cold Point Pub at Plymouth Meeting’s madhouse mall, where the bottle shop is just brimming with holiday bottles. Those silly Pennsylvania liquor laws that limit takeout purchases to 192 ounces had me hauling the first load of bottles (Corsendonk Christmas Ale, Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux) to the parking garage before hiking back for a fine-looking magnum of Mikkeller Red/White Christmas.”

Then he moves on, acquiring, among other things, Evil Twin Christmas Eve at a New York City Hotel Room (Denmark). “Sounds more like an O Henry short story than an imperial stout.”