Today’s “Holiday Beer of the Day” comes from Mt. Hood, Oregon, just north of Portland in a beautiful part of the state. One of the earliest Christmas beers, Full Sail’s Wassail Ale has been around now for twenty years.
A few unmistakable signs tell us when winter has arrived in Hood River. The waterfalls in the Gorge start kicking out the jams. The snow report for the backcountry regains its hold over us. And the Wassail starts flowing once again. And that means friends and family will surely be close behind.
“Historically, brewers craft small batches of darker beers, generously adding extra hops and malts to make exceptionally robust tasty ales to celebrate the season and as a way of sharing the bounty of the season with their customers. We carry on this tradition with Wassail. Choosing our ingredients for Wassail is like taking time to choose the perfect gift. Each year we carefully select the best hops and malts to brew this special beer. This year’s Wassail is brewed with a range of caramel malts and dark chocolate malts giving it a deep mahogany color and a full malty body. We used a blend of European noble hops and Pacific Northwest aroma hops for a pleasantly hoppy finish creating a deliciously balanced beer that appeals to both hop and malt lovers alike. In other words, a Christmas miracle! It’s our gift from the brewery to our loyal beer patrons – it’s our way of giving thanks. We have brewed Wassail every holiday season since 1988 and it’s now as much a part of the festivities as sharing a roaring fire with our closest family and friends,” recalled Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s Executive Brewmaster.
The packaging features a vintage postcard of the scenic Hood River Valley dusted with snow. In the spirit of tradition, a snow-covered douglas-fir tree looms in the foreground and Mt. Hood rises majestically in the background. Wassail makes the ideal gift for the beer enthusiasts in your life, and is the perfect accompaniment to the desserts and flavorful dishes that the holidays bring. Look for Wassail six packs at your favorite store, or on draught at your local restaurant or pub. Wassail will be widely available October through December.
Wassail was recently awarded another gold medal, and was rated “Exceptional” at the 2008 World Beer Championships (WBC). Wassail previously won a platinum medal and a “superlative” rating at the 2005 WBC, a gold medal at the 2007, 2006 and 2004 WBC, and three silver medals in 1999, 2000 and 2001.