Avery Old Jubilation

Old Jubilation Ale, from Avery Brewing in Boulder, Colorado, is one of two holiday seasonals that they brew. This one is a strong ale with a gorgeous mahogany hue, a hint of hazelnuts, and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. No spices, just a perfect blend of five specialty malts. And best of all, it’s cellarable for 2 years.

Avery Old Jubilation

Beer Style: English Strong Ale
Hop Variety: Bullion
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, special roast, black, chocolate, victory
OG: 1.074
Alcohol By Volume: 8.0%
IBU’s: 30
Color: Mahogany

Beer Crate Tree

The students of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, embark on impressive feats of engineering involving everyday objects, and a favorite material is beer cartoons or crates. They made a bridge out of them and in 2004 built a 40-foot high Christmas Tree entirely of 15,000 beer crates.

Delft Tree

Unfortunately that press release is only in Dutch, but there is a summary in English:

Just before Christmas, Civil Engineering students built a Christmas tree of beer crates on the market square in Delft. The construction was about 14 metres high and consisted of almost 15000 beer crates. That was slightly less than planned, because during the build, it became apparent that the building surface was not flat, therefore the design had to be adapted.

Delft Tree

The students in front of their festive creation, which was fifty levels high.

Vintage Western Hop Shirt

A terrific gift can also be found at Great Divide’s Hop Shop, where they have all sorts of logo wear from the Great Divide brewery. But the pièce de résistance is undoubtedly their Vintage Western-style Hop Shirt, made for them by Denver’s iconic Rockmount Ranch Wear.

Vintage Western Hop Shirt

Using Great Divide’s own custom beerweeds design, Rockmount put in all the special treatments: embroidery on front, back, collar and cuffs, vintage smile pockets, piping, “shotgun” cuffs. 100% Cotton. It’s $60 but well worth it. If you see them up close, they’re very well made and quite strikingly beautiful.

Great Divide Hibernation Ale

One of Colorado’s longest-running craft beer traditions returned last month. Great Divide Brewing released its award-winning Hibernation Ale—Colorado’s original strong ale—on October 1st.

A true precedent setter in the state’s craft beer history, Hibernation’s rich flavors and winter-warming heft created a stir upon the beer’s debut in 1995. Thirteen years later, Hibernation Ale is now one of the most sought-after winter beers in Colorado.

“We have a lot of history with Hibernation,” says Great Divide founder Brian Dunn, “and it’s a fall tradition for our fans to buy a case of it when it comes out each year. It also personifies our brewery in many ways—it’s edgy but balanced, assertive but elegant. It set the standard for our brewery, especially for the bigger beers we make.”

Great Divide Hibernation

The beer has also landed a slew of honors for Great Divide, including three Great American Beer Festival honors and a World Beer Cup medal (see below for details). The 2005 vintage of Hibernation Ale was awarded a silver medal in the Aged Beer category at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

“This is one of our best beers for aging,” Dunn says. “As good as the beer is fresh, its malty richness and layered hop flavors go through some wonderful changes over a year’s time. The hops pull back, the malts become more rounded, and the beer develops a nice caramel character you don’t find in the fresh version.”

Hibernation is brewed each summer, dry-hopped, then aged for two months before its release. It’s only available for about 8 weeks each year, from mid-October to mid-December, in limited quantities of draft and 12 ounce bottles, in most Great Divide markets.

Karl Strauss Belgian Brown Ale

Seasonal beers have become the number one selling craft beer style according to the Brewers Association. And with the holidays approaching, everyone is eagerly anticipating the diverse line-up of Winter Seasonals to hit the taps and shelves. San Diego’s Karl Strauss Brewing Company will be offering a new Belgian Brown Ale – the perfect beer for all your festive occasions. This beer has a sweet coffee-like maltiness from a blend of Caramel malts, Brown Malt, and rolled oats complemented by a unique peppery spiciness from the Belgian yeast and Saaz hops.

The brewers at Karl Strauss wanted to brew something that had the characteristic spiciness of a traditional holiday beer, but with an interesting spin. “Every year, our customers are stoked to see what we come up with. They are excited to try something new and different, so we were inspired to create a holiday beer that was a little unexpected,” said Karl Strauss Brewmaster Paul Segura. This Winter Seasonal was aged with French oak chips for a smooth finish and subtle hints of vanilla – at 6.3% ABV, it’s a perfect winter session beer.

Karl Strauss

The Belgian Brown Ale is the latest release in Karl Strauss’ new seasonal beer roster. Over the last few years, with the demand for seasonal beers increasing, the company has launched a program to distribute four of its seasonals: Belgian Brown in the Winter, Saison in the Spring, Pintail Pale Ale in the Summer, and Oktoberfest in the Fall.

If you are interested in experiencing Karl Strauss’ Winter Seasonal, you can find the Belgian Brown Ale on tap at all six Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurants, as well as select bars in Southern California, starting this month.

Karl Strauss Belgian Brown Ale

6.3% ABV
35 SRM
24 IBU
15.5 Plato