All this snow and below 30 degree weather makes me think of winter ales! More and more winter seasonal beers can be seen hitting the shelves. Looking for beer to warm up your holidays? Needing a last minute gift for someone? Give the gift of beer! Here is a list of some local seasonal brews.
Which seasonal beer will you be drinking this Christmas?
K-9 Winter Ale by Flying Dog Brewery: Beer to enhance your holidays even more! A 7.4% English style ale released seasonally by Flying Dog. Said to taste like “Christmas in a glass”. Notes of malts, sweet, and spice.
Winter Storm by Heavy Seas: Fresh out of Baltimore for the season! An Imperial Extra Special Bitter style with a ABV of 7.5%. Gotta love the offensively strong beer over the holidays. Brewed with nutty malts and earthy hops to help warm you up.
Three Kings Spiced Ale by Brewer’s Alley: Christmas beer at it’s finest! A spiced ale that is dark red in color carrying 7.1% ABV. Brewed with nutmeg and vanilla bean. This beer truly is Christmas in a glass. Available in Growlers from Brewer’s Alley.
Hey check out this article I wrote for my Feature Writing class at Hood College. I submitted it to the Frederick News Post and it recently got published! I’m super pumped I got to interview an awesome dude and get it published. I hope I can write more articles about beer because it’s always better when you get to write about something you love. Cheers!
GUYS. Have you ever had Berger Cookies? If not, slap yourself and go to the grocery store and buy some now. You’ll thank me in a week and be ten pounds fatter. Berger Cookies are a Baltimore CLASSIC. They’re cookies covered and I mean COVERED in the most amazing fudge. Why am I writing about this on a beer blog? Well, Full Tilt Brewing Company just released a Berger Cookie Chocolate Stout. Here are all the reason this is big news: 1. Baltimore Rules, 2. Berger cookies rule, and 3. Beer rules! Save me a six pack with my name on it for May 1st of next year because it’s all I want for my 21st birthday.
“Full Tilt Brewing’s BERGER COOKIE CHOCOLATE STOUT is brewed with Baltimore’s legendary dessert. This Sweet Stout starts with grist of 2-Row Pale, Crystal 85L, Carapils, Chocolate Malt, and Chocolate Wheat. The Berger Cookie character begins by adding actual Berger Cookies and lactose to the boil with Nugget and Tettnang hops for balance. Cacao Nibs are added during secondary fermentation enhancing aroma. Finally, vanilla is introduced in the brite tank rounding off Full Tilt’s homage to DeBaufre Bakery. “Anytime is a good time, with Berger Cookies”… and Full Tilt!”
Really awesome video brought to you by the local Flying Dog Brewing Company. “Since its release in 2011, proceeds from Pearl Necklace have enabled ORP to plant 2 billion oysters back into the Bay”. I love to see breweries developing projects and following through with them. Two great topics in one.
Getting crafty with beer is my element. I love seeing all the out of the box creations people create with beer. Why throw away the remains of that six pack you bought when you can recycle it into something rad?! I have seen tons of great crafts for sale on Etsy and at breweries. Here are some great gifts for the holidays and ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
A bubbly way to get clean! There are tons of breweries that offer beer soap on their websites or at their breweries. You can purchase handmade beer soap from etsy as well. Savage Soaps in downtown Frederick sells a Beersud soap year round. They use Brewer’s Alley’s Nut Brown Ale to make spicy smelling soap.
Beer may be bad for dogs but the spent grain from the brewing process is not! While visiting Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, I picked up some doggie treats in the gift shop for my Boston Terrier. He loved them! They make dog treats using the spent grain, apples, cinnamon, bananas, and oats. Such a cool way to recycle beer for mans best friend. Pick some up on Dogfish Head’s website.
An eco-friendly way to express yourself. The possibilities are endless. Personally, I have decorated picture frames and mirrors with recycled bottle caps. My friend saves all his six packs and has a beer wall in his apartment. My brother has a beer shelf in his kitchen filled with bottles with cool labels and such. It is a fun, personal way to create something and gift it to a friend! I have seen wind chimes, coasters, jewelry, and candle holders on etsy! Check out the handmade beer crafts selection here!
The design of a beer label is the first thing to grab your attention. People will buy beer just based on the overall package design. While the beer inside might not meet the same design quality, I’ll still give them credit for their sharp, clean designs!
Cask conditioned may or may not be a term you are familiar with in the beer world.
The process is very similar to the regular brewing process. Cask conditioned is really another way to package and serve beer. Here are a few of the main differences:
Instead of aging in a fermentor, the young beer is matured in a cask.
Beer matured in a cask produces unfiltered beer.
The matured beer is kept in the cask and ready to serve.
The process of dispensing the cask conditioned beer is the main difference. The cask beer is kept at cellar temperature (between 50 °F to 55 °F). The beer is served at cellar temperature making the beer less cold than regular dispensed beer (typically being in the mid-30’s °F). The beer is served directly from the cask. There is no use of carbon dioxide or other chemicals; the beer is hand-pumped out of the cask.
So what does this mean for the flavor of the beer? The beer is more delicately carbonated due to the pulling method. Cask beer is also unique because of the aging process. The cask tends to create a unique, bitter flavor. Any regular beers like stouts, IPA’s, and lagers can be aged in casks. The aging, temperature and pulling technique will change the flavor of a beer.
For example, if Flying Dog Brewery cask conditioned their In Wheat Heat Hefeweizen, it would taste very different from the normally brewed batch.
Brewer’s Alley is a local restaurant/brewery that serves cask conditioned beer. They tend to take their own beers and cask condition them so costumers can taste the difference. The cask changes weekly. The brewery is constantly cask conditioning different beers. Stop by and see what’s on cask this week!
Homebrewing is a trendy hobby. People have been attempting to brew their own delicious beers in their kitchens. With several recipes and how-to’s on the internet, there is tons of easily accessible information for beginners. Here are some useful links and tips for all homebrewer’s.
American Homebrewers Association (AHA): A website dedicated to educating homebrewers! This website promotes the hobby through their posts about events, recipes, and references. Founded in 1978 by Charlie Papazian, AHA has more than 36,000 members. The AHA also produces the largest national home brewing competition. This website is loaded with videos, and tons of useful information for homebrewers.
Frederick’s Original Ale Maker’s (FOAM): Organized by locals in 1980, FOAM is a homebrew club that meets monthly in Frederick. FOAM gathers to discuss recipes and techniques. This is a great way to get very personal advice. Members also keep up to date on near by competitions. This is a great way to get involved in your local homebrewing community. The website contains news updates, advice from the masters, and more.
“There is something very communal about the process when multiple people are involved and can say, “together, we made this,” over a pint and a good meal.” JIm Bauckman, the Marketing and Sales Manager of Monocacy Brewing Company and Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, Md., gives advice on homebrewing, “Practice as often as you can. Homebrewers in this area are surrounded by skilled professional brewers and hombrewers alike.”