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5 seasonal beers that are sure to bring out the holiday spirit

holiday_beersWinter is typically a slow time for the beer industry. Over the years brewers here in the United States have begun falling back on the traditions of their European forbearers and started creating special seasonal brews to not only spur sales, but to show off their brewing skills. The beers that begin appearing on store shelves in November are a collection of specialty spiced beers, imperials, stouts, and winter warmers.

No holiday season would be complete without sipping one or several of these spectacular brews that will only be on the shelves for a short time. Some of my favorites are highlighted below. Try them or search out favorites of your own to create a holiday tradition. But, whatever you do, grab these brews while you can because after the first of the year they will be much harder to find.

Accumulation White IPA – New Belgium Brewing Company, Ft. Collins, Colo.

Smooth and sweet, this IPA was created using four varieties of hops; Centennial and Target in the boil, then dry-hopped with Amarillo and Mosaic. It has a bite just like the winters in Colorado, but the addition of wheat to the mix rounds out the bitter edges and makes this a winter IPA worth seeking out.

Winter Solstice – Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Rich and malty, this brew features a smooth and creamy mouthfeel that rewards the drinker with flavors of toffee, spices and caramel.  The hops character of this Winter Warmer may be low, but the toasty malts make this a brew full of cold weather goodness perfect for sipping with a hearty holiday meal.

Cold Mountain Winter Ale – Highland Brewing Company, Asheville, North Carolina

Cold Mountain is flavored with vanilla and hazelnut for a rich, full flavor redolent with sweet malts and seasonal spices. Boasting a creamy mouth feel, this dark ale is supremely sessionable because of its lower alcohol. Share a pint with your favorite partner while cuddled in front of a roaring fire in the backyard firepit.

Festive Ale – SweetWater Brewing Company, Atlanta, Ga.

This sweet and spicy dark ale is a favorite around my house. It contains a heavy dose of cinnamon and mace – a seasoning similar to nutmeg, but without nutmeg’s overpowering nature – for a satisfyingly feisty punch that is sure to warm your bones. For a twist on how to serve it, try drizzling the inside of the glass with honey before pouring then garnishing the full glass with a cinnamon stick.

Delirium Noel — Brouwerij Huyghe, Melle, Belgium

Belgians are known for their love of the holidays and beer to go along with the season. Delirium Noel exemplifies the Belgian holiday spirit with a high alcohol brew with aromas of honey, apples and gingerbread. Flavors like toffee, figs and holiday spices flood the senses  in each sip of this exuberant holiday beer.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Beer Styles

 

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New Belgium teams with Patagonia to create organic lager

New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Belgium, the brewery responsible for Fat Tire and the Lips of Faith series of beers has teamed up with the folks at Patagonia, the outdoor company, to brew an organic lager called California Route. While the brew will only be available in select markets for a limited time, it promises to be a winner. For collectors of limited edition beers, it may be time to talk to your friends in the areas the beer will be distributed.

New Belgium’s Press Release is below:

Ft. Collins, Colorado and Ventura, California. (November 12, 2013)Patagonia Inc., the outdoor apparel company, and New Belgium Brewing are excited to announce California Route, a limited-release organic lager.

For 40 years, Patagonia has led the way in developing innovative outdoor gear and in environmental responsibility. To toast the company’s accomplishments, New Belgium partnered with Patagonia to create California Route, an organic California common-style beer. Boasting California lager yeast with subtle fruity esters and a refreshing light lager finish, California Route organic lager is canned for adventure. The beer has an aromatic blast of citrusy Cascade hops and a heavy dose of noble hallertau. The addition of organic Munich specialty malt builds complexity with hints of freshly baked bread. Consistent with Patagonia’s long-standing commitment to organics, the beer is brewed with certified organic ingredients.

“New Belgium has long admired Patagonia and it is an honor they thought of us for this collaboration,” said Bryan Simpson, New Belgium’s media relations director. “We’ve exchanged ideas and best practices over the years and most recently collaborated on the Save the Colorado campaign. Having an organic beer to celebrate four decades of Patagonia’s good work is very gratifying.”

Patagonia played a key role throughout the development of the beer, and when it came time to name the beer, California Route was at the top of the list. The name of the beer pays homage to the California Route on Patagonia’s Mount Fitz Roy. First climbed in 1968 by Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, Dick Dorworth, Lito Tejada-Flores and Chris Jones, the California Route is considered a Patagonia classic, with good rock and fun free-climbing in a wildly beautiful setting.

“When my sister, Claire, had the idea of brewing a 40th anniversary beer, the folks at New Belgium immediately came to mind,” notes Fletcher Chouinard. “Not only are they forward-thinking in their business and brewing practices, but their beers have been a go-to for our crew and customers around the country for a long time. They were great to work with and we couldn’t be more stoked about the project!”

California Route is 5.5% ABV and sold in 12-ounce cans. Pricing varies by location. California Route will be sold in the following markets: Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Boulder, Denver, Boston, NYC, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Cardiff and Ventura. For more information on the beer, click here: patagonia.com/beer. This one-time, limited release will be available mid-November.

About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at www.newbelgium.com.

About Patagonia
Patagonia, Inc., based in Ventura, California, is a leading designer and retailer of core outdoor, alpine, fly fishing, snow, surf and sport-related apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories. The company is recognized internationally for its commitment to authentic product quality and environmental activism, contributing over $58 million in grants and in-kind donations to date. Incorporating environmental responsibility into product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically grown cotton in its clothing line. The company’s entire product line is recyclable through its Common Threads Partnership. The Footprint Chronicles® microsite at patagonia.com/us/footprint explores the company’s environmental and social footprint.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Beer Styles

 

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New Belgium set to break ground in Asheville, NC at long last

New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After several delays, the New Belgium brewery planned for Asheville, NC is finally back on track. The press release below provides all the details.

Fort Collins, Colo., October 22, 2013 – New Belgium Brewing will resume site work this November on its Asheville location along the French Broad River in preparation for ground-breaking next spring. Contractors will focus on flood plain mitigation, erosion control and concrete removal through the end of the year. Starting in January and running through spring, operations will shift to soil mitigation. Earth moving subcontractors will be hired in November and will begin trucking in dirt by early 2014 for flood plain mitigation. Current schedule projections show the site as “pad-ready” in late spring 2014 at which time building construction will commence. It is estimated that the Asheville brewery will be ready for production in late 2015.

“We are excited to enter this next phase of site preparation and building construction,” said New Belgium’s Asheville General Manager, Jay Richardson. “Adolphson + Peterson will begin site preparation in November, with groundbreaking scheduled for Spring 2014. Our current schedule has us producing beer in Asheville by the end of 2015 and a fine day that will be.”

New Belgium anticipates hiring 50 positions prior to opening the doors in 2015 and expects to create 140 jobs at full buildout between the brewery and distribution center. Many of these job openings will begin posting in mid 2015. New Belgium made its first Asheville hire this fall, bringing on board Asheville resident and engineer, Gabe Quisenberry, formerly with Mattern + Craig who will serve as Operations Support Manager.

The brewery will ultimately produce 500,000 barrels of beer per year and will feature production and packaging operations as well as a touring and tasting facility. Negotiations are moving forward to secure a second site for the distribution center as well. The distribution center will be built at the same time as the brewery. New Belgium is finalizing negotiations with the seller and will announce the site location upon completion. The distribution center will be the hub for distributing product to the east coast and will be located in an industrial area.

Updates to the community are provided at these channels: http://www.NewBelgium.com/AshevilleBrewery or 888-598-9552.

ABOUT NEW BELGIUM BREWING
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery

 

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Beer a star at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

FWbeer2010Every fall the folks at Disney World throw a huge food and wine festival that, over the past few years, has been adding more and more quality beers to its offerings. The list of brews to be served and the locations you can find them is now out. So, before you go, check out what you expect to find right here.

Terra

This marketplace celebrates all that comes from the earth. Only products that come fropm the soil are sold here. Think vegetarian and vegan fair. Wash it down with Napa Smith Organic IPA

Belgium

Known for their outstanding beers, the Belgian Marketplace will feature several brews you may want to try as you munch a tasty waffle. Look for Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, and Leffe Blonde or Brune.

Brazil

Exotic and exciting, look for seared scallops or crispy pork belly in this marketplace. The drink of choice for beer lovers here is Cervearias Kaiser Xingu Black Beer.

Brewer’s Collection

Located near the Germany Pavilion, this beir garten will feature tasty brews from one of Europe’s great beer nations. The list includes:

  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer
  • Warsteiner Premium Verum
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • Warsteiner Premium Dunkel 

China

A land of many flavors, China pairs their offerings with a traditional Chinese beer Tsing Tao.

Craft Beer Marketplace

A staple of the festival for several years now, the Craft Beer Marketplace features several interesting brews to quench the thirst of beer lovers attending the event including:

  • Dogfish Head Brewery, Namaste
  • Abita Brewing Company, Fall Fest
  • Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy, (Summer Shandy/Orange Shandy)
  • Florida Beer Company, Devil’s Triangle
  • New Belgium Brewing Company, Fat Tire
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing, Alchemy Ale
  • Red Hook, Audible Ale
  • Sierra Nevada, Torpedo Extra IPA 

Desserts & Champagne

This year event planners have added a great choice to the drink offerings with the desserts, Pyramid Weiss Cream Beer. Try this delightful beer with the chocolate orange cupcake for a real sweet treat.

Florida Local

The Sunshine State is home to several outstanding breweries, two of them are featured in this market place: Cigar City Brewing Company and Orlando Brewing Company. Try Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale from Cigar City and Sun Shade Organic Pale Ale from Orland Brewing.

France

Not really a country known for beer, France never-the-less produces a few gems. One of those, Kronenbourg Blanc, will be served at this year’s event along with escargot and crème brulee.

Germany

In addition to the nearby beir garten, the Germany Pavilion will feature Altenmunster Oktoberfest and BraufactuM Darkon to quaff along with brats on pretzel rolls.

Hawaii

The Aloha State is known for Kalua pork sliders and tuna poke, this year wash these great eats down with Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale or Pipeline Porter.

Hops & Barley

When you think of beer in the Northeastern United States, you cannot escape the siren song of Samuel Adams. In this marketplace munch tasty lobster rolls with Boston Lager, Octoberfest, or Cherry Wheat.

Ireland

Do we really have to tell which beer will be featured here? OK, just for the record; its Guinness.

Italy

Ravioli and cannoli can be found at the Italy Markeplace, along with Moretti beer.

Japan

Roll on into this marketplace for fresh sushi and Sapporo beer.

Mexico

The heavyweight brew in Mexico is Dos Equis, but there are rumors there may be more surprises. Keep an eye out for more information.

Morocco

Drink a cold Casa while watching the belly dancers. Just be careful the wife does not catch on to why you keep going back for more beer.

The Outpost

An African flair describes this area. Try a BGI Brewery St. George beer as you pound the jungle drums.

Poland

Kielbasa and pirogues are in store for you here, along with cold Okocim O.K. beer.

Scotland

Making its debut this year the Scottish Marketplace will offer seared salmon and Inis & Gunn Original Ale.

Singapore

Tiger beer goes great with lemongrass chicken curry, fortunately that is what is being served at this exotic marketplace.

In addition to the special beers brought in for this event, you can expect to find a full complement of the brews normally stocked at the various restaurants throughout the World Showplace. Just remember, the world cannot be conqured in a day. You may need a couple to try all the fantastic flavors the festival has to offer.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival runs from September 27 through November 11. A ticket to Epcot is required to participate in all tastings. Tastings are not included in the ticket price.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Beer Festival

 

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New Belgium launching in Florida and around the country

new-belgium-brewery-logoThe long awaited entrance of new Belgium into the Florida craft beer market is just days away. On Monday, July 29 the Ft. Collins, Colo. brewer will enter the market with a splash by hosting a week’s worth of launch parties all around the Jacksonville area.

But, ours is not the only state New Belgium is conquering. Along with Florida, the brewery has recently announced that they will launch in Utah and Delaware in the U.S. and British Columbia in Canada.

“[Delaware] will mark our 33rd state of distribution, once Florida opens up later this month, and it’s exciting for us to be inching our way into more and more areas in the Northeast,” said New Belgium Brewing Sales Co-Pilot, Brian Krueger. “We definitely look forward to having a New Belgium beer with our friends in The First State.”

In Delaware New Belgium faces stiff competition with the state’s beer super star Dogfish Head. But, the two breweries have enough differences that it is certain that both can coexist happily.

Utah, which shares a border with New Belgium’s home state of Colorado, has been an elusive target for the brewery.  “Since we’re based in Colorado and share a border with our friends in Utah it only makes sense that we can now share a beer with them as well,” Krueger said. “We are really excited about some of the recent legislation in Utah that gives us the peace of mind we need to ensure the quality of our beers will be held to our high standards”

British Columbia marks New Belgium’s first foray into exports. The brewery will officially kick off its entry into the Canadian market at the Great Canadian Beer Fest on September 6, 2013.

Back home, if you have not had the opportunity to sample New Belgium’s brews or if you are a fan and just want to support the brewery’s roll out in North Florida, check out the list below.

Monday, July 29

5:30 to 6:30         World of Beer Southside
7:00 to 8:00         Mellow Mushroom Southside

Tuesday, July 30

5:30 to 6:30         European Street Beaches
7:00 to 8:00         Mellow Mushroom Beaches

Wednesday, July 31

5:30 to 6:30         Mellow Mushroom St. Augustine
7:00 to 8:00         JP Henley’s St. Augustine

Thursday, August 1

5:30 to 6:30         Dogstar Tavern Fernandina Beach
7:00 to 8:00         Palace Saloon Fernandina Beach

Friday, August 2

5:30 to 6:30         Kickbacks Riverside
7:00 to 8:00         European Street Riverside

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Craft Beer Brewery

 

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