Firestone Walker Fine Ales
Batch 1000 (5%) is the first special release for the holiday season from the brewery in Paso Roble, CA. Brewed to commemorate the 1000th batch of Double Barrel Ale, Batch 1000 is an unfiltered version of Double Barrel Ale, in which the fermentation took place in the brewery’s patented Firestone Union, a series of American Oak Barrels.
Boston Beer Co.
The Winter Classics Pack from the Boston craft brewery include Samuel Adams Black Lager (4.9%), Boston Lager (4.9%), Winter Lager (5.8%) and three holiday beers only available in the winter pack: Cranberry Lambic (5.9%), Holiday Porter (5.8%) and Old Fezziwig Ale (5.9%).
Three winter beers from Portland, ME (on Casco Bay) include: Prelude Special Ale (6.7%; a deep amber English strong ale); Longfellow Winter Ale (5.8%; a cross between a porter and a Scottish ale) and Shipyard Winter Ale (5.3%; an American red ale.)
Flying Dog Brewery
The winter litter of beers from Denver include Wild Dog Weizenbock (8%), K9-Cruiser Winter Ale (6.4%) and Gonzo Imperial Porter (9.5%). K9-Cruiser is dark, sweet and malty. It is the beer with an attitude “that will pump you up and give you courage.”
Is there winter in Hawaii? Well, sort of, but not really. What kind of beer does one brew to celebrate a balmy winter? There’s Da Grind Buzz Kona Coffee Imperial Stout (8.3%), a black beer brewed with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee. Enough said!
Jubelale (6.7%) is a strong, malty ale balanced with the perfect compliment of hops. Each year the label artwork is designed by a different artist. This season Andrew Sewall’s design depicts the vintage ski poster look of an après ski party. Mt. Bachelor is not far from the brewery’s home in Bend, OR. Also for the season is Mirror Mirror Barleywine (9.86%), brewed last February, conditioned in oak casks and blended with Mirror Mirror from the brewery’s bright beer tanks.
North Coast Brewing
A big beer that can be laid down for future winters, Old Stock Ale ’05 (11.4%) from the coastal town of Fort Bragg, CA, is rich, full-bodied and generously hopped.
The world’s largest brewery has stepped into the specialty beer world with holiday gift packs (12- and 18-packs) of Michelob specialty ales and lagers, including the new release, Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale (5.5%), and two limited-edition pilsner glasses. The packs also include a collection of recipes featuring Michelob beers as ingredients, beer mixer recipes and suggested food pairings and tips from Anheuser-Busch brewmasters.
Charles Wells Brewery
Why not celebrate with bananas? Peel back the covering and Banana Bread Beer (5.2%) from England is a British premium bitter brewed with Fair Trade Bananas, which seems fair enough.