Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday AleDecember 23, 2016
As a reminder that friends should not be forgotten and certainly should be celebrated, Pike Brewing Co. created a beer honoring homebrewing legend Charlie Papazian. For us, this beer has a deeper meaning. Charles Finkel, who co-founded Pike, shares a Beer Talk review column with Papazian in each issue of All About Beer Magazine. So, in the interest of fairness we asked another Beer Talk duo—Ray Daniels of the Cicerone Program and John Holl, the editor of All About Beer—to review this yuletide homage.
Daniels: Gentle carbonation, pours with a red hue quite close to that of well-weathered brick. Light herbal notes on the nose with suggestions of tarragon, cinnamon and dried lemon. There’s a whack of malty caramel in the mouth, but that is quickly parried by resinous hop flavor with a spicy hint of mint. The hops soon evolve into a broad, wood-like bitterness. Like an old friend, this beer seems both familiar and surprising. Comfortable and yet slightly enigmatic. Drinking it makes me think of the two Charlies involved (Finkel and Papazian). As I see their familiar smiles in my mind, I wish they were here to tell me the story of this beer’s making—and regale me with tales of their long friendship.
Holl: This simultaneously taps history and the modern brewing spirit all in one bottle. That makes sense given the ethos of the brewery and the man it’s made for. Reddish orange, brilliantly clear and aromatic like a Christmas candle, this beer welcomes you in with warm woody cinnamon, dried orange and roasted nutmeg. The mouthfeel is soft and enveloping, and there’s a touch of alcohol warmth like a comfortable blanket that keeps out the winter chill. Share this with someone you admire while creating new memories.
This year’s recipe has been updated by Head Brewer, Art Dixon. The ABV has increased significantly from previous years, making it a true Winter Warmer. Pike Auld Acquaintance is available now as a seasonal release. You can find it in 22 oz. dinner bottles and on draft where Pike beers are available.
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