Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Hangover

I cannot believe that November is almost over already! It feels like this month just flew by. Must mean I had a great time.
I wanted to write about the founding of the American colonies and the integral part that beer played in settling the “New World”, but unfortunately I got swept up in doing other stuff and wasn’t able to put together an all American Thanksgiving Beer Salute (that was the name I picked out). So instead you will have to check out what the Beer Institute (maybe I can transfer there?) has to say about the pilgrims and beer. They have some really great tidbits like:
“An entry in the diary of a Mayflower passenger explains the unplanned landing at Plymouth Rock: ‘We could not now take time for further search...our victuals being much spent, especially our beer...’”
How would the history of America have changed, and the history of American beer, if the Pilgrims had landed somewhere else instead of as soon as possible because they were out of beer? I will let you ponder that….

Over this long Thanksgiving weekend I was lucky to have my wonderful family around me, great food and fantastic beer.

One of the beers we had was one that I was super excited to try out, I may have even ask people to take pity on me and buy it since I couldn’t find it and send it to me. This much anticipated brew? That would be Ommegang’s Aphrodite. My wonderful husband picked me up a bottle and we tried it with eagerness this weekend.

Was it worth all the excitement? Maybe… I really liked the fizziness, the mouth feel and the middle taste note. I thought that the first and last tastes were far too sour for me. I understand that this is a beer brewed with Pear and Raspberry but I would have liked it to let me taste the fruit not just the sourness. I think that I would have enjoyed a Purple Haze more, because that beer at least lets the fruit be tasted. I am really trying to find fruit beers that I can appreciate… If you have any suggestions, please, I am begging you, send them to me!

Next on the list of beers that I tried for the first time is Goose Island’s Mild Winter. It is not news that I love most of the beers that Goose Island releases, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I really liked Mild Winter. I thought that the roasted flavors were well balanced with the hops… it was a mild winter beer as the name implies. Not super roasted and not overly hoppy, I would say that this beer is the perfect transitional beer for slipping into your winter drinking hat (I bought a new drinking hat this year!), or whatever makes you think of drinking a heavier beer with a smile on your face.

As I mentioned previously, we were going to have Pumpkin beer from Crown Brewing courtesy of my aunt… sadly when my uncle arrived to fill the growlers, they were out of pumpkin beer. So he got a couple of growlers of Winter Warlock (That link to Beer Advocate has my review as the first one!)
I had Winter Warlock warm, and I think that it would have been perfect had it been served cool. The malt was roasted until very dark, which is why the color is so dark, but instead of being bitter like some malty beers can be, Winter Warlock was semi-sweet. It had a fabulous coating in my mouth that made me think of winter. I love winter beers and this was such a great example of a one. Definitely had chocolate and coffee notes, but remained well balanced.
Do you have any suggestions for winter beers? Feel free to email me, sarah@hoppybeergirl.com. I may not be posting very frequently over the next three weeks, as I have finals in Mid December, so please accept my apology in advance.

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