Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union IPL (Picked up at a Weis in PA). A 4 of 4. One of the better IPLs I’ve had – tons of big citrus notes in the nose and a clear lager yeast presence. The body has some really nice caramel malt sweetness and quite more complexity and heft than I’d expect out of a lager. There are some nice complex fruit notes in the body, and this finishes clean and crisp. Great stuff.

When you get the tree decorated, there’s no better beer to crack open to celebrate than @anchorbrewing “Our Special Ale.” We look forward to the new recipe every season, and this one is sprucey! Cheers!

#25DaysofBeer #25BeersofXmas #25DaysofBeermas #25BeersofChristmas #Anchor #AnchorBrewing #RaiseYourAnchor #CraftBeer #Beer #BeerMe #BeerNation #Beerstagram #Beertography #Instabeer #InstabeerOfficial #CAbeer #IndieBeer

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Thrills & Spills

A few miles from Amsterdam, there is a brewery in a windmill. It’s one pair of wooden shoes away from becoming a sentient stereotype. Brouwerij De Molen makes a lot of beers, so many in fact the brewery no longer fits in the windmill. Along with twenty regular offerings, they make a new experimental brew every six weeks.

And each gets a label and a name. The labels are unadorned. Some would say utilitarian. Others would call it minimalist. But they fit a lot of information in those precious inches. Along with the legal info, they offer a range of measures – alcohol by volume, bitterness units, color, specific gravity, etc. – as well as a complete list of ingredients. Slap an actual, legible bottling date on the back and you have a very useful label, even if it’s just black and white.

Despite being so plain, De Molen’s labels stand out, yet I’ve never picked one up before. But I was feeling frisky at the bottleshop so I grabbed something called Spanning & Sensatie. The name, I went on to learn, translates to thrills and spills. And a closer inspection at home revealed the bottle housed a year old imperial stout brewed with cacao, chili, and salt.

I got into it with excitement and trepidation. Would it be a spicy mess? Would be a chocolaty k-hole? The nose has only a dusting of cracked pepper, no nostril singeing capsaicin. Good thing Northern Europeans are not known for their love of spice. On the tongue it’s smoky and warming and weird. There’s a meaty, earthiness on the back of the tongue, like mushrooms. But that fades after a few minutes replaced by thick, smooth chocolate. And then the spice comes back, leaving a warming sensation behind. And then you get to the coffee right at the bottom of the bottle. It’s an experience.

Clear Sky Daybreak (Wolf’s Ridge)

Brewery : Wolf’s Ridge
Beer : Clear Sky Daybreak
Style : Cream Ale
Variance : Brewed with Coffee from One Line Coffee in Columbus and Vanilla

8 / 10

This is just what I needed to jumpstart my morning. In the mornings I almost have wolf like qualities because I make strange noises, my body hair stands on end once my skin hits the air, and I have an insatiable blood lust… Maybe not that last one but the rest are right on. This brew helped to ease me into my morning routine of sitting on the toilet, going through my IG, dropping a few steamy loafs, and warming my feet with my dogs and for that, I thank you Wolf’s Ridge. When I first saw this beer I instantly thought of Ballast Point’s Calm Before The Storm and considering these guys are a lot smaller than them, this hangs right in there with that brew and any other similar versions of the style. This has a nice mellow vanilla creaminess to start with some fresh roasted coffee joining in afterwards making itself known without being overbearing with those classic cream ale malt cracker flavors joining in with the rest at the end to make for a delicious and balanced brew. This beer doesn’t change the game or rock your world like Elvis did for music but it certainly belongs on your fridge door along with the rest of your brew stash because it is a solid brew from an even more solid brewery. If you are new to the craft world and love a cup of java to start your morning, let this beer take you by the hand and guide you into craft country with it’s great flavors but just avoid any dark alley ways because this brew tends to get a bit “handsy” if you know what I mean (it likes second base). As for the bastard drinking crew members of the universe, toss out your stolen Denny’s cup and replace it with a bottle of this because I promise you it is a much better way to start your day. Cheers!

Written by: Steve B.

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Giant mural for @meantimebrewing
Big thanks to everyone involved. Go check it out! #MEANIT #beer #mural #london #Shoreditch #streetart #meantimebrewery (at New Inn Yard, Shoreditch)

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