Now that the USA Thanksgiving Day has past, I think it is safe to say that the Holiday season is upon us. For The Beer Doctor, the next moment I look forward to with anticipation is December the sixth, Saint Nikolaus Day, and what better time is there to open a bottle of Saint Nikolaus Christmas Bock Bier, from the Pennsylvania Brewing Company. This rich, dark, malty brew is certified rheinheitsgebot . It is a beautiful estery example of how complexity of flavor is obtained, using only the four classic ingredients.
Here in the Ohio valley we are fortunate to have a winter warmer from the Christian Moerlein Brewery known as Christkindl. A deep chocolate malt profile provides ample nutritious support for the season. The same can be said of Summit’s Winter Ale from St. Paul MN, Goose Island Christmas Ale from Chicago, or Old Jubilation Ale from Avery in Colorado. All of these rely on malts, hops and yeast, rather than spices. These are non-wassail Holiday beers. Special brews that reflect each brewery’s distinctive personality. On the west coast for example, Pyramid’s Snow Cap is to malt what Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale is to hops. There are many approaches to Holiday beer. My prescription is to seek them out and discover how different they are. As always Thank You. With the power of peace and love, The Beer Doctor.


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