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Not Your Average Christmas Beer.
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 15 December 2014 19:41

Not your average Christmas beer.

Hoppy Lovin' Christmas is far from what many of us think of as "Christmas beer." It's spiced, sure, and fairly malty too, but there's more complexity here than in your average winter warmer.

It's a hoppy drink--an IPA spiked with ginger and pine needles--assertively bitter and dry on the finish. When it's fresh from the fermenter, it's absolutely incredible, hinting at your favorite aromas of the season without beating you over the head with nutmeg.

But Mikkeller, never satisfied, didn't stop there. The mad brewers from Denmark took their hoppy masterpiece and aged it in two different types of used wine barrel. Some went into red wine barrels and some more found a home in barrels that once held Sauternes.

The resulting two beers offer novel and endlessly interesting (but still festive!) alternatives to your average Christmas beer.

Now available:

Hoppy Lovin' Christmas - Red Wine Barrel Aged
Oaky and elegant, with a touch of red wine fruitiness.

Hoppy Lovin' Christmas - Sauternes Barrel Aged
The Sauternes barrels lend this variant a notable sweet fruitiness that takes the edge off the original intense bitterness, completely transforming the base into a softer, gentler beer.
Where there's smoke...
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 24 November 2014 20:23

Where there's smoke, there's...a slammin' rock 'n' roll beer collaboration.

Quebec's Trou du Diable has teamed up with John Wright, outspoken homebrewing advocate and member of the bands Nomeansno and The Hanson Brothers (no, not these guys. These guys.). They've produced a smoked lager, aptly called Punkrauch. It's delightful stuff--smooth and gently caramelized, with a noticeable but not-overwhelming smokiness. It's an absolutely incredible companion to many roasted meats or grilled foods, and a fine entrée into the world of smoked beers for those put off by more aggressive rauchbiers.

Now available in 600ml bottles & (in some markets) 30L kegs.
Last Call For Pumpkin Beer!
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 17 November 2014 19:14

Last call for pumpkin beers!

I know, it feels like just yesterday that we were elbow-deep in our jack-o-lanterns gearing up for a festive start to fall. Like it or not, the season is flying by--the turkey is brining, the pumpkins are long-since-smashed, and the leaves on our trees are browned and falling (ah, who am I kidding, this is California...the palm trees are doing fine). At the same time, our price list is starting to fill up with the bold and boozy beers of winter. Christmas beers and winter barleywines abound, and the fresh hopped harvest ales, festbiers, and their ilk are on their way out. So here it is: your last call for pumpkin beers. We've got just a few left now, and you won't want to have Thanksgiving dinner without these seasonal treats.

Available now:


Renaissance Great Punkin
Medium bodied and gently sweet, this beer focuses on caramelized malts, roasted pumpkin flavor, and just the right amount of warming spices. It's toasty and drinkable stuff with upwards of 7% ABV to keep you warm as the temperature drops.
Now available in 500ml bottles.
89 on RateBeer!

Cambridge Great Pumpkin
At 4.4% ABV, Cambridge's Great Pumpkin offers everything you'd want from a pumpkin beer in an eminently sessionable package. It's got that cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice/clove thing going on with just enough sweetness to read "pumpkin pie" without cloying. A balanced take on a fall classic.
Now available in 22oz bottles.
90 on RateBeer!

Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela
For those that aren't so into that kind of stuff--fear not! There is still gourd-derived satisfaction to be had! Jolly Pumpkin released a pumpkin beer just for you. Their La Parcela is a delightful break from the caramelly spiced amber beers so associated with that big orange squash. It's dry and sour, noticeably focused on earthy and tart yeast character amidst bright citrus, cocoa, and (a touch of) spiced flavor.
Now available in 750ml bottles & 20L kegs.
99 on RateBeer!
Big & Barrel-Aged
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 10 November 2014 20:25
Big & Barrel-Aged Beers from 8 Wired

At a warehouse in Blenheim, New Zealand, you can find a gigantic collection of barrels. Like, 200 of 'em. This collection belongs to Søren Eriksen, the mastermind of 8 Wired Brewing Company, RateBeer's highest rated brewing operation in the Southern Hemisphere. They're full of a portion of the glorious beers that have made 8 Wired famous--big and tasty beverages made more drinkable, interesting, and complex with their time in oak. Unfortunately, we can't always get these beers--we'd love to drink them all the dang time. The good news is, we've got 'em now. We've just received a whole bunch of barrel-aged rarities (and one non-barreled one!) from these Kiwi beer maniacs. Until we drink them all, you can have some too.
Now available:
An intense and concentrated imperial stout aged in French Pinot Noir barrels. A dense 16% ABV.
Now available in 330ml bottles.
98 on RateBeer!
C4 Double Coffee Brown Ale
A smooth and cohesive example of what coffee and beer can do together. Based on an imperial brown ale recipe made in collaboration with NZ's C4 coffee.
Now available in 500ml bottles.
100 on RateBeer!
Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Saeson
A hugely fruity and vinous saison with a touch of tannin and tartness.
Now available in 500ml bottles.
96 on RateBeer!

Barrel-Aged Smoked Imperial Porter
An unusual and powerful porter made with tea tree smoked malts and aged in American oak barrels for 18 months. It's intensely oaky and 11% ABV, but complex and delicious enough to keep you reaching for another sip.
Now available in 500ml bottles.

Mighty Imperial Ale
An unclassifiable strong ale brewed with jaggery and smoked tea tree before being aged in American oak barrels. 11% ABV. Mighty indeed.
Now available in 330ml bottles.
97 on RateBeer!
Re-Up on Anchorage!
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 03 November 2014 17:29


Anchorage Brewing Company. You know 'em, you love 'em.

And now, once again, you can drink 'em. We've re-upped on a whole bunch of Anchorage beers, including a brand spankin' new batch of (Mike's favorite) The Tide And Its Takers. Gabe Fletcher and his brewin' gang are making better and better beer with every batch--these beers are modern classics!

Now available:


The Tide & Its Takers
A hoppy tripel brewed with Sorachi Ace and Styrian Goldings hops and aged in French Chardonnay barrels. Wildly delicious stuff. Tart, doughy, fruity and dry. Great now, differently great in 6 months.
100 on RateBeer!

Arctic Saison
A stunning collaboration saison made with Vermont's Grassroots Brewing. Tart and zingy with a dry, Bretty finish. Perfection.
99 on RateBeer!

Calabaza Boreal
Brewed at Anchorage with Jolly Pumpkin's Ron Jeffries, this is part two of a trans-continental collaboration. Made with Mosaic and Galaxy hops. Bracingly sour, firmly bitter, and boldly citrusy.
97 on RateBeer!

Galaxy IPA
A white IPA brewed with Galaxy hops, peppercorns, kumquats, and coriander before fermenting in oak vats with wit yeast and Brettanomyces. Bitter, dry, and phenolic, this is a punchy and satisfying drink.
99 on RateBeer!

Whiteout Wit
A modern riff on the Belgian witbier style, brewed with black pepper, lemon peel, and coriander and aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces. A whole bunch o' flavors, beautifully united.
100 on RateBeer!
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