Monday, February 6th, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 2.6.17: A Flight of Snow Beers

Ron Swarner

Strap them on or sled your way to peaks and Pints for a flight of snow beers. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

First things first… SNOW. Snow prompts Peaks and Pints to think that the All Mighty, while he may not shoot craps with the universe as Albert Einstein said, at least has a sense of humor. She makes existence uncertain by conjuring up sea-level snow every now and then, but at no apparently regular interval, and throws in a few earthquakes, ice storms, floods and the like now and then just to let us know who is boss. Now what? Well, the original downhill pioneers damn near strapped entire tree trunks to their feet, doggedly steering them like great monoliths. Those folks laughed and laughed — even though they were working up one helluva rash. Times have changed, and so have the equipment, clothing and attitudes. What hasn’t changed is the thrill one feels when the planks are strapped on. So strap them on and make your way to Peaks and Pints. We’ll be open for all your sandwich and craft beer needs, complete with the Craft Beer Crosscut 2.6.17: A Flight of Snow Beers sampler.

Anchor Christmas Ale

6.5% ABV, 28 IBU

Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco brews a slightly different Happy New Year/Christmas Ale (a.k.a. Our Special Ale) every winter. It’s dark brown in color, full-bodied, and this year’s batch pushes burnt caramel and a bit of marshmallow on taste. They’ve released a holiday beer every year since 1975, making Anchor one of the great-granddaddies of the craft-brewing scene.

Ecliptic Frosty Leo

8.2% ABV, 38 IBU

Ecliptic Brewing Co.‘s Frosty Leo follows the tradition of English old ale style beers brewed for cold months. Big, sweet malts collide with a rich body teaming with Sterling and Citra hop flavors and aromas. In addition to the rich flavor, expect roasty and earthy notes with mulling spice like clove and cinnamon and a kiss of cacao.

Avery Old Jubilation Ale

8.3% ABV, 45 IBU

Boulder County — where the beer flows like wine, and where the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. No, wait, that’s Aspen. But the beer does, indeed, flow like wine there in the foothills around Boulder, Colorado, home of Avery Brewing Co. Avery’s Old Jubilation Ale tastes like an English-style old ale with a delicate yet distinct chocolate-covered-cherry quality.

Snoqualmie Falls Avalanche Winter Ale

6.8% ABV, 48 IBU

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Co.’s seasonal is designed to take the chill off Northwest winter weather yet drinkable enough to enjoy more than one. This year, Snoqualmie head brewer Rande Reed upped the aromatic hops by a quarter, yielding a much more pronounced hoppy beginning to Avalanche. Even so, by the time the flavor has moved to the back of the palate, the hops have given way to the full-bodied complex malt flavors.

Hopworks Abominable

7.3% ABV, 70 IBU

More of an India red ale thanks to toasty molasses notes from Munich malt, “A-bomb” is the snow day treat that delivers the flavor of candied orange peel.