You’re lagging in the Christmas spirit this year. Just like last year. And the year before. Scrooging has always been your go-to reaction to the yuletide, but as you grow older, and more sentimental, it’s increasingly unacceptable to be crotchety and contrarian. It’s unsavory. So, Peaks and Pints decide to be proactive. We will elicit Christmas cheer daily through Dec. 24, as we are closed Christmas Day. By which we mean Christmas beer. We will dedicate our daily beer flight to holiday and winter beers. After all, Christmas is about nothing if not overconsumption, and you have a lot of catching up to do. We kick off our 24-day holiday celebration today with a 20-foot tree and Peaks and Pints Christmas Beer Flight 12.1.23.
Peaks and Pints Christmas Beer Flight 12.1.23
Santa Claus performs miracles and wonders every Christmas Eve. He can create and deliver virtually any present any child can imagine. He can fly through the sky and deliver these gifts to millions of children all over the world — all in one night. And not just any old presents but exactly the ones desired by each individual child. To accomplish this mission, he must have the ability to be present almost everywhere at once. Hail Santa! Grains of Wrath honors Santa with this spiced holiday ale made with cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and honey.
To wash down the ubiquitous bricklike fruitcakes, generic cookies, and waxy, cheap chocolate, always have Block 15 Brewing’s Ol’ Saint Nick winter warmer on hand. Notes of toffee, cocoa, plum, and caramel with citrusy hops and a warm, lingering finish make everything taste better.
George and Jane Hancock founded the ma-and-pa Maritime Pacific Brewing Company in an old transmission shop in 1990 in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. In 1997 they opened the Jolly Roger Taproom named, as they say, “in honor of our most popular holiday brew”: Jolly Roger Christmas Ale. A beer fridge staple, Jolly Roger English Strong Ale combines rich malt character with a blend of fresh Northwest Chinook and Cascade hops. This year, Maritime gave its famous winter ale a spruce treatment. Spruce tips have been used in the brewing process for hundreds of years. They were one of the main additions in beer before people learned about brewing with hops. The fresh, tender tips have a mellow pine scent and a crisp flavor.
In the town of Ghent sits Brouwerij Huyghe, the oldest, active brewery in that corner of Belgium. The brewery is best known for Delirium Tremens, a highly regarded Belgian strong pale ale, but they produce a wide variety of beers ranging from pilsners, witbiers, fruit ales and lagers. Huyghe’s Delirium line of beers is famous for the pink elephant that adorns every label on every ceramic painted bottle. Its Noel labels are no exception. Skiing, sledding, pulling Santa’s sleigh; the Pink Elephant does it all. Delirium Noel is a big, spicy beer with a lot of dried fruit character and touch of alcohol to let you know that you’re drinking a beer with a double-digit ABV.
The name comes from the following statement made by beer author John Mallett dates to 2013 when he was asked about Bell’s Brewery’s new beer Hopslam. He stated, “I’m going to have a beer that we make 4,000 barrels of, one time a year. It flies off the shelf at damn near $20 a six-pack, and you know what it smells like? It smells like your cat ate your weed and then pissed in the Christmas tree.” Nice. Gigantic Brewing’s version is hazy gold in color and uses Northwest Pale Malt and Simpson Medium Crystal malts plus Chinook, Simcoe, Mosaic, Cascade and Nugget hops for a dank, sticky, drippy and piney IPA with some spice and sweetness.