From watching Elf to eating Aunt Bethany’s cookies to spraying fake snow on the windows, we all have our seasonal rituals. And it’s impossible to live in the greater Tacoma area and get in the spirit without a spin through ZooLights. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s 800,000 light display depicts everything from a giant Pacific octopus and flame tree to the Narrows Bridge and Sasquatch. This year’s light display also features a magnificent heard of goats and s’mores roasting around a fire. Before or after walking through the twinkling lights from 4:30 to 10 p.m., swing by Peaks and Pints for a holiday beer flight that we call Peaks and Pints Christmas Beer Flight: Zoolights.
Peaks and Pints Christmas Beer Flight: Zoolights
6.7 ABV, nitro draft
Deschutes Brewery‘s former head brewer John Harris originally brewed Jubelale for Christmas and modeled it after an English strong ale or winter warmer. He brewed that first batch on October 26, 1988, and according to the brewing log, it contained pale malt, caramel malt, chocolate malt, and dextrin malt, and the hops used were Galena, Cascade, “Wills” (assuming Willamette), and Tettnanger in the hop back. Starting gravity was 1.065, and the resulting alcohol was 6.25 percent by volume. The Bend, Oregon brewery has been producing the robust and malty but approachable Jubelale winter festive ale every year since. Its spicy-malt flavor, cocoa, dried fruit, and toffee notes ignite cozy warmth — especially since it’s on nitro for added creaminess.
pFriem Family Brewers Belgian Style Christmas Ale changes from moment to moment. This big dubbel-based holiday ale is brewed with German Perle hops, candi sugar, coriander and Belgian ale yeast that changes flavor with every sip. Just as you think it’s a toffee delight it morphs into chocolate-covered orange. Then raisin. And cinnamon pastry. Oh, and dried cherry. And …
10% ABV, 28 IBU
Brouwerij St Bernardus is famous for both their beers and their heritage. The brewery brewed the famous Westvleteren beers before the monastery returned all production back to within the abbey’s walls. Their Abt 12 quadrupel represents what Westvleteren 12 used to be before the abbey changed their yeast strain. Abt 12, one of the world’s most beloved and highly regarded beers. St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale is brewery’s Abt 12 offering, but gussied up with rich malt, dark dried fruit, fig, hints of anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar … basically a fruitcake.
How do we define Christmas beer? Simple — it’s a beer that was brewed as a gift. It may be any style, any flavor, any name if it was given and received as a gift. Gift giving is the most essential part of the holiday. The significance of gift giving is that it is an act of sharing, a mindful transaction between the giver and the recipient. No everyday beer will do because a gift is special. It must be brewed with better ingredients or spices or to greater strength or have a holiday theme. Therefore, Peaks & Pints’ gift to you is Baerlic Brewing’s Ho! Ho! Hop Man West Coast double IPA on this Christmas beer flight brewed with Cascade, Nelson, Citra, and Galaxy hops.
Brewed with a sleigh-full of Northwest-grown hops, sweet orange zest, and local spruce tips foraged by Block 15 brewers, hoppy holidays’ seasonal flavors of pine and citrus blend with a hearty malt backbone to evoke holidays of past, like opening a gift box of citrus under a holiday tree. Hoppy Holidays!