If there is one thing about the holidays everyone can agree on, it’s the fact that the season has several of its own, distinct flavors. These flavors don’t often appear any other time of year and are reserved for when the Thanksgiving bloat dies down and the Yule gluttony fires up. The holiday lover in all of us looks so forward to these special favors that we almost forget to stop and recognize their importance. We just accept them as regular occurrences (much like taxes and death) and go on about our Christmasy business without a second thought. Well, we here at Peaks & Pints think it’s high time we give these flavors their due diligence — especially gingerbread. No other time of year is the scent of gingerbread men baking away in the oven more prevalent than during the holidays. What’s better than the smell of gingerbread, you ask? Obviously, the taste — all molasses and sweet and toasty and delicious. Diametrically opposed to said tasty, toasted men is the plain old Gingerbread cookie, often with the big-ass chocolate wad sitting in the middle. These are OK, but shameful in their appearance and lacking the human element of the cookie men. You could, however, move your cookie men into a mash tun for added gingerbread taste for a porter, stout, or winter ale. He’d like that. So will you. In celebration of Yonder Cider’s Mini Gingerbread House Event from 6-8 p.m. tonight in the Peaks & Pints Event Room, we present an all-day, in-house gingerbread flight meets Yonder Cider that we’re calling Peaks and Pints Christmas Flight: Yonder Gingerbread.
Peaks and Pints Christmas Flight: Yonder Gingerbread
6.9% ABV — can in the cooler
Yonder Cider’s winter seasonal Cashmere is inspired by one of Yonder founder Caitlin Braam’s favorite cocktails, the Negroni. Made with tart cranberry, dark cherry and a hint of bitter orange, Cashmere hits the nose with orange peel and berry, pairing beautifully with notes from one of her favorite cider apples, Ashmead’s Kernel.
8.9% ABV, draft — can in the cooler
Yonder grabbed their Negroni-inspired winter seasonal — Cashmere — and blended it with Fast Penny Spirits’ Amaricano amaro to create Velvet Cashmere. Tart with notes of cranberry, dark cherry and bitter orange, the addition of amaro brings a beautiful richness to this cocktail-like creation. Aromas of toasted sugar and dark fruit shine through while hints of truffle, vanilla bean and Mexican chocolate mingle with a savory bitterness.
5.5% ABV, can
Smoothie sour beers (also known as pastry sours) are the evolution of the fruited kettle soured beers that made a resurgence and grew incredibly popular in the early part of the 2010s. Around the same time, brewers began to add non-traditional ingredients to traditional styles to recreate baked goods and desserts in liquid form. At their essence, the common denominator is always extremely large amounts of unfermented fruit puree. By leaving the fruit unfermented, the brewer is essentially trying to make a beer that looks, smells, and drinks like a fruit smoothie from a juice café, but with alcohol. After that is achieved, there is a never-ending list of adjuncts and spices that can be added to create whatever flavor a brewer wants. Skygazer Brewing added gingerbread and marshmallow to tons of cranberries, cherries, tangerines, and pomegranates to make their Watercolors Christmas Creamee smoothie sour.
11.1% ABV, draft — bottle in the cooler
If you’re counting, the lucky recipient ends up with 23 birds by the end of the popular holiday tune “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. And maybe more: some believe the “5 golden rings” is a reference to the rings of ring-necked pheasants. The original song had “colly birds” appearing on day 4 and subsequent variants said the birds were “canary”, “collie”, “colley”, “colour’d”, “curley”, “coloured”, “corley”, and finally “calling” when English composer Frederic Austin re-wrote in 1905. The Bruery thought, “if the birds were calling their favorite treat, we think it’d be gingerbread — which is why this gingerbread-inspired ale is the perfect addition to our 12 Days of Christmas lineup”. Using a festive blend of orange peel, allspice, nutmeg, and star anise, this Belgian-style dark strong ale makes for a perfect dessert (or lunch — it’s the holidays, we don’t judge.)
13% ABV, bottle
After sharing their different and experimental variations of saisons working as gypsy brewers, brothers Chase and Colin Healey decided it was time to have a brewery of their own. They raised more than $20,000 on Kickstarter with the help of fans and formed Prairie Artisan Ales in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2012. Their famous Prairie Bomb! is an imperial stout aged on Nordaggio’s espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. It hits the nose with cocoa, vanilla, coffee, chili peppers, and roast. Taste is sweet, chocolate, vanilla, warming chili, coffee initially subtle but comes through much more as it warms, roast malts, and at 13 percent the alcohol is well integrated. It’s dangerously easy to drink, especially when Christmas spices are added, and a name change to Christmas Bomb!