The Baltimore Sun every year around this time publishes its review of winter beers. Results are, of course, skewed by availability; I believe, also, that draft-only offerings from brewpubs don't make it to the panel. The article lists suggested retail prices, and, in case you can't find the beer at your local store, it mentions the wholesaler who distributes the beer, and its phone number. Well done!
That being noted, here are the panelists' favorite winter beers for 2007:
This year, the surprise was that three of our top six domestic beers were from Maryland. The Snow Goose Winter Ale, Clay Pipe's Pursuit of Happiness Winter Warmer Ale and Clipper City's Winter Storm were brewed locally. Our panel members could be accused of being "homers," but we didn't know what we tasted. The bottles we sampled were cloaked in brown bags.Winter beers warm hearts of suds fans
We also liked three out-of-towners: Allagash Grand Cru from Portland, Maine; Brooklyn (N.Y.) Black Chocolate Stout, and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Chico, Calif. On the international front, we picked three balanced English ales (St. Peter's Winter Ale, Ridgeway Lump of Coal and Samuel Smith Winter Welcome) and three very strong Belgian brews (St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap and Equinox Dark Winter) as the beers we would like as companions on a winter's evening.
November 28, 2007
It's interesting to compare Kasper's picks this year to those last year.
For beer drinkers, this is going to be an espresso Christmas. Many of the best-tasting brews I sampled in the crop of 2006 winter beers had distinct coffee and chocolate notes. Yet they still tasted like beer.