Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Beer Recommendations

As the next in my series of beer related guest posts, I will be giving a couple of beer recommendations for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I am going to focus on a couple of styles, so that we can have something for everyone. The first typical autumn beer you would probably think of is an Oktoberfest beer.  Not at all my favorite style as I find them kind of bland.  There is a much more interesting seasonal stuff out there.  I really like beer that is brewed with hops that have been freshly harvested and immediately used.  This beers are referred to as “wet hop," “fresh hop” or “harvest” beers.  These tend to have a very crisp, fresh taste that showcases the particular hop being used.  Since it is logistically more difficult to use fresh hops in a beer, these beers are much less common.  (Most hops are frozen or processed right after they are picked, so getting a load of hops from the field to the brewery before they go bad is not easy.)  While these beers will typically showcase the hop, that does not mean that they are super bitter or hoppy tasting.  
Sierra Nevada Estate

A couple of fresh hop beers that I have tried this year include the Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale and Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale.  Both were excellent, but I have to give a slight nod to the Sierra Nevada.  I would like to note that Sierra Nevada has really stepped up their game in the last two years and is really producing some excellent stuff these days.

Yes I have that glass.

I am going to make two other recommendations just because these are beers that I love, and I think they are great beers for an autumn holiday occasion.  First up, Schneider Aventinus, one of my favorite beers of all time.  This is a weizenbock style which basically means a dark German wheat beer, on steroids.  It is a full bodied beer, with an alcohol range of about 8%. So, don’t drink a six pack of them.

And the last is from a local brewery called Victory.  The beer is called Yakima Glory.  This is another high alcohol content beer, clocking in at 8.7%.  This beer has very strong malt flavors balanced out by an intense hop profile.  This was a new seasonal offering from Victory last year, and one of the best new beers I have had in years.  Highly recommended.

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