Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Big Hairy Dude's Christmas Celebration

Style: Holiday Spiced Ale

Bitterness Units: 31
ABV: 7.6%
Malts: Two-Row, Munich, Caramel, Honey, & Oats
Hops:  Hallertauer & Cascade
Additions: Honey, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, & Ginger Root
Yeast: California Ale Yeast 

Our winter seasonal helps us get into the holiday spirit early. We brew it in early fall in order to ensure it is ready to serve during the holidays. This year our research uncovered a recipe that sounded so good that we only made very minor modifications before brewing.  The recipe already called for a variety of grains, oats, honey, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and ginger root, so what could we do to make it even better? Increase the amount of the spices and add more hops to help balance it out of course! The sweet smell of honey was so strong as we boiled this batch and moved it into the fermenter that we were wondering if it would be too sweet to drink.

When we tapped the keg we knew we had a hit. The aroma was still dominated by the honey, but the spices were present too. The flavor was perfect for this time of year as well, a great combination of holiday flavors that complimented the beer itself. We actually emptied this keg far more quickly than we have ever emptied a keg of homebrew in the past. Ok, we did bottle quite a bit of it and give it out as gifts to friends and family, but we also kept going back for more ourselves.