We were having friends over for New Year’s Eve, so I put together a special menu of beers worthy of such an occasion. When you think of New Year’s Eve, you usually think of popping the cork on a bottle of Champagne. Cracking open a cap on a bottle of beer somehow didn’t seem fitting. So I went looking for big bottles of brew with a cork and cage, so I could pop the corks in celebration of 2012. I found a few cork and cage bottles and other specialty brews, which along with the excellent brews brought by our guests provided a fabulous beer menu to ring in 2012.
The Beer Menu
- Wittekerke Winter White Ale, Harelbeke, Belgium (7.5%), an authentic Belgian Double Wit Ale.
- Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale, Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville, California (6.9%), a traditional Winter Warmer.
- Santa’s Private Reserve, Rogue Ales, Newport, Oregon (6.0%), this Amber Ale has a malty flavor and spicy finish, and is one of my favorite winter seasonals.
- Exit 9 Hoppy Scarlet Ale, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Cherry Hill, New Jersey (9.0%), a richly flavored American Strong Ale that is assertively hopped.
- Yule Tide, Heavy Seas Beer, Baltimore, Maryland (10.0%), a Belgian Tripel Ale.
- Killer Penguin, Boulder Beer Company, Boulder, Colorado (10.0%), a smooth and strong Barleywine Ale.
- Infinium, Boston Beer Company, Boston, Massachusetts and Weihenstephan Brewery, Freising, Germany (10.3%), a unique Champagne-like beer that is becoming a New Year’s Eve tradition. (I drank a bottle of Infinium on New Year’s Eve 2010.)
- Life and Limb, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California (10%), an amazing collaboration beer that has its own web site.
- Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn, New York (10%), an Imperial Stout with “a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor.”
The entire menu was awesome, but there were a few stand-outs: Exit 9, Killer Penguin, and Life and Limb. I also really liked the Wittekerke White Ale because it was a lot different than your usual dark winter brews.
The New Year’s Eve celebration with friends, especially fellow craft beer enthusiast, made watching 2011 turn into 2012 a memorable beer-drinking experience.