PORTLAND, Oregon. – The Holiday Ale Festival will officially come of age this year as it celebrates the 21st annual event, Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Ave. Known for assembling a prestigious lineup of winter beers, the festival will feature more than 50 specialty ales that have either been crafted specifically for the event or are hard-to-fine vintages, underscoring the event’s reputation as one of finest gathering of winter beers anywhere in the nation.
Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, nearly 14,000
Growing up with chocolate Advent calendars, it’s only natural for the beer-loving adult to progress to Christmas beer Advent calendars. A new Beer Advent Calendar on Kickstarter is what Santa’s been looking for!
There are a number of pre-stocked beer Advent calendars available. But limited distribution and archaic alcohol shipping laws leave out
Christmas beer isn’t just for Winter! My new pal, The Beer Babe, sent me a photo of a sign she drove past that reads: “365 Days of Christmas Ale.” Love it!
I drink Christmas beer any time of year. But with these hot days I’ve been enjoying Saison and hopped-up IPAs this Summer.
Check out Carla Jean Lauter’s fascinating blog, The Beer Babe. She writes from the other Portland – Portland, Maine. Wait. Maybe the Maine Portland is the main Portland and not the Oregon Portland. Too confusing. Let’s have Portland beer tasting to decide.
Trappist brewery Chimay has barrel aged their Grande Reserve Ale (Blue) for the first time. Historically, the Grande Reserve was Chimay’s Christmas Beer.
I don’t have a bottle yet, but here’s a video from
Lompoc (pronounced Lom-Pock) Brewing is a gem hidden among the deluge of Portland breweries. Founded in 1996, Lompoc brews mainly for their 5 taverns with some bottling for local distribution. C-Sons Greetings is an Imperial India Pale Ale.
Besides being a clever name, C-Sons Greetings is brewed with all seven of the “C” hops – Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Challenger. It pours ruby-amber with a finger-width white head of foam. It has floral hops on the nose with some caramel malts. Tasting it, it’s going to be a Northwest favorite – pine and resin hop flavors. There’s a malt backbone that both sweetens slightly and balances the full load of hops.
C-Sons Greetings doesn’t stray too far from an Imperial IPA style. What may make it more of a seasonal brew is it’s a bit richer with malts adding body and balance and a slightly lower 8% ABV.
Any fan of Imperial IPAs and Northwest Christmas beers will love Lompoc’s C-Sons Greetings.
Harvey & Sons Ltd is a 200-plus year-old brewery in Southeast Britain. It’s privately owned and run by 8th generation family members. Harvey’s Christmas Ale is a dark Barleywine.
Harvey’s Christmas Ale pours ruby red with a thin lacing of foam. The aroma is caramel, toffee, dates, and brown sugar. The taste isn’t as sweet as I expected, which
Kulshan Brewing Co. is in Washington State up near the border with Canada. Kulshan is a small brewing operating since 2012, and turning out excellent beer. Kitten Mittens is their Winter Ale.
Kitten Mittens pours dark mahogany with a thin head of tan foam. The aroma is milk chocolate, dates, and toasted malts. Let this one warm up a bit to bring out the flavors. On tasting it, there’s a nice blend of toasted malts, cocoa, powered chocolate, hazelnut, and the right balance of sweetness. As it goes down, the finish is medium-long with the bitter chocolate and toasted malts remaining.
It’s 7.4% ABV, which puts in the Winter Warm category for me. The mouthfeel is good with medium body and lively carbonation.