OK, so let’s see: the economy is in the toilet, Mount Hood Meadows has a 6″ base, and it’ll take me weeks to recover from Monday’s staff holiday party. But none of that matters, because I’m here with good news: our Taproom is chock full of tasty beers to get all of us through the holidays in style.
In addition to the excellent IRB and Brett-Devil mentioned in the previous post, I’d like to bring your attention to three other beers we’re now pouring at the Tapoom. First and most recent is “Ardennes”, a Belgian-style strong golden ale, featuring the yeast strain from Brasserie d’Achouffe in southeastern Belgium. This terrific yeast produces a cavalcade of fruity, spicy, herby tastes and aromas. Matt used straight Pilsner malt with just a hint of light candi sugar, and a judicious amount of Palisades hops. The mouthfeel of this beer exceptionally round and creamy, and provides a nice counterbalance to the amount of alcohol present (9.2% ABV). A stellar effort, and only available at the Taproom while it lasts. (We should have enough to get through to January.)
The next beer of note is “Fa La La La La”, Double Mountain’s offering in the annual winter ale sweepstakes. As with a lot of our hoppy beers, the Fa is quickly becoming something of a cult classic. Matt designed a beer that is broadly in the spirit of Full Sail’s Wreck the Halls (which he developed) and, before that, Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, a beer that many of us regard as a key touchstone in craft brewing history. Fa La La La La is a big, chewy mouthful of a beer, jam-packed with copious amounts of Centennial hops. The piney, spicy notes of Centennials just say “Christmas” to me… anyway, this one too will be on tap for the next several weeks, and can also be found pouring at numerous good-beer outlets in the Portland area. 7.5% ABV, 85 BU.
Last but not least is the long-awaited return of “Alpenbrew”, the beer we developed last year for the fine folks at Mount Hood Meadows, in honor of their 40th Anniversary. (Sidenote: Meadows is gonna get pounded this weekend with snow, woo hoo!) This is probably our most British-tasting ale, and when pressed we tell people it’s broadly in the style of an ESB. Alpenbrew is assertive and characterful yet (as with most of our beers) balanced in its own way. The malty flavors are lean, nutty, and expertly paired with Brewers Gold and Newport hops, providing plenty of hoppy goodness without any strong citrusy notes. I like to think of it as a great Northwest session beer, hope you do too… 5.0% ABV, 40BU.
Unlike the other beers mentioned here, Alpen will be on for a while — at least as long as people are hitting the slopes this season. We’ll be pouring it at the Alpenstube, the Finish Line, and the Mazot up at Meadows this year, and at select accounts in the region, including our Taproom of course.
Cheers folks, here’s to a great holiday season! -Charlie