"What do you want for Christmas?"
Remember when you were a kid and you went to sit on Santa's lap to answer that question you had been anticipating for an entire year. Much thought would go into to your reply as you had to be sure that your requests were given in the right order with the proper emphasis on a few choice potential gifts. Well with that spirit in mind 990WBOB asked our resident beer team just that question. They all ironically asked for golden bubbly magical feel good juice also known as beer and they might all actually think that Santa is bringing it to them. Give a read and find out what our experts what to sip on this holiday season.
Host of The Franchise
Liquid Lunch Writer
With all the incredible offerings we currently have for beer right here in our little back yard of Rhode Island, it's tough to narrow down what I'd like to see under the ole Christmas tree. Currently my beer fridge is topped off with many of the fine beers Proclamation Ale Company had for sale at their grand re-opening so I'll start with them. Having missed the other Alpaca Magi, an American Wild Ale, releases and finally working on my beer cellar, I'd love to get my hands on a new one of these. A hand full of other Alpaca Magi have been released in years past and with the new facility in Warwick there should be more. I'd also love to see their triple IPA Penultimate Unicorn, a blend of all 3 Derivative IPAs, make another run. I was lucky enough to score a 4 pack of this last release and love it. Heading outside of Rhode Island, I've been lucky to get my hands on a bunch of Monkish Brewing from California. I've had a few of their double and triple IPAs. I love the hip hop inspired names like 2-1 and Lewis, Socrates' Philosophies and Hypothesis to name a couple. Would love to see these in my stocking. Coming back to the east coast and a recent release I'd like to get my hands on some Rubber Band Man from Veil Brewing. This thing is the definition of the hop hype train. A quadruple IPA hopped with, as Veil says, "an irresponsible amount of Citra, Enigma, Amarillo and Mosaic hops", yes please! To round out your shopping list for ya boy Ferro, I'd love some Canadian Breakfast Stout as a stocking stuffer. Oh and some more Teku glasses, because everyone needs proper glassware.
Co-Host of The Franchise
Liquid Lunch Critic
There are too many beers that I would love to see under my Christmas tree this year. The beer that really stands out for me would have to be the Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout by Toppling Goliath out of Decorah, Iowa. I haven’t been lucky enough to try it yet and it’s a very difficult beer to acquire. An online lottery awarded 1000 people a ticket to purchase a bottle of this in January, and it’s been released in previous years in smaller batches than that. I’ve heard and read too many good things about this beer. It sells for $1000 plus in the secondary market, so I’m not getting it there, and I’m not driving to Iowa anytime soon. It’s a barrel aged imperial stout that has been described as rich, chocolate, maple, and pancakes, in liquid form. I would love to pair it with my homemade baked French toast that I make every Christmas for Brunch. A French baguette, cut and soaked overnight in a bath of eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and spices, topped with praline, then baked in the oven. I can only imagine how good this beer would go with this and some bacon. But I don’t see me getting any of this anytime soon, so I wouldn’t mind seeing a few Pliney the Elder’s under the tree. A DIPA from Russian River Brewing Company, in California. I’ve had this beer, and I love it. The pine notes, and subtle citrus notes, make it smell like a Christmas tree. Its one of the best DIPA I’ve ever had, it has the perfect mouthfeel and carbonation. A great beer to sip by the fire Christmas morning. And that bottle would look great under the tree with the red, green, and white colors on the label.
Treehouse. Trillium. Night Shift. Bissell Brothers. Proclamation. Grey Sail. Tilted Barn. Holy hell, do we live in an awesome area for beer. I love going to each and every one of these breweries (and plenty more!) no matter the release, time of day, time of year, weather...you name the date, time, and brewery and I’m there, usually with no questions asked. This Christmas, though, I have one wish that I find myself needing more and more. A keg.
About 6-7 years ago, my wife bought me a kegerator and it has been the greatest gift ever. I’ve filled it with Bud Light, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, Notch, and Finback - just to name a few. But more than anything else, I want a supply of 1/6 barrels (after all, I’m not a greedy man) from the big boys. I want to sit down to watch A Christmas Story with a fresh Julius poured from my kegerator. I want to wrap presents under my Christmas tree with some Substance in a big mug. Sure, I can get cans from these places whenever I feel like taking a drive...but I imagine a world where I can pour a 16 oz world-class New England draft all by myself. Is that too much to ask? Only time will tell...c’mon Santa, don’t let me down!
I am thankful and fortunate that I have an opportunity to try and enjoy many of the great beers of New England and across the country. We have access to so many great breweries locally and there are many generous traders who are head over heels for NEIPAs. During the holidays, my thirst can not be quenched with an IPA, I have stouts on the brain. With that being said, there are a couple of great stouts that I would like to see under the Christmas tree.
Locally, I would love Santa to bring me some Damon from Hill Farmstead in Greensboro, VT. Damon is a bourbon barrel aged Russian imperial stout named after the brewer’s dog who passed in 2004. This stout packs a 10.5% ABV and boasts a 4.47 out of 5 on Beer Advocate. This beer’s flavor isn’t influenced, enhanced or hidden by any tricks or gimmicks; just talent, time and technique by the brewer. Delicate, deep and rich coffee and chocolate notes give way to a bourbon finish offered by the Blanton’s bourbon barrels it is aged in. This beer is #188 in the world according to Beer Advocate and it would be a welcomed sight under my Christmas tree.
For a non-local variety, I would love to see Fundamental Observation from Bottle Logic Brewing in Anaheim, CA in my stocking. Bottle Logic makes some of the world’s best stouts and Fundamental Observation is cream of the crop. This 14.2% high octane imperial stout is blended with Madagascar vanilla beans and aged in bourbon barrels. It is rated a gaudy 4.71 out of 5 on Beer Advocate and is their #13 beer in the world. FO, as it’s referred to on trade boards, would make a perfect night cap to a long day with the family.
Those are the two beers I would like to see under the Christmas tree this year. Merry Christmas to all the listeners out there, have a safe and happy holiday!!
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