A firkin may sound like something from Middle Earth, but rest assured, it's a real thing. Just as real as the beer that comes inside it. Cask-conditioned "real ale" is making a big comeback these days, and I, for one, am in full support.
In a world filled with hopped-up IPAs, oak-aged imperial stouts, and extreme beers of all stripes, one should never overlook the merits of a very good, very well-brewed, basic amber ale. Like this one.
Want something fun and boozy to serve with the dessert buffet at your holiday party? Look no further. Fruit lambics are always a crowd-pleaser, and this cherry lambic from Belgium's Brouwerij Boon is one of my favorites.
Beer lovers are by far the easiest people to shop for. Trust me, the gift of good beer will always be received with exuberant and completely unfeigned delight. But this year, several newly-released books, special brewing kits, and other beer-nerd-tastic things make giving these folks something they'll love even easier.
Two words: bourbon dubbel. That is the Belgian-style ale that I have fermenting in my kitchen as we speak. And it's all thanks to this new cookbook (brewbook?) from Erica Shea and Stephen Valand, the creative geniuses behind Brooklyn BrewShop.
Let's start with the sinuous campfire smokiness of this beer. No, its spicy Belgian yeastiness. And there's also its sweet caramel underbelly to consider. Needless to say, this limited-release beer, part old-school German rauchbier and part Belgian dubbel, manages to pack a lot into one bottle. And doesn't it sound perfect for a cozy winter dinner?
I have fallen head over heels for roggenbiers. These brews are made with a good dose of malted rye in their grain bill, giving them a spicy, warm, and somewhat sour character. Perfect, I'd say, for a crisp fall afternoon.
Looking for something to serve beer buffs this holiday season? A bottle of this fizzy, tangy farmhouse ale from The Lost Abbey would be right at home with a plate of turkey and stuffing. Plus a cork automatically ups the fancy factor for any beer!