2017 Best Nine // #6 // Winter Warmers
(Catching up on my 2017 Best Nine series? Start here!)
My final tasting event of the year featured a hefty line up of winter warmers – bold, boozy beers that make you feel like you’re warming up by the fireside (even if you’re sitting out in the cold).
The theme for the evening was to focus on winter warmer styles from five different countries and each beer we tasted had to be brewed in the country the style originated in.
We started close to home with an English Barleywine from The Five Points Brewing Company – Old Greg’s, a seasonal release. Then we moved to Belgium for the Belgian Dark Strong Ale (aka Belgian Quad) from Trappist brewery, Rochefort.
Next up – Germany, represented by the Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock from Schneider Weisse in Munich. What the heck is a Weizen-Eisbock you ask? It’s a strong, wheat-based ale that’s been frozen (hence eis, ie. “ice”, in the name) to concentrate the alcohol. Water will freeze before the alcohol does, so the ice is removed, concentrating the booze in the leftover liquid. Legend has it the discovery was accidental, but Eisbock has now become a recognized style according to the Beer Judge Certification Program, the organization that prepares style descriptions for beer competitions.
From Germany, we moved to Estonia and had an authentic Baltic Porter from Põhjala Brewery in Tallinn. (Yep, the same brewery you read about in picture #4. Dark beers are their specialty and their Baltic Porter is no exception!) Finally, we ended the night with an American Imperial Stout from Victory Brewing Company in Pennsylvania.
Over the course of the hour-and-a-half event, we talked about the history of each style, the nuances that set them apart from each other, and their perfect pairings (from cheese, to chocolate).
I really enjoy hosting tasting evenings and look forward to hosting many more in 2018. If you want to stay on top of my next events, join my (brand new!) email list here. You’ll get a monthly update from me with blog posts and event announcements.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank my gracious host for all of my 2017 events, Mother Kelly’s. The basement of the Well Street Bottle Shop is just about the coziest space for a beer tasting I could have imagined. Haven’t experienced it yourself yet? See above and get on my mailing list! (Or just pop down there and have a drink at the honesty bar during opening hours. You can thank me later.)