Monday, 8 October 2012

Christmas is coming...

Sorry for the bad news, but Christmas is coming....

As you can see, I grabbed a couple of brews and gave them a whirl. Yakima Monster a Pale Ale from Liberty Brewing and Black RIPA a Black Imperial Ale, part of the Enlightenment series from Renaissance. Both brilliant beers. The Yakima Monster is a beast of a beer, using hops from the Yakima Valley in the States. Hops hops and more hops. Beautifully balanced with the malt back bone - if you like hops, go hit it. The RIPA was for me the best out of the two. Its black, looks thick, yet there are none of the roast, chocolate or coffee notes you'd expect from a Stout/Porter you'd expect - why? Because it's an "Indian Pale Ale" but it's black. Insert mind over mater here. Beautiful beer, for me more caramel notes did it for me. Both good beers though, get down to your local and have a browse for them!

I've been asked to brew some beers for the family for Christmas. My initial thought was yep, APA, Red Ale and maybe something darker for night time or should the weather pack in.

I've since out some thought into it and I think an APA, since they're refreshing and an Imperial Stout, should the weather pack in or for a night time tipple. Craft wise, think an Epic Pale Ale and an 8 Wired iStout. Both beers I personally rate, but I guess at the end of the day its not about me (yeah right). APA is staying, that's a definite, but the other one (or two) I'm not to sure about. The Imperial Stout is a BIG beer, coming in at about 9% all going well and I'm not 100% sure that it'll be in its prime come Christmas, might not even be fully primed knowing my luck!

Brian then said something about a proper Christmas beer. So I've been jumping about on HBT trying to find a recipe and to be fair, since the forums are based in the good ole US of A most of them are based on stouts, porters and brown ales, which are 'winter' style beers. I guess I was/am looking at a 'winter' style beer as well with the Imperial Stout. There are some spiced beers I could look into, but they don't sound right to me. The closest I came to spice was coriander in the Chubby Highlander.
Then there is cider, a good summer tipple if you find the right flavours. I love Bulmers (albeit made in NZ) thanks to an unsuspecting bottle left in the fridge at a party. So I could brew an Irish Cider from a kit and see how we go with that.

I could also look at a cider that's even more refreshing than Bulmers, like a Rekorderlig anything really. The wife is a big fan of their cider so I guess any flavour pairing would work. Cinnamon and apple is always a good combo, making an apple crumble flavour, is that summer though? For me Rekorderlig is far to sweet for me, so I'm not the one drinking it.

So some decisions to make, what's your favourite tipple in summer apart from wine and top shelf?

Got any tips on making cider?

Made a kit cider, how'd it go for you?

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