Hey everybody! Miss me? How is it going? Hope you all had a nice off-season. I trust that everybody heeded to my requests to drink plenty of (good) beer and and be nice to your family and support Tottenham Hotspur and eat a well-balanced breakfast every morning.
However, we have important things to talk about around here. Aside from figuring out who the hell is going to play left field and whether or not Nick Castellanos will be a reliable everyday player, I want to know what you all have been drinking since last October (and I really hope it wasn't too much Sam Adams, even though Harpoon is acceptable).
I'll go first: I am a pretty big sucker for wonderful, well-rounded, spicy holiday beers. Any brewery can lose the cap on the nutmeg and cinnamon shakers, but it takes some real practice to formulate the right blend of a hoppy bite and a malty finish. The beer that took the cake for me this season was the Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas.
My first introduction to this beer came from, oddly enough, my wife. Most bars will serve this with a brown sugar and cinnamon rim that blends nicely with the beer. If you are a fan of older editions of the Great Lakes Christmas Ale (which I am), you will notice a familiar taste. The former brewmaster at Great Lakes Brewing Company left for Thirsty Dog a few years back, and he made sure to take his Christmas Ale recipe with him. Ever since, the Great Lakes recipe has suffered from being good but not great while Thirsty Dog has cornered the market with a delectable blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and coriander in a high gravity malty delight. If you're looking for the perfect beer to pair with anything from Christmas cookies to Key Lime pie, you have it right here. At 8.3% ABV and 21 IBUs, you get an easy drinking cup a cheer to get you through these crappy cold days.
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company is located in Akron, OH.
Some other fantastic off-season beers to get you up to Opening Day:
-Ten Fidy Scotch Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO
-Merry Christmas Happy New Year, Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA
-2XIPA, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, NY
A number of other great beers are out there. Let's hear what you all had!