Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Year in Beer

I cannot improve upon my liturgically-minded Thanksgiving food and drink recommendations from last year. What I can do is update the beers.

Come to think of it, I've let an entire year pass without alerting you to my brew picks. There was no Spring beer that particularly arrested me, but the beer of the summer was Smuttynose Star Island. I'm sorry I didn't tell you then.

As summer faded, Magic Hat continued to try a bit too hard and their labels grew even weirder. If you could find it, a not-too-heavy autumnal brew of distinction was Southern Tier Harvest Ale. But nice as it was, it still couldn't top Tröegs HopBack Amber, which is delectable year-round (as is their Pale). Fortuitously, it's not too late to share with you the perfect Thanksgiving beer, Victory's sensational Yakima Twilight. Tröegs and Victory remain the nation's two micro-brewing standouts, and they're - that's right - East coasters. Pennsylvania represent.

And lo, winter approaches. The solstice-celebrating culture of micro-breweries is not in principle disturbing (God is the cosmos-maker), but I fear that some Pacific Northwest breweries have neo-pagan intent. Hence I prefer to vote with my dollars for Christmas ales, but I can't drink them just yet because it's not even Advent (though I know what I'll have when it's time).

Happy Jeudi Gras everyone. Get on the Yakima. Cheers.