Wednesday, November 12, 2008

American micro draft lineup, descriptions, links for Saturnalia Winter Solstice MMVIII (begins December 12).

Here are the American microbrewed selections that have been listed for the fifth edition of Saturnalia, which kicks off at the Public House on December 12.

Pricing and portion sizes vary according to alcohol content and style. Selections marked with an asterisk * are appearing on draft for the first time at Rich O’s Public House and Sportstime Pizza.

The three previous table setters for today's concluding half of the Saturnalia listings are these:

Imported draft lineup, descriptions, links for Saturnalia Winter Solstice MMVIII (begins December 12).

Saturnalia explained: Festive draft beers for the winter solstice, coming December 12.

Roger's believe-it-or-not: Saturnalia's planned and ready, a full month ahead of opening night.

John Campbell is working on the official poster, and when it's ready, it will be previewed here.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Anchor Christmas Ale (“Merry Christmas & Happy New Year”)
The holiday ale’s recipe has differed each year since its inception in 1975, but the conceptual links with trees (on the bottle label) and the winter solstice have endured. 5.5% abv.

*Atwater Vanilla Java Porter
Starbucks need not apply to serve this dessert drink, chilled, with chocolate malt, vanilla flavoring, coffee beans, and even American-grown Golding hops just for the fun of it 6% abv.

Avery Old Jubilation
Mahogany-colored, nutty and toffeeish English-style strong ale, brewed from five malts (two-row, special roast, black, chocolate and victory) and Bullion hops. 8% abv.

*Barley Island Beastie Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout
The Noblesville brewery’s Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout (5% abv in customary form) is aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey barrels, bolstering strength. Barley Island’s owners and brew crew will be on site at Rich O’s on Saturday, December 13, to help us drink some Beastie.

*Bell’s Christmas Ale
And now something completely different, as Bell’s delves into holiday ales with is being described as a Scots 80 Shilling (Wee Heavy) formulation brewed with Michigan barley and a blend of Pacific Northwest hops and a few cones of Michigan-grown hops. Guesstimating 7%+ abv.

Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury
This Belgian Strong Ale first appeared in 2004. According to the brewery, it’s “A brew that gives you either sympathy for the devil or the courage to face him … Goes especially well with your favorite lost my girl/truck/dog/trailer song.” Of course. 7.7% abv.

Bluegrass Brewing Company Hell for Certain
Original BBC brewmaster David Pierce’s classic seasonal Belgian style, taking at least some measure of inspiration from Wallonian gnomes, and the remainder from a strange Kentucky hamlet that may not have voted to re-elect Mitch McConnell. Circa 7.5% abv.

Boulder Never Summer Ale
American seasonal ale brewed with 2-row barley and British dark caramel malt; Nugget, Willamette and Cascade hops; and a “top secret brewmaster’s spice,” all on behalf of “the drinking town with a skiing problem.” 5.94% abv.

Breckenridge Christmas Ale
Dark mahogany in color (two row, caramel, chocolate, black malts) with Chinook and Mt. Hood for balance. Very Colorado. 7.4% abv.

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout
Chocolate’s the selling point, but there is none; rather, intensely roasted malts and brewing skullduggery are the culprits. Should be saved for Gravity Head, but the Publican loves his Imperials. 10.1% abv.

*Brooklyn Brewery Brewmasters Reserve Grand Cru
As befitting the man who wrote the book on food and beer pairings, Garrett Oliver offers this special Belgian ale, brewed with Canadian barley and winter wheat, two different types of orange peel, lemon peel, chamomile, coriander and wildflower honey. 8.4% abv.

Clipper City “Heavy Seas” Peg Leg Imperial Stout (firkin)
Cross your fingers, cask-conditioned ale lovers. We’ve been sitting on this firkin for about five months, letting a bit of age reshape the thick, evolving black loveliness within. 8% abv.

Clipper City “Heavy Seas” Winter Storm
There is a presumption of “Imperial ESB” in this ale, with four malts and five hops (Magnum, Fuggles, Cascade, Centennial and Chinook). Dry hopped. 7.5% abv.

*Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Doppelbock
Does anyone ever brew a coffee beer that isn’t a porter or a stout? Affirmative. Dark Horse’s –ator tag is priceless. Guesstimating 7.5% abv.

Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout
This fruit-laced Stout comes from one of many innovative Michigan breweries and has arrived late every time we’ve ordered it, but is much loved when finally here. Keep watching the blackboards. 4.5% abv.

Great Divide Hibernation Ale
It’s a winter ale, but one that is lagered for three months prior to release. Perhaps overshadowed by some of today’s extreme microbrews, but enduring, unique and worthy in its own right - deep, nutty and smooth. 8.1% abv.

Left Hand Snowbound Winter Ale
Presented as an “antidote to cabin fever,” and brewed with two-row, Munich, crystal and chocolate malts, Magnum and Saaz hops, and a spice array of crushed cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, honey, chopped ginger and cardamom. The website lists it as 7.6% abv.

NABC Bonfire of the Valkyries
An unprecedented Schwarzbier/Rauchbier hybrid (smoked black lager), back for its third seasonal batch. Not excessively smoky; just right. All in all, magic fire mood music for Saturnalia. Circa 6.5% abv.

NABC Naughty Claus
Jesse’s and Jared’s holiday spiced winter warmer undergoes yearly modification. For 2008, the recipe calls for 2-row, chocolate, and aromatic malts, Dutch dark cocoa and fresh mint. That’s right: No hops at all. Circa 7% abv.

Oaken Barrel Epiphany
Westmalle Trappist yeast is used to fashion this tasty Tripel, which nudges toward the sweet side of the range without sacrificing a velvety sipability. Take that, Bud Light. Circa 9% abv.

Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout
Last year’s portion went quickly as the sweet tooth brigade gathered for the kill. It’s stout infused with Belgian dark chocolate, and clocks in at circa 7% abv.

*Redstone Black Raspberry Nectar Mead
It’s another first for us, although mead arguably is the oldest fermented beverage known to man. Redstone’s nectar is classified as Melomel. Five parts Clover honey and one part Wildflower honey yield mead of medium sweetness, with black raspberries added. 8% abv.

Rogue Chocolate Stout
Brewed with a staggering 10 ingredients, including chocolate malt, chocolate flavoring and rolled oats. It is rich in every conceivable respect. Circa 6% abv.

Rogue HazelNut Brown Nectar
First concocted in honor of a creative, homebrewing friend of Rogue’s head brewer, HazelNut Brown Nectar is brewed with hazelnut extract, at least a half-dozen malts, Perle and Saaz hops, and Rogue’s trademark yeast strain. 6.2% abv.

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
Santa’s Private Reserve is back on draft as part of Rogue’s “John’s Locker Stock” series. Imagine a slightly bigger St. Rogue Red with double the hops. Circa 6.5% abv.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager
Bottom fermented wheat bock with Goldings and German Noble hops and a “touch” of spice (cinnamon, ginger and orange peel). 5.8% abv

Schlafly Christmas Ale
Schlafly is the “new religion in Mecca,” and its St. Louis megabrewing neighbor brews nothing as big as this big amber ale flavored with orange peel and cloves. 10% abv.

*Shmaltz He’Brew Jewbelation Twelve
Shmaltz’s 12th anniversary ale uses 12 different malts and 12 distinct hop varieties in 12 separate additions. At 12% abv, the motto undoubtedly rings true through the shtick: “This anniversary, candles won’t be the only thing getting lit.”

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
It is indeed difficult to imagine another seasonal ale that symbolizes the holidays better than Celebration Ale. Desert island beer for many, recurring seasonal favorite, with generous doses of Chinook (for bittering), Cascades and Centennial hops, dry-hopped with all three, but not neglecting a delicious malt underpinning. 6.8% abv.

Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
The process is simple. Arrogant Bastard is aged on oak chips, with lend toasty vanilla flavors that are the perfect complement to the ale’s big background malt wallop. We appreciate aggressive hopping, too. Circa 6.8% abv.

*Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale
Straight outta Akron, dog. Spiced with honey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and “Santa's secret recipe.” 7.8% abv.

Three Floyds Alpha Klaus Xmas Porter
Who else but Three Floyds Brewing Company would devise a robust porter with English chocolate and Mexican sugar (or vice versa, depending on the source) that reeks of piney hop essence and is built on a malty foundation? No one, that’s who. 7.5% abv.

*Two Brothers Oh Brother Tripel
An unpreviewed seasonal release from Chicagoland’s Two Brothers, made from pilsner malt, candi sugar, and “non-traditional” hops. 8.5% abv.

Upland Winter Warmer
Upland’s annual winter specialty warmer is perhaps best described as a cross between an Old Ale and an English-style Barley Wine, falling a tad shy of the strong American microbrewed interpretations of both styles. 9% abv.

*Victory Baltic Thunder
Probably should have held onto this one for Gravity Head. Let’s just say that the Publican is eager to sample this variation on the Baltic Porter theme, courtesy for one of the most proficient breweries going. 8.5% abv.

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