Friday, December 28, 2012

Bring in the New Year with Beer!

Not a fan of champagne and sparkling wines — the traditional drink of New Year’s Eve? Why not try a different kind of bubbly this year?

Randy Mosher, brewer, beer expert, and author of Tasting Beer, offers beverage advice for the New Year: “Pop a Belgian-style Tripel as an alternative to the same boring old champagne when the year changes. The next day nourish your soul and your head with a nice yeasty weizenbock.”

Belgian Abbey Tripel

Origin: Westmalle Abbey, in 1930s in reaction to pilsner and pale-ale trends
Location: Belgium, U.S. craft breweries
Flavor: Complex, clean maltiness with lots of spicy depth; highly carbonated
Aroma: Spicy/fruity with clean malt, a bit of hops
Balance: Honeyed but dry, with clean, crisp finish
Seasonality: Year-round
Pair with: Roast pork; rich seafood such as lobster; creamy desserts such as crรจme brรปlรฉe
Suggested beers to try: Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet, Westmalle Tripel, Stoudt’s Triple, Unibroue La Fin du Monde
Unibroue La Fin du Monde

Weizenbock and Weizen Doppelbock

Bigger, stronger, and darker than dunkel weizen, this is the perfect winter wheat beer. All the same fruit-bowl aroma, but it also has some deep caramelized malt aromas, and maybe hints of toast as well. Despite the strength, these are very drinkable beers. Schneider also makes an eisbock version that is frozen to remove some water, which brings it up to 12 percent alcohol. It takes a cold day to stand up to that.

Origin: Bavaria, Germany; a stronger, darker version brewed as a luxury product
Bavaria; also U.S. craft breweries
Creamy, caramelly malt; hint of bitterness
Rich caramel malt plus fruity/spicy yeast
Balance: Malty and sweet but highly carbonated
Seasonality: Year-round but best in cooler weather
Pair with: Hearty food, such as roast pork, beef, smoked ham; big desserts; aged cheese
Suggested beers to try: Erdinger Pikantus, Schneider Aventinus
Excerpted from Tasting Beer © 2009 by Randy Mosher and Storey Publishing. All rights reserved.

Want more? Get a whole Year of Beer — What to Drink and When from Randy!

Cheers to a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!

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