Our best Christmas present to ourselves was this delightful twenty gallons of holiday homebrew. From left to right we have the Belgian Holiday, Patersbier, Gingerbread Ale, and Best Bitter— four of the best beers we’ve brewed to date. The Belgian Holiday was our first use of real candi syrup, instead of the rock candi sugar, and the difference is amazing (just look at the color difference between it and the Patersbier). Dark, rich, with plum and raisin notes plus warming spices— this is the ultimate cold weather sipper. Its sister beer, the low-gravity Patersbier, is light, smooth, with a hint of raisiny Special B malt, yet funky and effervescent.
The Gingerbread Ale is perfectly spiced, the gingerbread never overwhelms the bready malt, and I think it’s more balanced than Highland’s Cold Mountain. The Best Bitter is amazing— fruity yeast, and a great balance between the malt and hops. In fact, I like it more than commercial examples I had the other day (Fuller’s London Pride, Wells Bombardier). It may be because of the West Yorkshire Yeast (love it, gonna use it for all IPAs and Pale Ales in the future), perhaps the generous amount of Victory Malt that seems to just make everything better, perhaps because of the big dose of Fuggles I threw in because why not, or perhaps because I FINALLY NAILED THE CARBONATION TO APPROXIMATE THAT WONDERFUL MOUTHFEEL OF CASK CONDITIONED REAL ALE! WHY AM I SHOUTING?
Anyways, December and early January have been uneventful in terms of actually brewing, but maybe it’s because we have three refrigerators full of beer with another ten gallons about to be bottled. Oh darn. Tons of beer. What a world we live in.