Friday, November 6, 2009

Celebrate Good Times, COME ON!

With all due respect to Kool and The Gang, it's the time of year this beer lover is ready for a little bit of Celebration; Celebration Ale that is...

From Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, the 2009 Celebration Ale is once again worthy of shedding a tear of happiness today.  Friday is pizza night here at Casa Hunger and with a pie of spicy Italian sausae with red onion rings and red bell peppers, I had my first taste of this years holiday heaven.  I haven't had a chance to sample any of my other perennial favorites but I will, oh yes I will.  Although it used to be Jubelale from Deschutes Brewery, Celebration has become my favorite for the past few years; malty with enough hops to balance it out so it doesn't have that overmalted sweet flavor and overly viscous mouthfeel that so many of the holiday beers seem to show.  Aaaahhhhh... this is the best part of the holidays as far as I'm concerned.

To give a little history, my first experience with holiday beers was the first xmas ale from Wasatch Brewing in Park City Utah when I lived there.  Not knowing any better I thought this was a fine brew but it was not something you could drink much of; one and that was it.  Uniquely spiced and heavy with a too sweet middle and cloying finish, it was a beer to enjoy and then move on to something that I could drink all evening such as a double Sapphire with a twist on the rocks.  Nothing cleans the palatte like a fine gin w/ a hint of lemon... In review it appears Wasatch Brewing has dropped the spicing aspect and moved to a more traditional recipe according to the reviews here.

Anyway, back when I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was lucky enough to find Jolly Roger Christmas Ale from Maritime Pacific Brewing Company.  Rich malts with some hoppiness but still a bit sweet after just a couple so it was not really a long lived love affair for me.  I still try it every year but I've moved on, although like a first love I still remember that first holiday season with Jolly Roger very fondly.

That same year I was fortunate enough to try a number of other holiday ales such as Wee Heavy from Hale's Ales and Snow Cap Ale from Pyramid Breweries.  While that was all back in 1992, it was certainly a year to remember in my long career of enjoying the produce of our fine Northwest brewmasters but nothing compares to Celebration Ale for this guy at this time of year.

More later...


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