Beers of New Year’s Eve – the recap

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I hope you had a fun, safe, tradition filled New Year’s Eve last night.  I did!  I thought I’d recap the beers of NYE and give some quick notes on each.  Beers were drank from left to right.  And here’s the recap…

First – Brewer: Traveler       Craft: Jolly Winter Shandy       ABV: 4.4%       A great way to start the evening.  This craft is a shandy, which means it has some fruit component built in.  Jolly has lemon peel, along with pomegranate, and orange.  It also has some spice from what I believe to be cinnamon and ginger.  It all works well together and sets the mood for the night.

Second – Brewer: Conshohocken Brewing Co.       Craft: IPA       ABV: 6.4%       This is my local, hometown brewery.  I was so excited when I heard that a brewery was opening up in the town I grew up in, and even more excited when I heard they were going to start canning a couple of their crafts.  This IPA is a solid, no nonsense craft.  Notes of citrus and bittering hops blend together to make this malty craft easy to drink, which, at 6.4 %, is just on the outside edge of being a session ale.

Third – Brewer: Samuel Smith’s       Craft: Winter Welcome Ale       ABV: 6.0%       A nice follow-up to the Conshy IPA is this winter warmer.  A malty backbone with a solid spice profile is what I want and expect in a winter warmer.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Fourth – Brewer: Rogue       Craft: Dead Guy Ale       ABV: 6.5%       I like this craft because it’s unexpected.  It is malty, but not overly so.  It has fruit notes that I pick up of pineapple and orange, but not too much of either.  It has a spice character toward the finish, which is just enough.  This craft is a quality blend of flavors married together in a convincing, unique way.

Fifth – Brewer: Dogfish Head       Craft: Namaste       ABV: 4.8%       These guys can do no wrong in my opinion.  I’m unabashedly a Dogfish Head fan.  They are creative in their brewing ideas and in the crafts they create.  They aren’t afraid to try things and push the envelope.  Namaste is lighter fare.  It almost drinks like a champagne.  I thought I might choose this one to finish the evening, but I decided to end with another local craft.  Though this could certainly be a drink with which you toast.

Sixth – Brewer: Conshohocken       Craft: Doll’s Eye CDA       ABV: 5.2%       I had originally thought I might end the night with a stout.  But as the night progressed, my mood changed and I wanted to end the night with the other craft I had picked up from Conshy.  So the Cascadian Dark Ale was the walk off.  I made a great choice.  This hoppy, malty ale was a nice change from the lighter, fruitier Namaste.  It left me satisfied that I had made wise choices all night long and could walk off into the slumber of the new year with fulfillment and joy.

The whole evening was an awesome experience filled with food, family, fun, and of course, craft beer.  I made sure I drank a glass of water in between each beer so I wouldn’t be waking up with a hangover.  Along with all of the cheeses, meats, and crackers, I woke up this morning feeling like I had fun last night, but not too much.  And for me, that’s what New Year’s Eve is all about…the tradition of enjoying myself with family, remembering it the next day and wanting to continue the tradition next year.  Or is it this year?

Either way, have a happy and healthy new year.  Cheers. – Ed

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