I hope everyone will have a safe and joyful Christmas and that beer geeks everywhere are sharing locally made beer with their loved ones. I bought a 12 pack of individual local craft beer for our gift exchange tonight so I may pick that gift out for myself.
We have a very special “beer” for today. It’s B. Nektar (Ferndale, MI) Cranberry Melomel which is a mead made with cranberries and orange zest. I bought this bottle at Merchant’s in Dearborn. Yes, technically it’s a mead and not a beer but it’s a special occasion and I think that Jesus would want us to enjoy something a little special on the eve of his birthday.
Here is the description from the bottle…
Only 20 gallons of this Cranberry Melomel (Batch 58) were made in January, 2010 (a melomel is a mead made with fruit). Orange blossom honey was fermented with 30 pounds of whole cranberries for a wonderful tart balance. Then we aged the mead on some orange zest to bring out the citrus-like character of the honey. The aroma is very complex with cranberry, honey and hints of citrus. The flavor doesn’t disappoint with tart cranberry up front followed by citrus-laden honey. This mead is also incredibly gorgeous in the glass with a striking pinkish-orange hue.
The bottle’s description is pretty thorough but I will try to add something to it. The mead is a beautiful salmon color with a slight carbonation to it.It has a sweet honey nose with hints of cranberries and orange. It has a nice tart taste from the cranberries that sets it apart from other meads I have had. The orange adds a hint of citrus to the sweetness of the honey along with a slight earthiness. The mouthfeel is dry but soft on your tongue.
If you don’t like mead because it is too sweet this one has a nice tartness to balance it out, so you may enjoy this one. I really like B. Nektar’s meads and recommend them for the holiday season. What is great is that they are easy to find in our local stores so now I can enjoy them whenever I want.
I will warn you. Don’t drink this on a empty stomach. It is 12% ABV and I am feeling it. Too busy cleaning house to eat.
Here is one of my favorite Christmas songs to end this post as well as our advent series. Enjoy!
It’s somewhat of a special occasion tonight since neither of us has to work until next week. Sarah doesn’t go back to work till 2011. I’m not so lucky. So we bumped our scheduled Advent beer tonight so we could split a growler of Jolly Pumpkin that I bought from the cafe yesterday. As soon as I tried this beer I wanted to share with it Sarah as soon as I could. So our beer tonight is Nightmare Before Vicious Sour Wheat IPA. I’m not sure why it is called that but it seems to be a play on words with The Nightmare Before Christmas. I should have swiped a beer menu.
The color is a bright golden amber with a white head. It had very little head retention but it had more retention when it was poured at the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe. The aroma has a farmhouse sourness that is distinctively Jolly Pumpkin. Once that clears you can smell the oakiness. The mouthfeel is dry with a tart crisp bite and really excites the tongue.The farmhouse sourness is in the forefront of this beer with some bready sweetness from the wheat and a finish of grassy hops .
I would place this beer at the top of the advent beer so far. I am always impressed with Jolly Pumpkin beers. They have a distinct flavor yet each beer is distinctly different. When you see the process that Ron Jeffries goes through you realize why it is called Artisan Ales instead of a brewery.
Now to enjoy the rest of our night, good beer, bad movies and ugly gift wrapping jobs.
This is our tentative beer menu for the tasting on Tuesday July 22nd. I am really excited about having New Holland Golden Cap Saison on this year’s beer menu. New Holland is delivering it with a representative from their brewery to help us pour.
Arbor will also be sending down two of their representatives to the tasting. Arbor Brewing is a great supporter of local products. The ice cream that is served at their brewery is from Carleton Michigan’s own Calder’s Dairy.
If you know of anyone that would interested in attending this event pass onto them. We had a great time last year and we hope it will be as big this year.