BC Beer Baron #360 – Deep Cove Noel Belgian Strong Ale

The search for just the right beer to feature on Christmas Day was happily answered at a recent holiday gathering. There, a friend and I split a bottle of this Deep Cove Craft release and the clarity I had sought arrived.

The Noel Belgian Strong Ale features tastes of honey, spices and fruit. The brewery suggests cellaring the 8.4% ABV beverage, allowing its flavours to mature. Miraculously, Mrs. Sip and I have actually managed to cellar a beer before.

deep-cove-noel-belgian-strong-ale

The brew is available in 750ml bottles at private liquor stores. It can also be had at Deep Cove’s North Vancouver tasting room, where a limited quantity is on tap and growler fills of the product are not allowed.

This isn’t the first Noel Cellar Series single batch release, as previously the brewery had another Belgian-style ale, highlighted by rye and dark fruits, such as black currants and cherries. The drink was not available in bottles.

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BC Beer Baron #346 – Bridge The Grinch Winter Ale

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Already the best time of the year, the fact it’s Winter Ale season makes it that much better.

Just like the character of the Grinch experienced his heart growing three sizes thanks to the Whovillians, perhaps the same happened with Bridge Brewing, given their bevvy of seasonal releases for Christmas. Of course, that’s not to say the folks at the brewery were bad to begin with…

The Grinch Winter Ale is a limited edition beer, providing the elements one would expect in a winter warmer, such as flavours of caramel, plum pudding and spices. Bridge has created a great Seussian poem for the 6.5% ABV, 26 IBUs beverage that really should be read before enjoying the brew.

bridge-the-grinch-winter-ale

There is also a barrel-aged version of The Grinch, which I have yet to try. This variation features the recipe being aged in bourbon and Sherry Wood Single Malt Whiskey barrels. Apricots also used by Sons of Vancouver in their amaretto have also been added to the mix.

As far as Christmas-themed beers go, Bridge also has the Sleigh Booster Imperial Red Ale, which comes with stats of 9% ABV and 71 IBUs. Mrs. Sip gave me both The Grinch and the Sleigh Booster in a self-made beer advent calendar last year and it resulted in a wonderful Christmas!

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