Endless Beer: 2014 Anchor Christmas Celebration Ale

 

The tradition continues! Anchor releases their 40th Anniversary edition of the Christmas Celebration Ale. Every year, Anchor Brewing tweaks the recipe to the traditional Christmas Ale. And of course…they add a new illustration of the tree to the collection. Generally, Anchor ensures a dark ale packed full of spices that remind us all of Christmas. This is my third year sipping this beverage and it has become a tradition for myself as well. Anchor keeps the recipe secret, but we know that it is made with a mix of strong malts, spices, and hops to be complemented by the dry hopping process. Anyway, here’s to beer traditions.

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Eversong Cocktail

Cocktail O’ Clock: The Eversong

Eversong Cocktail
This cocktail hails from Mettle, one of my favorite spots here in Austin. I just love a Vesper in the wintertime (and champagne literally any time), so Mettle’s twist on this is something special. They were kind enough to share their recipe with me so I could share it with all of you.

A few words on the drink from bartender and creator, Mike McMillan: “It’s an ode to the classic Vesper. Also known as the Eversong, which is the sixth of the seven canonical hours, this reminded me of the hour before midnight drawing near.”

The Eversong

.5 oz. NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
.5 oz. Ketel One Vodka
.25 oz. Kina L’Avion d’Or

Top with Moet Imperial Reserve Cuvee

Shake all ingredients (excluding the Champagne) together in a cocktail shaker, strain into a martini glass. Top up with Cuvee. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Endless Beer: Sierra Nevada Wild Hop IPA

Sierra Nevada concludes their 2014 Harvest series with the Wild Hop IPA. Sierra Nevada went on a journey for the best wild hops around and crafted brews around what they found for these suds. The Neomexicanus “is the literal wild card” of the five bottle package with the hops’ unusual flavors. “Unusual” does not get the cravings going, but that’s why it is the wild card, right? Sierra Nevada introduces the brew with a teaser of melon, apricot, and citrus aromas in the beer coming from the hops.  Here’s what we thought:

6.5% ABV

Flavor Profile:

Appearance:  Hazy dark orange

Aroma: Heavy hops and subtle citrus and apricot.

Taste: Hop-forward flavor provide a pleasant bitterness for hopheads. Slight malty sweetness comes through complementing some citrus.

Mouthfeel: Dry finish with light aftertaste that does not linger.

Overall: This is a definite hophead pleaser. The hops begin and finish the beer nicely. First, the aroma hits hard with scents of being in a sweet hop garden. Then, we get some quick sweetness from the malts that are quickly cut by the pleasant hop bitterness of these WILD unusual hops.

ES Rating: 3.75/4 Suds!

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Cocktail O’Clock: Apple Ginger Brew

Apple Ginger Brew

Has anyone else noticed that ginger shows up as an ingredient on every single cocktail list lately? Not that I’m complaining. It adds just the right mixture of sweetness and bite to any drink.

Here’s a perfect fall  that I can’t believe I haven’t thought of before — mixing ginger beer up with apple for a spicy-sweet autumn mix (and of course adding a l’il rum).

Apple Ginger Brew

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The Espresso Machine for Your Car: Handpresso Auto

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Mornings suck. What’s worse than waking up early in the morning last minute and realizing that you either didn’t set the coffee maker or don’t have time to make any? Stopping for some java on the way to work may run you the risk of arriving late, while going without it runs the risk of being a cranky curmudgeon. Well, what if I told you that instead, you could brew a nice jolt of caffeine right in your car? That’s right, Handpresso crafted an industrial-esque espresso machine that plugs into your 12-volt carjack and fits in your cup holder (with the power cord wrapped around the machine with a compartment even for the plug). Handpresso claims in 3 minutes, you can brew a fresh cup of espresso right in the comfort of your car. They sent us a machine to test and it’s my caffeinated pleasure to bring you the results.

The Handpresso Auto is designed in a way that looks like it was part of a jet engine and belongs in the newest sport version of your next Ferrari. It looks luxurious while also durable and easy to handle. I did not realize there were so many European languages until I got the manual for the machine, but luckily the device operates off of a few easy steps and you can follow along a numbered diagram. After plugging in the machine, you pour water into the reservoir until the last clear dot is darkened. Then, you place an E.S.E. Espresso pod on top of the spring-loaded platform and screw on the top of the machine. Next, simply press the power button and let it loudly work its pressurized magic. Once the machine beeps, you are free to invert the machine over your cup and press the coffee button. Once poured to your liking, press the “stop” button and enjoy.

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Endless Beer: Dogfish Head Beer Thousand

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10% ABV

Every beer has a story. Dogfish Head continues on with their music series to bring you Beer Thousand. This time, it is Guided by Voices’ turn. To celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary of their record BEE Thousand: the Beer Thousand. For Dogfish Head, the title is not just a clever play on words, but is also born of a delicious formula. This formula is: 10 grains, 10 hop varieties, and 10 ABV (10x10x10). If anything else, you have to give credit to the brewery for their creativity and precision in crafting a unique and high-powered lager. Here’s the verdict:

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Endless Beer: Ommegang Three Philosophers

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Ommegang famously brings us the Game of Thrones series beers, but also offers other varietals that pack their own punch. Speaking of fame, one of Ommegang’s more well known brews is the Three Philosophers. Weighing in at 9.7% ABV, the Three Philosophers promises to relax if nothing else. Three Philosophers was born when Ommegang asked homebrewers what the “perfect brew” would taste like. The answer was flavors of caramel, chocolate, and cherry. Ommegang messed with various variations until the reached a mixture of 98% ale and 2% kriek (lambic). Here are our tasting notes:

ABV: 9.7%

Poured into tulip glass.

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