OK round 2. Doing a west coast ipa kit this time. Apparently this kit has a better yeast, but I'm also going to do a yeast starter. From what I've read it's pretty much 100% guarantee that you're under pitching these kits, so i'ma try this and see how ti goes.
My starter...I'd like to get a stir plate for this one day.
I know ya'll rather drink that labeled corporate swill but I'm real excited aboot my next batch of micro-micro-brew. West coast IPA. Took a gravity measurement today to see if i'm good to bottle and it looks nice. It'll be about a 5.5% abv. Taste test is promising, nice and hoppy.
lol homebrew! (this is pre-bottle btw, uncarbonated beer)
Cleveland people have a serious thing for Great Lakes Brewing's Christmas Ale. Universally people seem to love it, however the beer is terribly inconsistent from year to year. GLBC actually prides that fact stating that it's not some mass manufactured homogenous thing. In 2012 though, it kinda sucked in my opinion. When GLBC started making Christmas Ale they didn't have much competition from local breweries. But 2012, there were about 7 or 8 other widely available holiday beers from the local region. And about 4 of them were better beers last year. Still... Cleveland people raved about it even though the guy who originally created it was down in Akron making "12 dogs of Christmas Ale" for Thirsty Dog using the superior original blend.
I had my first 2013 GLBC Christmas Ale last night though... and this batch is worthy of the love. It's delicious. Haven't had the 12 dogs for this year yet... or the Hoppin' Frog which was my 2012 favorite Christmas ale. Hoppin' Frog last year tasted like Gingerbread and holidays cookies. Pretty damned agreeable stuff.
So gingerbread flavoring is what makes a "Christmas" Ale?
Nah. I don't think there is a universal standard for it. I think in general ... it's spices that go into Christmas things... to make it remind you of Christmas.
Generally they are Winter Warmer style beers... with spice added. I've seen nutmeg, ginger, cranberry, vanilla, cinnamon, and even pine.
It's just that Hoppin' Frog
Tasted like Christmas Cookie beer. Which made it feel very festive.
GLBC Christmas ale has hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. But they are merely hints.
Frosted Frog hit you over the head with it like a hammer. THIS IS COOKIE BEER.
If I was having 2-3 beers I'd opt for the Great Lakes Ale. It's a pretty straight up good drinking beer, even though it's around 9%. Tastes very good. But if I'm having a little 11 oz fancy beer at a holiday thing, Frosted Frog all the way. At least in 2012. Not sure if it's that good this year.