Tag Archives: alesmith


yulesmith aleI am looking dubious because the making of holiday ales is reserved for the Winter months-at least for the most part. Holidays. In Summer. Summer IS holiday, right?

Well…no, not since 1995 for me. So I’m taking the holidays where I can get them. Still, it feels a little strange to have a holiday ale in September. Most people go for Summer ales, with ‘holiday’ ales being their default winter selection- perhaps my stumbling block is just a frame of mind instead of an actual issue.

Because Alesmith tells me on the back of the bottle that this beer is for Independence Day and in America that means one thing, no matter where you are: fireworks. The obvious translation for beer is hops and this holiday ale is a hoppy sonofagun.

If Widmer made an imperial version of their Drifter ale, that’s what you’d have here. For those of you who never had Drifter; think really good pale ale with tangerine scented hops and a back end bitterness polished to a shine. In Alesmith’s Holiday, there’s a gently slick quality to the end; not distracting but notable. Not sure what it’s from though; perhaps I need to find out. Still, at 8.5% it’s on the lower end of imperial IPAs; this is a beer you can still have with dinner and maybe have an after dinner drink.

Speaking of, BBQ is on–gotta go!

The boys got that look

Off to the Concordia Alehouse with Fuz and baeza to play Magic and drink pints. It’s a guy’s night out, without all the stereotypical bullshit; we hang out and talk geekery and beer. It’s about as macho as your average floral convention.

There was, sadly, a pedantic draft selection so I suggested checking out the bottles, and lo and behold at number 16 is Meantime. Oh, it’s a porter, but who cares? Here’s a chance to have some British beer that I rarely have access to!

So Fuz and I split a large bottle and I pour it out for us:
It didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped.

Still; the porter had applesauce notes that ran from the head (which we chewed on) to the actual drink itself. It was frothy and had the lightness of granny smith applesauce, and by god I’d totally order it again. Hopefully, I’ll pour it better next time.

As I continued to lose our Magic matchups, baeza found a beer that caught his attention; Alesmith‘s Decadence. An imperial stout, I was heartened to realize that it tasted like the stout I’d recently made. A touch of molasses and a definite alcohol warmth, but the parallels were surprising to me. Maybe I’m getting better at that whole making beer thing than I thought.

It was about this time that a woman with long, curly salt and pepper hair and an intelligent set of glasses came up to ask us what we were drinking. A fan of maltier beers, she was curious if the Decadence was good.  I handed over my glass; “Here you go,” I said cheerfully. (She also bashfully admitted that she played Magic with her friends at home.)

She smiled and we talked for a little bit, her asking us about the Meantime, and then thanking us and heading back to her table. A few minutes later, I saw the magnium of Decadence being opened at her table. Her companion looked over at me an laughed; “Had to get one so she’d quit taking yours.”