Rob McFerren: Beers to ring in the New Year

Craft breweries are all over California.
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Most everyone thinks of champagne as the beverage to have on New Year’ Eve but there’s some great Craft Beer choices to celebrate the holiday! Many beer styles are perfect on their own and some can also be used in a New Year’s cocktail.

One of the styles that‘s quite champagne-like are Lambic beers, especially fruit lambics. These beers are spontaneously fermented with wild yeast and then blended with different types of fruit. There are raspberry, peach, and cherry lambics along with other fruits that are used in the process. These lambics are aged in oak barrels and have a sharp champagne-like effervescence and vinous character along with the different fruit notes. Lambics have a white wine tartness that’s mellowed by aging.

Winter Warmers are another great style brewed for holiday celebrations. These are rich and satisfying beers and are usually darker in color and will have an alcohol content that is higher than most beers. Caramel malts are used along with spices to create a very flavorful beer that’s very complex.

Beer cocktails are another fun choice and there are many possibilities in crafting your beer cocktails. Eggnog can be mixed with a Winter Warmer style beer that has spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg for an amazing cocktail! Another great holiday beer cocktail would be to use a Belgian-style Tripel and mix in some mango nectar and a dash of ginger juice. You can also mix a hoppy amber ale with cider and top it with some whipped cream and a orange slice.

There are many more unique possibilities so use your creativity in ringing in 2018! Cheers!

Rob McFerren is the owner of Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co.

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