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Second Annual Beer At Joe’s Holiday Party

By Joe Ruvel · December 20th, 2009 · No Comments

What are the secrets to a great holiday party? A great group of friends is probably the most important. After that – a good spot can make or break a good time. And then there are the drinks. You don’t have to have amazing beer to have a good time, but it surly helps! The Beer At Joe’s Holiday party was at La Trappe in North Beach last week. We did one last year kind of spotaneously. It rocked.  This year we did it up bigger and it was great.

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I have always loved La Trappe. They have a good vibe, extensive selection, and the owners really care about what they are doing. The night of the party though, they went above and behind. Mike and Mike popped a bunch of bottles to share with us. They shared some beers I had never heard of, let alone taste.

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I can not even begin to remember all the beers we had – but I will tell you about the ones I do. Let the holiday beer fasion show begin:

Draft: 

Weissenohe Monk’s Christmas – started with this one. Not amazing but a good example of a lighter alchol but still dark and sligtly spicy beer. It is actually a Xmas Lager – kind of rare.

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Nostrodamas from Brasserie Caracole (the snail head brewery that makes Saxo) – Jasmine loved this one – it was a silky brown and at 8% right in the sweet zone that is a nice and warming beer but not way up there.

Affligem Noel – this was a pretty popular choice and I knew people would like it. The flavors are not challenging but are still an explosion of christmas dessert and spice. I am actually graving one as I type this.

Monk’s Blood - can’t forget the local guy. 21st Ammendment brewed (read about it here) and available on draft at La Trappe. And oh my is this a great beer. Perfect for a holiday party – well I guess the only problem is it makes me want to eat a rich meal or some creamy cheese – and we weren’t eating at LA Trappe. Oh well – you have to try this brew (and it even comes in cans at 21A).

Bottles:

So many to count! Some of the best:

Scaldis Noel  – always a favorite

St. Bernardus Christmas -  tasted a bit different to me then last year – but still great. One day I would love to go see St Bernardus beer being made.

St. Feuillen Cuvee De Noel – lots of caramel and sugar – and some alchol burn – not hugely memorable but still a good one.

Ridgeway Insanely Bad Elf  – ok so I don’t remember how it tastes  – but what a great name. I loved walking around asking people if they wanted some Insanely Bad Elf. I am a bit childish.

Home for the Holiday’s (High and Might Brewery) – not sure I would really recomend this one – but it was fine ok. Oak-aged brown ale and sales support veteran’s programs

De Ranke Pere Noel – one of my biggest suprises of the night. Light, herbal, and a full hop aroma and flavor. This is not your usual xmas beer, but I loved it. And the bottle is way cool.

Péché Mortel (Mortal Sin) and Solstice d’hiver (Winter solstice) from Dieu du ciel  – The guys at La Trappe introduced me to these beers from a Microbrewery outside of Montreal. Lots of flavor and amazing bottle art are the main things I remember. The Mortal Sin was one of the biggest coffee punches I have ever tasted.

Cuvee Alex Le Rouge  – A Swiss Jurassian Imperial Stout brewed with black pepper, vanilla, and tea. What? And it was created to commerate a guy named Alex the Red, founding member of the SMABE (Societe mondiale des amateurs de bieres extremes). Thank you La Trappe for providing us with waay out there beers. This was at the end of the night but I remember the pepper and the tea really do come out. Not for everyone but it was fun try.

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Wow that is a lot of brew and I probably forgot a few.

Stay warm and have a holiday beer.

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Tags: Beerventures · Tastings