Friday, November 28, 2008
Lager Library: Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest and Most Unusual Holiday Brews
Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest and Most Unusual Holiday Brews by Don Russell takes on the subject on Christmas beers and winter warmers with gusto.
Russell, the Philadelphia Daily News beer columnist known to many as "Joe Sixpack," ranks his "50 Best Christmas Beers," with Troegs Brewing Mad Elf, Dupont's Avec les Bons Voeux, Samichlaus Bier, De Dolle Brouwers Stille Nacht and Anchor's Our Special Ale holding down the top five positions. There are dozens of other holiday and winter brews in the book, which can help decipher some of the ingredients brewers use to spice holiday beers.
Russell establishes the origins of the 2,000-year-old holiday beer tradition and goes on to show that there are brewers from Australia to Estonia who make festive ales and lagers. He credits Fritz Maytag at Anchor for launching the modern era of holiday beers in the U.S. Since Maytag brewed his first back in 1975 there has literally been a river of special winter seasonal brews from brewers big and small on the international scene.
The 208 page book (Universe: $19.95) is loaded with bottle photography. "Christmas Beer" would make the perfect holiday gift for almost any beer fan.