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4 Winter Beers You Really Should Try

I am a big fan of winter. I am a big fan of winter honestly. I enjoy the cold weather and kicking back with a great tasting beer in my hand. If you haven’t tried any of these four winter beers, then I highly suggest you go out and find a way to get to them. These are not in any particular order, but I will go out and say that the final beer at the end of the list is by far, my favorite.

Deschutes_Jubelale_12oz_Labels_OLDeschutes Brewery (Bend, Oregon) makes a wonderful winter warmer in their JubelAle. This isn’t overly full of holiday spice and cheer, but tastes great. I would compare this to maybe an English Mild Ale, which makes it a lot smoother and easier to drink. The overall tastes you will get are a caramel backbone along with some dark fruit sweetness, chocolate, roasted coffee and some spices. Definitely worth the buy.

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Avery Brewing Company (Boulder, Colorado) makes a lot of great beers. Avery is one of my favorites. Avery’s Old Jubilation Ale is balanced and definitely full flavored. The smell is almost like a malty banana bread smell with some sweetness in it, almost like a cherry. We all smell things differently, but that’s what I got out of it. There is a sweet taste with this and also some darker fruit smell, probably where I can smell the cherry. The finish is sort of boozy, which I am all about.

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Stone Brewing (San Diego, California) is a top dog in the craft beer industry. They keep making amazing stuff, and their Enjoy By 12.25.16 is AWESOME. I am a hophead, so I love me some good IPAs, and this definitely is one that most will enjoy. The smell is heavy of pine resin, hints of honey and pine needles. Yes I said pine needles. From the smell alone, this is an amazing winter beer. This is a heavy beer. By heavy, I mean it’s a 9+ ABV. You can’t even tell, so don’t let that scare you away. In a way it’s quite dangerous due to the fact I can probably drink 10 of these and think I am ok, when I probably really am not. The taste is piney and of green hops. If you haven’t ever had an IPA before, I would suggest maybe something a little lighter to start off with first. But, if you have had IPAs, definitely get this.

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Kinkaider (Broken Bow, Nebraska) is making huge moves in this region for their amazing product. I am always amazed when locals have told me that they never have had Kinkaider before. I am always quick to sell them on the greatness that is known as Kinkaider. By far, my favorite winter beer, and actually in my top five for overall beers, is their Snow Beast. The smell is full of vanilla, spices and almost like a gingerbread. The flavor is out of this world. The vanilla flavor is so smooth, it almost feels like you’re drinking a dessert. If you see this in the store or if it’s on tap at the  bar, GET IT.

That’s my rundown of the 4 must try winter beers. If you have some favorites, let me know!

ZipLine Brewing Company

ZipLine Brewing Company’s (ZL) Oatmeal Porter was the first local craft beer I ever had. Like many other craft beer drinkers, my first taste of craft was Delirium. I remember having that first taste of the Oatmeal Porter and was in awe. It didn’t take long for me to finish it. Fast forward three years later, and ZL is still a regular in my beer fridge.

ZL first opened up in 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. ZL has five year round beers that are all top tier. The Copper Alt, which is described off of ZL’s website, as a hybrid style between an ale and a lager, this bronze-hued brew goes down easy with subtle nuances of chocolate and hazelnut. In 2015, the Copper Alt won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Fest (super awesome huge beerfest). Along with ZL’s year round beer, they also five seasonal brews. My favorite seasonal is definitely the Winter Ale. But wait, there’s more. ZL has some limited series brews too. Crazy huh? I’m torn on which one is my favorite in that category. I love the Black IPA (I am a hophead) and I also love the Double Chocolate Stout. And there are still more categories. ZL’s 750 series has three brews and they are all good. There are two great IPAs in the Rye IPA and Double NZ IPA (Hophead in me comes out again). The last category ZL has is the Barrel-Aged.  ZL has three brews in that category. The BA Chocolate Stout is by far my favorite. The sweet chocolate taste mixes well with the slight taste of bourbon and wine.

ZL consistently turns out very good products and at every local beerfest I go to, I make sure to go to their tent. The best ZL news I’ve heard this year, was that ZL is opening up a taproom in the Slowdown complex. So that’s just another reason to love ZL, they support local music.

You can find ZL’s products pretty much everywhere locally. They’re at Beertopia, Hy-Vee, Spirit World. Also, hit up their website http://ziplinebrewing.com/ for the whole listing of beer in the categories mentioned above and any other pertinent information you need.

Beer Corner USA’a Holiday Beerfest 2016

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You have to wear an ugly sweater, or in my case a cardigan, when going to a Holiday Beerfest.

This is a Winter Beerfest I always really enjoy. Sure, it’s packed and you don’t have much room to move around, but damn is it fun. New people to talk to, new people to watch and GREAT local beer. This is a tradition now for my wife and myself to go to. Always a good time at the Holiday Beerfest.

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This year we convinced some friends of ours to come. They had a great time and it added even more fun to the event for us. In the picture, you can tell it’s sort of packed. This was in only one area of Crescent Moon. This was downstairs. Glad we started downstairs this year. We were able to get a table and sort of chill this year. Downstairs was some great beers by West O (Okoboji, Iowa), Millstream (Amana, Iowa), Peace Tree (Knoxville, Iowa) and Kinkaider (Broken Bow, Nebraska). Kinkaider has been a favorite of mine in the short amount of time they have been around. Their whole line of beer is out of this world. They make my favorite winter beer which is called Snow Beast. Overall it’s definitely in my Top 15 beers I have ever had. It has such a smooth cinnamon taste.

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Mandatory glass shot that is required when at a Beerfest.

We proceeded upstairs to the mob of people. Up there I found an old friend who I met through my time as a pro wrestler and who is a huge craft beer lover as well. He helped me discover a few liquid refreshments I passed by. I had, what may be the BEST, cider ever. I am not a cider guy at all, but HOT DAMN! Crown Valley Brewery (Genevieve, Missouri) made this Gingerbread Cookie Cider that blew my mind. I mean this is something that should be in my fridge now. Out of this freaking world man. It tasted just like a gingerbread cookie. I said it tasted just like a gingerbread cookie. Well done Crown Valley, well done. Somehow I passed New Belgium’s Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale. Spot on with this flavor. It is ice cream in beer form. Brilliant tasting is all I can really say. Before we left we hit up BlueBlood Brewing (Lincoln, Nebraska) were I got to experience their Peach Gose. It tasted just like peaches and was a perfect Gose. There’s nothing that I can really say that would do BlueBlood any justice on their Gose. It was glorious.

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I am a stout and porter guy. I love the Sculpin series by Ballast Point (San Diego, California) but I discovered Mocha Marlin right before we left. This was a beautiful tasting beer. I definitely became a huge fan and Ballast Point shows why they’re a top brewery with their varieties. I am happy this was what I ended on for my beer.

Again, this was a great festival. I did miss one of my favorites who was not present this year, Keg Creek (Glenwood, Iowa). The owner is a real nice guy and makes some real good stuff. I don’t know what I missed more, his beer or his conversation. He is a great person. So, if you’re in the area next year and want to go to a great Holiday Beerfest, this is the place to be.

Introduction

My name is Tim, or Craft Beer Timmy. I am not the “snootie” craft beer drinker, most of us aren’t that way anyways, but I do know the product and can explain it in normal terms and not sound snobby haha.

I love my porters and stouts (think Guinness). I love meeting new people and going to beerfests. I’ve met a lot of really cool people and I’ve met some pretty uncool people.

Craft beer isn’t “hipster”. I don’t know why hipster is used as a negative. It’s no different than the grunge phase of the late 90s. Same premise. But anyways, craft beer isn’t underground anymore. It’s a growing, booming industry that I am happy to help share and grow even more. So cheers, thanks for stopping by, and maybe let’s talk beer