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Drinking in a winter wonderland

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted November 11, 2015
BA publishes craft beer winter seasonals listing and food pairing chart
Sour, tart and funky: Winter beers taste great with crisps and kebabs. © BA

BA publishes craft beer winter seasonals listing and food pairing chart.

Assuming you don't live in the tropics or the southern hemisphere, winter is now upon us.

To those that crave nothing more than sun, sea, sand and skin cancer, this is probably a bad thing.

However, if you like your decent pints, then rejoice, because as a press release from the US Brewers Association (BA) puts it: "It's the most wonderful time of the year – for craft beer!"

"Winter seasonals are ideal for sharing with family and friends and provide the perfect complement to your holiday meal," it continues, probably referring to Thanksgiving (November 26 if I've got my facts straight) as opposed to Polish Independence Day, which is today (11/11/15).

Anyway, "to celebrate the season", the BA's website has now compiled a list of seasonal craft beers from small and independent craft brewers, which you can peruse at your leisure for your palate's pleasure here.

"Winter seasonals are a beautiful way to add warmth to your holiday gatherings," says Julia Herz, publisher and BA craft beer programme director.

"The bolder tastes of winter seasonals add new meaning to holiday joy and another dimension to the holiday table."

And if the stats are anything to go by, they are also increasingly popular over there in the land of JFK, yellow taxis and words missing a 'u', like 'harbour', 'labour' and 'colour'.

Indeed, the press release reveals, "in the 13 weeks of winter ending February 22, 2015, seasonals grew 5.2% by volume and 8.3% in dollar sales based on IRI scan data", whatever that is.

"During that 13-week period," it continues, "they represented 15.8% of total craft sales, which was the second largest style category share behind India Pale Ales [IPAs]."

What's more, judging from the press release, this year's seasonals appear to offer something for pretty much everyone, except a teetotal cannibal, of course, boasting "everything from oatmeal and coffee, to cinnamon and pecan".

"As our stoves turn to roasts, braises and heavier sauces, our palates turn to deeper, darker, barrel-aged beers," adds BA executive chef Adam Dulye.

"These pairings mingle with the rich flavors [see, I told you; he means 'flavours'], cut through the dense, palate-coating meats and inspire notes of spice and rewarding finishes."

And if you don't believe him, check out the holiday beer and food pairings chart the BA has prepared as a downloadable pdf and put his words to the test, why don't you?


See also Learn yourself beer, posted 29/10/15, among others.

Sandi Toxic
was raised by wolves inside a disused clay pit near Lanjeth. You can befriend her on FaceBook here. She is still quite feral.

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