Merry Christmas!

Thanks to all who participated in and contributed to Beer Advent 414.  I thoroughly enjoyed drinking each of the beers and reading your thoughts and reflections. I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Merry drinking!

P.S. As I’m watching the Cavs/Warriors game here on Christmas Day I just saw a commercial advertising the new Nitro IPA by Guinness!  I am very interested in trying that as Guinness was the very first beer that I ever had.


Beer Advent Day 24: Christmas Eve At A New York City Hotel Room


Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing

Location:  Brooklyn, NY

Style:  Imperial Stout  ABV: 10%

When I saw this beer on the shelf the name jumped out at me and I just HAD to get it.  I’ve had a few other beers from Evil Twin Brewing and have not been disappointed.  As I was making the Beer Advent calendar it was pretty obvious which beer was going to be the final beer of our Advent season.  Christmas Eve At A New York City Hotel Room is an Imperial Stout and will pour a dark brown with a creamy head.  Coming in with an ABV of 10%, it certainly packs a punch.  Sit back and enjoy this final beer of the Advent calendar.



Advent Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12  The Suffering Servant

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you– his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind–
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
(Isa 52:13-12 ESV)


tis the season tis the reason

Beer Advent Day 23: Winter Ale

weyerbacher winter ale

Brewery:  Weyerbacher Brewing Company

Location:  Easton, PA

Style:  English Brown Ale  ABV: 5.6%

Weyerbacher’s Winter Ale is a must for any malty beer lover. Winner of a Silver Medal in the 1998 World Beer Championships, Weyerbacher Winter Ale is brewed with deep-roasted chocolate malt. The taste predominates with a warm, roasty flavor, balanced out with a slightly dry finish.

Although winter ales predate history, they are believed to have their origin in the pagan celebrations of winter solstice. Later, when monasteries produced the local brew, winter ales were made each year to commemorate the birth of Christ. Back then, winter ales were brewed full-bodied as a source of nutrition for the upcoming winter months. Today, winter ales are typified by their seasonality, their rich, malty flavors and by their deep, dark coloration.

Weyerbacher Brewing Company was founded in 1995 by Dan and Sue Weirback.  The brewery’s name comes from the original spelling of the Weirback family name used by the first immigrants from Germany about 200 years ago. Phonetically that’s “wy-er-bock-er” or “why-er-bock-er”.

Cheers to this winter libation that may just warm your heart as well!

Advent Reading:  John 1:16-17  The Law, Grace, and Truth

16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Joh 1:16-17 ESV)

Beer Advent Day 22: Finest Kind


Brewery:  Smuttynose Brewing Company

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Style:  India Pale Ale  ABV: 6.9%  IBU: 73.5

“If bitter is better, this is your beer”.  This is the first sentence of Smuttynose Brewing Company’s description of their FinestKind IPA.  Needless to say, I cannot wait to try this celebration of the hop!

Smuttynose Brewing Company has been brewing hoppy beer to the New Englanders of Portsmouth, NH since 1994.  The brewery is community focused and hosts a lot of political figures (from both sides) in their brewery.  This is especially interesting since New Hampshire always seems to be a focus state during the political season.  Smuttynose Brewing Co. in fact hosts with regularity a forum called “Politics & Pints”.


In 1994 Smuttynose brewed their first batch of Shoals Pale Ale, their American interpretation of the traditional British ESB (Extra Special Bitter) style. At the time, it was widely considered to be darned hoppy. However, a funny thing happened over the last decade – Smutty’s Shoals Pale Ale didn’t change; but beer lovers did, and they started to hear more and more: “Why don’t you guys make a really hoppy beer?”

You could say, then, that Smuttynose IPA is a physical salute to the glory of the American hop grower.  At 73.5 IBU’s, this is definitely not a training-wheels IPA, but is meant for hop lovers.  If you love the malty beers, this one may be a bit difficult for you.

Cheers to the glories of the hop!


Advent Reading: John 1:9-14  Word Made Flesh

9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(Joh 1:9-14 ESV)

Beer Advent Day 21:Tap 6 Aventinus

Schneider Aventinus Tap 6

Brewery: Weisses Brauhaus G. Schneider & Sohn

Location: Kelheim, Germany (Bavaria)

Style: Wheat Doppelbock  ABV: 8.2%

So far this Beer Advent we’ve had 2 other wheat beers.  This one for tonight is going to be vastly different than the others.  In fact, the Schneider Weisse that you will enjoy tonight is brewed in a brewery that specializes in only brewing wheat beers and is the oldest wheat beer brewery in Bavaria!  Needless to say, Schneider Weisse takes their wheat beers seriously, all the way to the fine details of the pour.  Click here to see the directions for pouring your beer tonight.

This wheat doppel-bock features strong notes of ripe bananas, raisins, plums, and liquorice and roasty aromas.

Below is the history of Schneider-Weisse and of wheat beers in general.

Mathilde Schneider, widowed wife of Georg III, created the first wheat doppelbock of Bavaria in 1907. The recipe for TAP6 Unser Aventinus is so unique that is has remained unchanged until today.

The history of wheat beer is also the history of the Schneider brewing family and its famous Schneider Weisse. Georg I Schneider, as the wheat beer pioneer and creator of the Schneider Weisse Original recipe (which is still used today), is revered by all wheat beer connoisseurs.

Two-hundred years ago, wheat beer could only be brewed by the Bavarian royal family in their reweries. In 1872, King Ludwig II discontinued brewing wheat beer due to a steady decline in sales.

That same year, he sold Georg I Schneider the exclusive right to brew wheat beer. Thus, the Schneider Family saved wheat beer from extinction. Today, Georg VI Schneider is running the brewery in Kelheim, which the family acquired in 1927 and has remained the Schneider Weisse brewery to this day. It is the oldest wheat beer brewery in Bavaria; wheat beer has been brewed there without interruption since its founding in the year 1607

Cheers to the special art of pouring a wheat beer!

Advent Reading:  John 1;6-8, 15  John the Baptist’s Witness

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) 

(John 1:6-8, 15 ESV)



Beer Advent Day 20: Tripel

st. bernardus

Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus

Location: Watou, Belgium

Style:  Belgian Abbey Tripel  ABV: 8.0%

The second beer in our Abbey Ale series is an Abbey Tripel.  Like the Dubbel that we tried last night, the Tripel’s recipe was started by Trappist Monks and perfected as part of their daily disciplines.  Beer and spiritual reflection:  What a great concept!  The Tripel will be quite different from the Dubbel.  The Dubbel was darker, spicy, fruity and raisiny.  Belgian Tripel’s are strong yeasty-malty beers but are also pale in color and have a noticeable hop profile. They are wonderfully drinkable and surprisingly light, but don’t take the lightness for granted because the 8.0% ABV can do a number on you quickly!

Cheers to slowing down and reflecting!

Advent Reading: John 1:1-5, 18  The preexistent Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. 
(Joh 1:1-5, 18 ESV)




Beer Advent Day 19: Abbey Ale


Brewery:  Brewery Ommegang

Location:  Cooperstown, NY

Style:  Belgian Dubbel  ABV: 8.2%

So I am very excited about the last week of Beer Advent 414!!  There is such a great line-up of beers that I am anticipating as well as remembering the tasty brews of nights past.  Tonight is the first of two Belgian ales that are from the tradition of being brewed by monks.  The first one is from Brewery Ommegang: a picturesque brewery in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains just outside the quaint town that is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


My wife and I visited Cooperstown, NY for our 3rd Anniversary.  We went on the Brewery Ommegang brewery tour and it was then that I fell in love with Belgian Ales.  The Abbey Ale that you will partake of tonight is one of my favorites!  I love the spice and the complexity in each sip.  And I love reflecting on the memories of my visit to Brewery Ommegang.

lynn wedding good 128
Who would’ve thought that in 2009 I would have my picture taken wearing a Milwaukee Brewers hat!

Abbey Ale was Brewery Ommegang’s first beer and was styled after Dubbels produced by Belgian Trappist monks. A deep, rich and malty ale, Abbey uses several Belgian specialty malts and spices resulting in a very aromatic, flavorful beer.  Make sure you pour it slowly and at a temperature of 50 degrees.

Cheers to this Abbey Ale that was made to celebrate the many layers of life!

Advent Reading:  Luke 2:22-40  Simeon’s and Anna’s Prophecies

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”)
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law,
28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.
34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin,
37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
(Luk 2:22-40 ESV)

Beer Advent Day 18: Pantheon

2015 Ale Asylum Sales kit UPDATED 04.15.15

Brewery:  Ale Asylum

Location:  Madison, WI

Style:  Imperial Brown Ale  ABV: 8.2%

If you are a fan of malty beers, tonight’s beer is for you!

Advent Reading:  Luke 2:8-21  The Angelic Announcement

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
(Luk 2:8-21 ESV)




Beer Advent Day 17: Hoegaarden


Brewery: Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Location:  Belgium

Style:  Witbier  ABV: 5%

Myth has it that monks in Hoegaarden, Belgium were the first to discover the unique recipe for wheat beer way back in 1445.  A lot has gone into Hoegaarden’s brewing methods since the 1500’s but one thing is certain: over 500 years of hard work went into making this beer.  It features the aroma of orange peel, coriander, and herbs with a slightly sweet and sour taste.  Sit back and enjoy this classic from Belgium!


Advent Reading: Luke 2:1-7  Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
(Luk 2:1-7 ESV)


Beer Advent Day 16: Bacon Bomb

bacon bomb brenner

Brewery: Brenner Brewing Co.

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Style: Rauchbier  ABV: 5.3%

Rauchbier is a style that is best described as ‘smoked’.  Brenner’s Bacon Bomb is a blend of German beechwood and Wisconsin cherrywood smoked malts which gives it the smoked flavor. Noble German hops, chocolate wheat, and fresh black pepper add a subtle bite. I am not a Bloody Mary fan but this beer is recommended for pairing as a Bloody Mary chaser.

Brenner Brewery Co. is known for being an Art-centered brewery. Mike Brenner is the founder and master brewer at Brenner Brewing Co. and is passionate about two things: crafting delicious beer and local Milwaukee artists and musicians.  This passion has led to the creation of Brenner Brewing’s “12 Ounce Ambassadors”, where each style of beer features the artwork of a local artist and comes with a soundtrack featuring the music of local bands.

Below is a picture of items on the label that you can check out to see local art and music.  Check it out on the Bacon Bomb label.

12 oz. ambassador

Brenner says, “I not only want to show the world that Milwaukee still does make the best beer on earth, but also has an incredible community of hard working artists and musicians that deserve international attention.”

Cheers to ‘Amazing Beer, Amazing Art, Amazing Music, Amazing People!’ and to Milwaukee!!!!

Advent Reading: Luke 1:67-80  Zechariah’s Song (Benedictus)

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
(Luk 1:67-80 ESV)