Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice – Beer Tasting

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Thursday night was another great Women Who Like Beer Meetup. This time Tiila went with a Holiday theme for the Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice Beer Tasting. There were a lot more girls, some I'd seen before but definitely a lot of new faces.

Keeping with the Holiday theme we tried 12 beers, for the 12 daysales of Christmas. Tiila actually made it a bakers dozen and threw in a 13th beer. I have never had the pleasure of tasting real holiday beers. Bars always have the "winter ale" special that usually tastes the same as others with a sprinkle of cinnamon. LAME! At this beer tasting we tried the REAL Holiday ale, you know, the kind that puts hair on your knuckles!

I will say I wasn't a huge fan of all the beers this time (I actually almost poured one out! That's just crazy to me!) Most of them were very heavy, fruity, malty, and just not something you could play a round of beer pong with. But I did find a lot of positives with the Holiday beers I did enjoy. Holiday beers are usually higher in alcohol content and actually tastier after warming it up between your hands. I felt like huddling by the fire in my Snuggie with some of these. Here is a list of all the ones we tried, along with my thoughts on some of them.

1. Jubelale: The first one we tried was one of my favorites of the night. It was the lightest beer filled with chocolate and pine flavors. At a decent 6.7% ABV this Deschutes Brew would go great with a hearty meat meal. I say 6.7% ABV is decent because this was one of the lowest ABV's of the night. 1 point for Holiday Beers!

2. Christmas Ale by Anchor Brewing Co.: This Magnum sized bottle was one of the prizes up for grabs in the $2 raffle. I'm really glad my roommate won because this was another one of my favorites and she is totally going to share (even if I have to force her)! There were some major caramel smells with a surprisingly delicious taste of vanilla coca-cola! You know, if Coke ever decided to put beer in its vanilla coke (which I HIGHLY suggest!) Since we tried the ale from a magnum bottle our host Tiila said it would be much tastier with more rich flavors. All I know is it was delish! I also found out that the Anchor Brewing Co. does FREE (yes I said FREE) brewery tours with a tasting at the end during the week. You know where to find me!

3. Special Holiday Ale: An 8.5% ABV collaboration between Stone Brewing Co., Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, and Nogne O (<-- No, I cannot tell you how to pronounce that last one). This one tasted exactly like those brown and green peppermint hard candies you get at restaurants. It was good as a little taste, but I don't think I could drink a whole glass of it.

4. Chicory Stout by Dogfish Head: Smelled and tasted just like coffee.

5. Winter Ale: An 8.5% ABV Nogne O beer. A bit harsh at first, but got a bit better after warming it up a bit between my hands.

6. Solstice d'hiver: Probably my least favorite of the night. Way too much of a barley flavor. I don't know exactly how that tastes alone, but I just nodded my head and agreed with the group consensus of the strong barley flavor.

7. Adoration: At 10% ABV I thought this one was going to be fantastic! It seemed like the group enjoyed its SUPER fruity flavors. I even heard Alli from Allis Ice Cream say, "It's like Christmas in your mouth!" As the 7th beer everyone was getting a bit giddy, so of course a chuckle or two was heard. Boys aren't the only ones with "that's what she said" jokes!

8. N'ICE Limited Edition 2008: Voted cutest label by Alli

9. Partridge in a Pear Tree by The Breury. This was our surprise bakers dozen beer. Tasted just like a pear creamsicle! It wasn't until Kirsten (who BTW makes gorgeous jewelry) pointed it out that I noticed the tobacco after taste. It was......iiiiiiiinteresting.

10. 2 Turtle Doves, again by The Breury, got me excited again about Holiday beers. I hadn't been feeling the last few beers, but this one was pretty tasty. Tiila really wanted me to like this one so I definitely had an open mind, and she was right! This oaky, burnt chocolate, rich, Christmasy beer was a winner in my book.

11. Santa's Little Helper: At 10% ABV, this Port Brewing beer was MY FAVORITE of the night. Definitely my number one. I even made a happy face, star, and wrote in CAPS on my notes. It was a delicious hoppy, dark, creamy, and smooth stout. When they asked if anyone would like seconds my hand went straight up for this one!

12. Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah 13th Anniversary Ale: In case you can't tell by the name, this was a Jewish brew! I didn't write any notes on this one, probably because I was still enjoying Santa's Little Helper.

13. Samichlaus: 14%ABV, by Castle Brewery. With its strong coffee and creamy flavor it was a good one to end with

I had a great time at this meet up! Met lots of awesome women and drank some good beer. It just couldn't get any better.

OH WAIT!!!!! STOP THE PRESSES!!!!!

It did get better! After the tasting (which was a smart move on Tiila's part) there was a room filled with amazing handmade knits for sale! I controlled myself by only knocking one girl over as I made a beeline for this amazing light grey sweater dress and cozy knitted beanie. Check out the pics below.

Thanks Tiila for the awesome night! I will definitely try to make it the next two meetups:
Belgian Beer and Cheese Pairing January 14th and Beer + Chocolate = LOVE on February 5th. Be there or be square (yea, I know that was really lame to say).

Casi
Check out more pics at SanFranciscoNoobs.com

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Tags: beer, clothes, meetup, tasting, women

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