Beer Advent Calendar – Day 25: Grittys Christmas Ale presented by Moms Malt Barley
Beer Advent Calendar – Day 25: Grittys Christmas Ale presented by Mom’s Malt Barley Blog
To celebrate the Holiday Season, 2Beerguys.com and Seacoastbeveragelab.com have teamed up with beer bloggers around the country to host the first annual beer bloggers advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you. 31Bloggers Blogging – click here for the running list of beers/bloggers.
- Blogger: Cecily from Mom’s Malt Barley Blog
- Website: http://momsmaltbarley.blogspot.com/
- Beer: Gritty’s Christmas Ale
- Brewery: Gritty McDuff’s
- Website: http://www.grittys.com/
If it looks like Ed just got merrier, you’re right. Every November heralds the return of our holiday seasonal, Christmas Ale – available on draft and in six-packs. Our Christmas Ale is a robust E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter) full of holiday cheer. Christmas Ale has a lovely, dark red/amber color and a rich, full-bodied, malty taste with a slightly roasted undertone.
We brew our Christmas Ale to an original gravity of 1064 (about 6.2% alcohol by volume) using only the finest English Pale and Crystal Malts, with a touch of Roasted Barley as well. A blend of Clusters, Styrian Goldings, Saaz and Yakima Goldings leaf hops round out this hearty brew. Gritty’s Christmas Ale has no additives, fruits or spices. It’s just a good honest ale, perfect for the season. And to top it all off, it’s already gift-wrapped! Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!
- Style: ESB
- ABV: 6.2%
- Starting Gravity: 1064
- Finishing Gravity: 1016
- Hops: (28.5 I.B.U.s) Cluster, Styrian Goldings, Saaz, Yakima Goldings
- Availability: 6 and 12-packs, 22 oz bottles, mini-kegs and draft
Why I selected the Christmas Ale from Gritty McDuff’s:
Who doesn’t love a beer with the promise of Christmas in each sip? I don’t actually mean the “taste” of Christmas that one might associate with other holiday brews. You know, those that have: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, all-spice, vanilla bean, honey, pine, miseltoe etc…No, Gritty’s Christmas Ale contains zero additives, fruits or spices. This beer is more about celebrating the spirit of Christmas, here in Maine, than it is about attempting to artificially taste it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a winter warmer beer that has a variety of holidayish flavors, but what I appreciate about this Christmas Ale is it’s simplicity. I think sometimes in the race to buy our gifts we forget what the true spirit of the holidays is (more on this topic below in Mom Factoid). Interestingly, thanks to Gritty McDuff’s clever packaging, they give you the image of Santa, in full regalia with his white beard, red hat and stockings stuffed with bottles of beer on the mantle. For me, this image evokes the perfect motif for a craft beer lovers Christmas celebration with family & friends during the holiday season.
Description of beer from my perspective:
- Aroma: Malt balls with a subtle hint of caramel creme candy
- Color: Pours a roasted chestnut brown with reddish hues glistening throughout the glass.
- Taste: Malt forward with carmel notes on the tongue and a burst of mild bitterness on the finish. Balanced & clean on the palate.
- Thickness: A medium to full body with a small quarter inch tan head that fades quickly. Yet, there’s pretty icicle-like lacing that hangs around throughout the tasting. Carbonation is balanced.
- ABV: 6.2%; Not that high of an abv for a winter warmer styled beer, which results in easily consuming more than one in a sitting.
- Overall: This is a great holiday beer to pair with any meal. It’s a perfect choice for a gathering because the mild, clean flavors will appeal to a variety of palates. Moreover, it comes in great packaging, which makes for a fun gift to give a craft beer friend or family member. I also enjoy this beer because it’s brewed locally & I can fill my growler up at one of the Gritty’s brewpubs to show my support.
As mentioned earlier, in the intro, I noted that sometimes in the race to buy our gifts, we forget what the true spirit of the holidays is. Particularly, as a parent, coach and/or teacher, one of our greatest daily challenges is to set a good example for the children we interact with. I find that the holidays can often bring out the worst in others with the mounting stress to buy more presents, without examining that it’s in the shared act of giving that we truly gain an appreciation for what we have. These can be complex issues to work through but, what’s been wonderful about blogging, this past year, has been the daily reminder that there is a collaborative spirit that exists between others. It’s a spirit of sharing ideas, supporting each other’s experiences and providing feedback that allows each of us to grow, not just our blogs but also ourselves. Truly, this Advent Craft Beer Calendar is a perfect example of the collaborative spirit–one that symbolizes being part of a community. It is this simple recognition, that we are not alone but part of a bigger world, that I hope to pass on to my Little Duo, as being the true essence of Christmas.
About Mom’s Malt Barley Blog:
I’m a mom of two young kids, living on the Coast of Maine. I’m on sabbatical from teaching & coaching high school girls’ basketball. I am a craft beer fan & enjoy writing, so I started a blog to write reviews about craft beer last January. The premise of the blog is that through a mixture of definitions, malted barley is a natural sweetner (pause & think of your kids) that has been allowed to sprout (we are watching them grow right in front of our eyes) and with patience and effort will brew beer. So, malting is the first step in the brewing process and I felt like starting the blog was my first step in the brew reviewing process! Hope you check it out! Cheers! http://momsmaltbarley.blogspot.com/
About Gritty McDuff’s:
Since 1988, Gritty McDuff’s has been creating fine, handcrafted ales and traditional pub fare. From our humble beginnings as a small brew pub in Portland’s Old Port we’ve grown to become the brew pub of choice for Mainers and folks “from away”. From the start, Gritty’s was at the forefront of the brewing renaissance in the Maine. Founders Ed Stebbins and Richard Pfeffer had two simple goals in mind: to create a true, English-style pub serving fresh ales and great food, and to have fun doing it.
Ever since we opened our doors, the accolades for Gritty McDuff’s have been piling up. Gritty’s has frequently been awarded the titles of “Maine’s Best Brew Pub”, “Best Maine Microbrew” and “Best Bar” in statewide polls. Gritty’s ales have been repeat winners at the annual Real Ale Festival in Chicago and have also appeared as Featured International Selections at the Great British Beer Festival.
Stop in to our Portland, Freeport and Lewiston/Auburn Brew Pubs and treat yourself to the very best in real ale, real food and real Maine hospitality.http://www.grittys.com/