Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
John Garland, Deputy Editor
Clutch Outta’ Style Cream Pale Ale
I’m a sucker for cream ales. Despite the name, these beers do not contain lactose (unlike basically every other new “beer” released these days). Instead, cream ales are something of a hybrid, marrying the svelte body of a lighter ale with the snappy finish of a well-conditioned lager. Some feature a few more hops than average—and at that point, you might call them pale lagers—but no matter exactly which style Outta’ Style is closer to, it’s a delicious beer. Light tan with some lacey foam, a handful of Cascade hops deliver some velvety grapefruit bitterness.
■ 2016 Goisot Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre
■ Millstream German Pilsner
■ Blandys 5-year Malmsey Madeira
■ Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur
Ellen Burkhardt, Managing Editor
Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2016
There are many ways to put winter in its place, but I’ve found few more effective than a smoky, spicy, full-bodied red wine. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes are a staple of Italian wines, and for good reason: they’re adaptable, high-yielding, and versatile—and delicious. This wine has soft tannins and low acidity that make it approachable, plus dark cherry and accumulating spice notes that lend it complexity. It’s the kind of wine that rubs your back and tells you everything will be okay while simultaneously giving winter a swift kick to the you-know-what.
■ Old Grand-Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
■ Modist Snooze Oak-Fermented Pilsner
■ Fair State Giantsbane Double Stout
■ Vikre Voyageur Aquavit
Lauren Sauer, Editorial Assistant
Lakes & Legends St. Gail Raspberry Braggot
Whenever a snowstorm blows in, I’m champing at the bit to pack up my skis and get out on the slopes before the next freak heatwave swoops in and we’re back to square one. And nothing is better than a midday chalet beer to warm you up for the back half of your day on the hill. You don’t want something too heavy, but one with enough body to hold up against the chill. My most recent middle ground? Lakes & Legends’ St. Gail, a perfectly tart, effervescent braggot brewed with honey and raspberries. At 7.2% ABV, it’ll warm you up without weighing you down.
■ Duluth Brewhouse Starfire Pale Ale
■ Leese Fitch 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
■ Blue Mountain Afton Amber
■ Inbound Super G Lovshake Milkshake IPA
Brian Kaufenberg, Editor-in-Chief
612Brew Don’t Call It A Comeback Double IPA
612Brew’s owners know they have an uphill climb ahead of them to gain back consumer confidence (read our candid interview with them), but with new offerings like Don’t Call It A Comeback, they are showing they can make the necessary strides. The double dry-hopping is apparent as resiny pine and lime aromas are in full force on the nose. But this double IPA is well-balanced between an assertive bitterness and light malt character on the palate. Soft-bodied and smooth drinking, it finishes dry and pleasantly bitter and expertly hides its 9.1% ABV.
■ Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky
■ Summit Winter Ale
■ Dunkertons Black Fox Organic Cider
■ Boom Island Kriek