BOTW–Holiday Travel Edition

I mentioned our Holiday tradition of a flight of Anchor’s beers, another perhaps more enjoyable tradition we have is buying a bottle of the holiday beer from Brasserie d’Achouffe, N’Ice Chouffe. This is a strong, dark holiday beer. Quite sweet and lightly flavored with spices, thyme, and Curacao Orange peels.

The thing I like about the N’Ice Chouffe is that first and foremost it is a delicious, if somewhat sweet, Belgian beer. Unlike a lot of flavored American beers, the flavor of the beer is first and the flavor of the spices is an accent, not the dominant element. Definitely one of my favorite winter warmers.

This is the travel edition of Beer of the Week, because for the holidays we traveled to the Midwest to visit our family and friends. So much great beer was drunk over the 10 days we were in Wisconsin, that I’ve sort of lost track of all of it. The beer I look forward to having every time I get back to the Midwest is Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. It’s a delicious IPA in a style that marries the less aggressive hopping of East Coast IPAs to the strongly hopped West Coast style Ales. It is just wonderfully complex, and one of my favorite beers. Along with Bell’s, much beer from New Glarus Brewing was drunk. Fat Squirrel, Spotted Cow, and many others include a delicious special Smoked Porter called, “Smoke on the Porter”. Yum! We also sampled beers from many other breweries, including some that were new to me like, Lake Louie Brewing.

Lest this be all beer, here is last night’s dinner, a nice braised chicken with root vegetables served over tagliatelle.

In any case, the best part of traveling to the Midwest is getting to see friends and family. We had a great New Year’s Eve Party with a group of our closest friends. An event which included sledding, braised pork, homemade soda bread, rum balls, exclusive videos, absinthe, and a midnight bonfire to usher in the New Year! Whew!

Not to mention, one of our friends confessed that her newest guilty pleasure is Peach Lambic! Back in San Francisco, last night, we raised a glass in a toast to good friends, good food, good beer! Here’s to all of my old and new friends! May your New Year be a happy one!