Bison Gingerbread Ale

After the hard decisions I had to make last night I thought I would give my brain a rest. (Mrs. Dan often accuses my brain of being at rest). I had came home and rather than ponder what to try in my quest for finishing off the 55 brews I simply reached in and grabbed something in the back of the mini-fridge.

I grabbed the Bison Gingerbread Ale. I’ve had this organic brew at a Wine World Beer tasting some time back. I remember it tasting as if biting into a gingerbread muffin with the taste of the muffin but without any sugar or sweetness.

I poured in into a frosted glass and stepped outside to check the bounty of our garden. We had a pretty good garden this year at least in regards to tomatoes. We planted about 10 varieties that Big Mark gave us. The yellow pears and the cherry tomatoes did fairly well. We probably picked 2-4 tomatoes from each variety before the bugs or other evils reared their ugly heads. The vines have about had it. The early spring kind of wore them out. Last year we had some tomatoes into November. I would like to brag that our garden is organic. It’s not. We, like many gardeners start off each year swearing to never use poisons or unnatural substances in the pursuit of the perfect tomato or zucchini. But when that first bug shows up you push your firm beliefs aside and nuke it with everything you have in the cabinet.

Not that it matters. There are always more bugs than there are sprays that work. We left town for 10 days in May to come home and find the most perfect zucchini that made an entire meal. That was the last zucchini we picked. All the others wilted or got munched.

I digress.

Bison Gingerbread Ale

I’m enjoying this little brew for the most part. Like the Thomas Creek Dopplebock I had recently I like this brew but couldn’t drink a six in a short amount of time.

It’s a really dark brown brew. At first I thought it was impervious to light but after it calmed down I could see some light through it. Nice creamy head. It a bit sweeter than I remembered from the tasting. The aroma is gingerbread-like. There are baking spices all through this brew.

It has a sweetness that you can feel at the back sides of your mouth yet a dryness along the roof of your mouth. The sweetness is like a dark sorghum molasses. But don’t think this as being a sweet beer. That dryness knocks it down. I think the baking spices produce the dry mouthfeel.

I visited their website and they call it a spiced holiday porter made with giner, nutmeg and cinnamon. Yeah, I’d agree with that. Many people are familiar with those flavors but when mixed with lots of sugar. Remove the sugar and it’s very different. I was also surprised to see that this is a September-December seasonal. That means this is from last season. Still holds up so they must be using some good brewing techniques and good ingredients. (Or being organic the lack of some ingredients).

What I don’t care for is a really long lingering dry, almost bitter, gingerbread like finish that seems to pop up after you think the finish is over. But the good news is that this beer pairs really well with some cheeses I pulled out. It goes great with Bruschetta Monterey Jack and Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago cheeses. So this brew really improves with food. If I buy more of this beer I will be serving it with food.

If I ever get the 55 brews finished off I will have to try another one from this year’s batch to see if a fresher date changes it dramatically.
From: Ukiah, California
Brewery: Bison Brewing


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