Bell’s Christmas Ale
Kalamazoo, Michigan | Bell’s Brewery.
T onight I decided to celebrate. I passed the Filemaker 11 Certification exam today. I have to admit I have not added many reviews to the site for a while. I have filled my spare time for the past two months studying. Sometimes career comes before wine and brew. We all must make our sacrifices.
I’m celebrating in a way that most can’t. I’m drinking a Bell’s Christmas Ale. Yeah it’s almost the third week in January but if I time it right I should run out of this great brew sometime in February.
This beer hit the market in mid-November. Vineyard Wine Market got one six pack and it went out the door about 5 minutes after it arrived. Not even a case. Wine World told me they saw a couple of cases on the delivery truck but they were told “it was unavailable”. Summerville Ace got a case the morning I stopped by, of which I bought a six. I wish I had bought the case.
This beer lasted didn’t last as long in the Augusta Market as it did last year. I bought a six early in the Holiday season last year. When I went to restock in mid-December there wasn’t any to be found. This year, this brew was gone in Augusta before Thanksgiving.
This is my favorite Christmas brew. When I did the 12 beers of Christmas last year I put it toward the top of my list. And thanks to my favorite father-in-law, Mr. Mrs. Dan, I had two extra sixes this year. He brought it down from the Mother Country, Michigan, where Bell’s is located. I figured they would have better supplies of this seasonal up there. (He called about a week ago to tell me be it can’t be found up there now either).
During Christmas I enjoyed one here and there. I even shared a few with friends although the one I took to Mark’s for New Year’s Eve mysteriously disappeared.
I would swear that there is a hint of spice in this brew but Bell’s claims they do not. Their site says “The basic inspiration for Bell’s Christmas Ale was to create a sessionable holiday beer, using locally grown malt, which would stand apart from the array of spiced winter warmers that are typically introduced this time of year. In contrast to many other seasonals, Christmas Ale doesn’t contain any spices: all of the dry, toasted notes & subtle toffee flavors come from the 100% Michigan-grown barley, custom malted by Briess Malting, while a blend of hops from Michigan & the Pacific Northwest lend earthy, herbal aromas. At 5.5% ABV, it stands as a smooth, highly drinkable beer intended to complement holiday menus, not overshadow them.”
I can’t call this a session beer. I could drink this year round. I was about to argue that this beer isn’t very dry but after a second taste it does have a slightly dry finish. The toffee flavors are apparent. Nice smooth beer. This is a great way to celebrate. I would love to have tried this from a keg.
HEY BELL’S. RELEASE THIS IS IN A MINI-KEG NEXT YEAR LIKE YOU DO OBERON.
I hope they are listening. That would really make Christmas special next year. Maybe they need a Filemaker database to track their brews. I’m prepped and ready to go.