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Beer Pick of the Week

Petrus Aged Pale Ale   Producer: Bavik Location: Belgium Style: Red/Brown Ale Alcohol: 7.3% IBUs: Unknown Serving type: 11-oz. Bottles Availability: National distribution in the U.S. through the year, but in limited quantities.   Appearance:  Very light amber Aroma:  Apple cider, grapefruit Taste:  Bright, lemony and very sour (that's a good thing!). This is a brew that invites reflection. Savor it. Contemplate your life and consider a trip to Flanders. Food affinity:  Reviewer thought the crisp acidity would work as counterpoint to chicken prepared with a sticky citrus or apricot glaze or accompanied by a chutney-like fruit sauce. A friend…
Bonfire   Producer: Napa Smith Brewery Location: Napa, California Style: Brewery defines as “Imperial Porter” Alcohol: 8% IBUs: 30 Serving type: 12 and 22-oz. bottles and draft Availability: Winter season in all of California and about 15 other states.   Appearance:  Dark/Dark/Dark. Big beige head. Aroma:  Hard to define. Taste:  Winery suggests trying "our winter warmer--and set the night on fire!" Our bottle didn't trigger such excitement, but as an alternative to sitting in front of the fireplace with a glass of Port, it would be o.k. We enjoyed its warming, malty presence and the coffee and toasty aspects. Subtle…
Pale 31   Producer: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Location: Paso Robles, California Style: California Style Pale Ale Alcohol: 4.9% IBUs: 38 Serving type: 12 oz. bottles and draft Availability: Widely distributed in the Far West, also in Colorado, Arizona and in the Chicago area.     Appearance: Deep golden amber. Not many bubbles. Aroma: floral, malty. Taste: Easy-drinking, malty, refreshing. Food Affinity: Split pea soup, topped with some crispy crumbled bacon and a slice of brown bread. General Background: Firestone produces an array of beer styles. The “Pale 31” name of this one relates to California being the 31st state…
Anchor Steam Beer   Producer: Anchor Brewing Location: San Francisco, California Style: A hybrid lager/ale* Alcohol: 4.9% IBUs: 32 Serving type: 12 oz. bottles and draft Availability: Distributed year-round across the U.S.     Appearance: Light amber to medium copper color. Creamy white head. Aroma: Won't show much if beer is too cold. At ideal temperature there's some nice citrus with a hint of spice. Taste: Opens malty with some subdued bitterness in the background. There seems a brightness throughout. Finishes crisply. Food Affinity: More food-friendly than most IPAs, it would complement many dishes. This time of year we'd suggest…
Celebration Ale   Producer: Sierra Nevada Location: Chico, California Style: American IPA Alcohol: 6.8% IBUs: 65 Serving type: 12 oz. bottles and draft Availability: Distributed across the U.S. in fall and winter     Appearance:  "Amber/copper color below an off-white head." Aroma:  "Floral, citrus and a bit resiny." Taste:  "Full and malty at first, it fills the mouth. Hops soon take over, however. Long and satisfying finish." Editor's note: Unlike many breweries which which create a deliberately different winter brew each year, Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is brewed to the same style year in and year out. Food Affinity:  "Cheeses:…
      Jubelale   Each year Deschutes commissions a new label for Jubelale. Above is the 2012 edition, celebrating the brew's 25th AnniversarProducer: Deschutes Brewery Location: Bend, Oregon Style: Strong Ale Alcohol: 6.7% IBUs: 60 Serving type: 12 oz. bottles and draft Availability: Seasonally distributed October – December in 17 states in the western US and in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.   Appearance: “Poured into a large wine glass, the Jubelale exhibited a big oatmeal-colored head which dissipated fairly quickly. Remaining beer in the glass was fairly dark, but showed a brighter reddish-brown when held up to…
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