It's our pleasure to bring you "Tannenbaum: a Celebration of Old World Strong Ales," an event that will run from November 21 through December 31. During that period of time, we'll be dedicating five or six of our 14 taps to rare (and delicious) European strong ales from Belgium, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, France, and Italy, and decking out our tavern to resemble a European winter wonderland.
Here is the current Tannenbaum tap list:
1. SCHNEIDER & SOHN AVENTINUS (Germany)
This beer will be our house beer during the course of Tannenbaum. It's one of my favorite winter beers, a beer that warms your whole body, with a hefty dose of malt, yeast and (of course) alcohol. A perfect combination of the the caramel and dark fruit characteristics of the malts and the banana and clove flavors imparted by the yeast, Schneider’s Aventinus is one of the gold standards of the Weizenbock style. We chose this as our house beer because its a versatile beer for food pairings, a beer that drinks as well with sausage or beef stew as it does with something sweet (or as a stand alone dessert).
2. LA TRAPPE TRAPPIST WITTE (Netherlands)
La Trappe is a Dutch brewery that is certified as a Trappist brewery. What's a Trappist brewery? It means that the beer is made within a Trappist Monastery, under the supervision of Trappist monks, and the brewery is a non-profit, covering only the costs of the monastery itself. There are 11 Trappist breweries, and La Trappe is the only one in the Netherlands. La Trappe Witte is the only witte made by any Trappist brewery, and it is generally rare among other Belgian witt beers because it contains no spices, fruits, etc., just a zippy, Belgian strain of yeast and a herbal/spicy hop profile. Delicious stuff - please try some.
3. DE GLAZEN TOREN SAISON D'EPRE MERE (Belgium)
Interpreted differently everywhere it is brewed, there is just one rule with saison: make it refreshing. This classic Wallonian interpretation contains no spices or herbs, just a spicy and refreshing hop and yeast profile. It drinks dry, crisp and refreshing, and at 7.5%, it's not your grandma's saison.
4. PROFESSOR FRITZ BRIEM 13TH CENTURY GRUT BIER (Germany)
He's baaacckkk...that is the mad Professor of beer, Fritz Briem, a professor at veritable Weihenstephan school of brewing, who makes the 1809 Berliner that we enjoyed during the IBCs Oktoberfest. This beer is an interpretation of German-Style Gruit, an archaic beer style that used herbs, flowers, and spices to flavor beer (as opposed to hops, which became widely accepted in Europe only after the Reformation. Professor Briem spiced this beer with lorbeer (bay leaves), ingwer (ginger), kummel (caraway), anis (anise), rosemarin (rosemary), and enzian (gentian). It is brewed with water, wheat & barley malt, hopped with “pollinated wild hops,” and fermented using top-fermenting yeast.
5. ALVINNE CUVEE DE MORTAGNE (Belgium)
During the lead-up to Tannenbuam, we tapped Alvinne's Cuvee Sofie -- Kweeper, a quince-fruited version of their Barrel-Aged blonde. It was one of the finest beers that I've ever consumed. To show the breadth of this brewery, we've gotten three more Alvinne beers to last us for Tannenbaum, and Mortagne made the most sense to tap first. It starts as a complex, dark barleywine fermented with Alvinne's famous "Morpheus" yeast blend from the Cote de Rhone. That beer is then barrel aged, picking up more funk and barrel notes from wine barrels of the prestigious Pomerol commune in Bordeaux. It is a whopping 13% bruiser that somehow drinks like a sleeping kitten, an animal which you may resemble after one or two of these beers.
*DE GLAZEN SAISON D’ERPE-MERE (Belgium)*
*B.O.M. (BELGIAN ORIGINAL MALTBAKERY) TRIPORTEUR FULL MOON 12 BELGIAN OAK ALE (Belgium)*