Now that we’ve entered the winter months, seasonal beers and craftail recipes that pair nicely with holiday meals and cooler weather are in demand. Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s have winter beer releases that pair perfectly with holiday meals and desserts and complement gatherings with family and friends, and even work well for après ski. Whether you’re looking to pair your favorite dishes with a limited edition brew, kick back with a beer that goes well with dessert, or enjoy something new while sitting around a fire with your favorite people, Blue Moon and Leinie’s have just what you need.
Of course, entering winter means we’re through November and rocketing towards New Year’s. Not only do Blue Moon and Leinie’s have the winter releases you need to make your beer menu pop, Crispin has developed Craftails. Utilizing Crispin Original, Blackberry Pear and Honey Crisp ciders, Craftails are refreshing hard cider-based beverages imbued with seasonal flavors that will appeal to holiday guests.
Originally brewed in Denver, Blue Moon Belgian White Belgian-Style Wheat Ale may be available all year but the flavors, deep and complex due to the beer being unfiltered, work very well with winter and holiday meals. The subtle zestiness of orange fruit as the garnish, light sweetness of the Valencia orange peel balanced with subtle spiciness from the coriander and wheat on the palate, and smooth, creamy mouthfeel are perfect for this time of year. Available now, Belgian White is accompanied by Gingerbread Spiced Ale, Cinnamon Horchata Ale and Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout in Blue Moon Brewmaster’s Seasonal Sampler Winter Sample Pack.
Gingerbread Spiced Ale, available in 12-ounce bottles, features a complex but balanced nose with spices of ginger, cinnamon and molasses with background notes of nutmeg, allspice and caramel that carries over onto the palate. A slight sweetness is tamed with smooth bitterness. This medium- to full-bodied ale finishes long with cinnamon and molasses flavors and goes wonderfully with desserts that feature chocolate, cinnamon or ginger. Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale also features cinnamon but serves as a play on the traditional agua de horchata. It’s creamy medium body, cinnamon aroma and cinnamon flavor is balanced very well with caramel maltiness, ensuring its namesake isn’t overpowering. This ale also pairs well with desserts, including custards and most anything made with apples.
Finally, Blue Moon Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout is a creamy, medium-bodied beer that works well with savory dishes. It also goes will with rich chocolate desserts like Chocolate Stout Cake with Salted Beer Caramel, and coffee cake. Its rich, roasted decaf coffee flavor is bolstered with light cocoa notes and a malty sweetness. Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout is balanced with a mild bitterness and goes well with fireplace and fire pit gatherings.
If there’s one brewer that has nailed the shandy, it’s Wisconin’s own Leinenkugel’s. The shandy, as Leinie’s has proven, isn’t just for summer anymore. This winter, you, your family and friends, and your guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a shandy made just for cold weather: Leinenkugel’s Cranberry Ginger Shandy. If you weren’t already aware, the great state of Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state in America. Inspired by hometown pride, Cranberry Ginger Shandy has enticing notes of berry, citrus and spice on the nose that carry through onto the palate, along with coriander, honey and grapefruit. Expect a clean, crisp finish. This beer pairs beautifully with traditional winter dishes such as turkey, cranberry and honey-glazed ham.
Hard ciders are not only a tasty, refreshing alternative to beer or wine, they also shine on their own or as ingredients for creative seasonal drinks. Made in California, Crispin is a proud American artisanal cider company that has ventured into the world of mixology with their Crispin Craftails recipes. Made with Crispin Pear Cider, the Cool Pear Mojito features mint, lime and simple syrup. This reinvented mojito is a fantastic apéritif or digestif, perfectly bookending holiday meals. Crispin’s Apple Punch Craftail is anchored by Crispin Honey Crisp cider combined with orange soda and orange, grapefruit and pomegranate juices. Not only is it a fantastic cider-based apéritif or digestif, it’s a great way for guests to enjoy a creative cider-based beverage this holiday season.
For those seeking an inventive play on a classic winter beverage Crispin’s Pear Toddy is made with Crispin Pear Cider, nutmeg, honey and brown sugar. Heated in a saucepan, this variation is at once comforting and refreshing. If, however, your guests are seeking an alternative to all of the winter-specific beverages, you can offer them the Bumble Beach. A creative combination of Crispin Honey Crisp, unsweetened coconut milk and pineapple juice, the Bumble Beach will transport anyone who has been braving stores and cold weather to a relaxing tropical island.
Finally, the Blue Velvet Craftail is simple yet delicious. Easy to make, this hard cider and beer beverage combines two classics. Just mix one part Crispin Original cider with one part Blue Moon Belgian White Belgian-Style Wheat Ale White and garnish with an orange wedge and you’ve got a refreshing drink ideal for winter months.
Information for this article provided by MillerCoors.