Celebrate the solstice

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First Posted: 12/14/2014

Description – Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice pours a deep reddish copper hue with a frothy tan head that leaves a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of sweet notes of caramel, toffee and brown sugar with hints of spice dancing in the background. The taste follows the nose with a wonderfully sweet malt presence up front mainly dominated by notes of caramel and toffee backed by brown sugar and holiday spices. The taste is that of freshly baked bread that is perfect for cold nights and warm holidays. The beer also boasts an unbelievably smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. While this is most certainly a beer that leans heavily towards the malty side of the spectrum it still maintains a great balance and easy drinkability. The 6.9 percent ABV is not apparent and this is most definitely a beer that will warm you up after two or three of them and is a must try beer during the cold winter months.

Food Pairing – Winter Solstice is the perfect beer to have on hand during holiday celebrations. The rich malt characteristics make it perfect to pair with a variety of hearty dishes and desserts. Try pairing this beer with a traditional glazed ham dinner. The sweetness from the glaze will match perfectly with the malts while the fat from the ham will be cut from the mild carbonation and the beer will leave the palate soothed and satisfied. This is also a beer that will pair perfectly with the immense amount of pies adorning kitchen tables this time of year. Some particularly great ones to try with Winter Solstice are: pecan pie, pumpkin pie, caramel apple pie, and apple cranberry pie. Whatever you are craving this is a beer that can hold its own against it and still add a touch of flavor to any dish so be experimental with Winter Solstice.

The Final Word – The winter season requires many to bundle up under two or three layers of clothing to combat the freezing temperatures. The beer that is consumed during winter also undergoes a bit of a bundling up as well under layers of malt to bump up the ABV and create beers that help battle the elements with some warming characteristics. Typically winter seasonal beers have more malt to raise the ABV but also to give a distinct mouthfeel and taste to the beer. Case in point the winter warmer style. There are many beers that are classified in this style, but frankly a great number of them miss the mark and tend to be unbalanced with too much malt. However, Anderson Valley has perfected this style with Winter Solstice. The deep malt flavor characteristics are balanced perfectly with hops and spices and the creamy mouthfeel make this the perfect beer to enjoy on a cold winter day. Stock up on this one just in case you get snowed in this winter.

Where can I get it? – Currently available in 12 oz. bottles at: Backyard Ale House- Scranton; J & H Beer- Plains Twp, Sabatini’s Pizza- Exeter; AuRants- Duryea; Georgetown Deli- Wilkes Barre. Also available on draft at: Arena Bar and Grill- Wilkes Barre