Well it appears that the season of drinking has officially begun with the time change last weekend. It's feeling colder and darker by the day. How depressing is it to get out of work and have to drive home in the dark? This, and we can all feel what's coming in the air...raking leaves leads right into shoveling snow and scraping ice, which leads right into dealing with all the people on the highway who forgot how to drive in the snow since last March. So how do we fortify ourselves for all this to come? Drink beer, of course! It's a good thing we've got some new beers out in town to get us through the dark days.
The annual Flying Saucer Stout week is back. Ok, so it started yesterday, but I was busy, damnit! They've got a solid lineup of big stouts for us as usual. The special tappings run every night through this Saturday. A few standouts I see include 2012 Perennial Abraxas & Perennial Sump on Friday, and Firestone Walker Parabola on Saturday. Should be a solid week of super strong stouts to wash away any lingering baseball induced depression.
Boulevard has several new beers out for the season. You can find their wheat wine Harvest Dance out on the shelves as 750 ml smokestacks and on tap. Nutcracker is also back on the shelves and on tap now. They've changed their recipe slightly on Nutcracker this year and won't be adding wet hops to it anymore. They're still going to be dry hopping though. It's still a great barleywine/winter warmer for my money, although I find that it seems like they pulled back on the spice somewhat this year. Then again, maybe I just don't get much spice buzz because I'm drinking the stuff like methadone off of a pumpkin beer binge. Boulevard also has a new beer out in their Backroads series called Last Splash coming out soon. Recommended Daily has a good write-up about it.
River North has been in town for a couple of months now with their core line of beers, but now they're shipping specialty barrel aged beers as well. They've got three different barrel aged beers in town now including their saison J. Maria aged in tequila barrels, their Belgian quad Quandary aged in rum barrels, and their Barrel Blonde. You can find these on tap and in bottles on both sides of the state line. It sounds like stocks are going to be pretty solid, but if you want to try them, I wouldn't wait around.
|River North Rum Barrel Quandary is on shelves now.|
Free State's excellent Old Backus Barleywine is hitting the shelves in KS in bottles for the first time ever today! And if you're lucky, you might even find some 2013 Old Backus on tap to compare...a little birdie told me they've got it at the brewpub in Lawrence and at Burg & Barrel in OP right now. Free State is also releasing their regular winter seasonal, the Winterfest IPA soon. In their words it's "like a warm ray of sunshine on a cold winter's day." It's on tap at the brewpub already and should be available in bottles around the metro soon.
Other Beers to Look Out For
All manner of other winter weather beers are out now as well. Founders Backwoods Bastard is out in MO and should be hitting the shelves in KS today. Another great winter seasonal that I think sometimes gets lost in the new brewery shuffle is Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. You should be able to find this around town pretty easily by now and it's well worth at try if you haven't had it (or haven't tried it in a few years).
If you're looking for something a bit lighter than all of this, Cinder Block has their new Cherry English Cider on tap now made with Michigan tart cherries. Another hair of the dog beer for recovering after drinking all these 9% winter monsters is out from Defiance. They've got their third production beer in KC now, a golden ale called Willy Nilly. I haven't tried this one yet, but every other beer I've had from them has been great, so I imagine this one is no exception.