Tell me a place that has a better beer selection in Huron County, and I’ll probably call you a liar.
To continue on my quest of Christmas beers and everything in between, I’ve gotten back to my Ohio roots this week thanks to Connie Arnold of Arnold’s Carryout in Willard.
Barreling down route 99 through the heart of the Ohio countryside, three delicious beers awaited me at the downtown Willard establishment.
Since the weather seems to continue to get colder, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the Christmas season is in full swing (even though Thanksgiving isn’t until next week), and to be honest, I’ve kind of been craving the sweet cinnamon and nutmeg flavors of the season.
So, as I mentioned earlier, I got back to my Ohio roots with North Olmsted’s Fat Heads Brewery.
Fat Heads Brewery’s Holly Jolly Christmas Ale 7.4% ABV
Mahogany in color with a short and creamy head, Holly Jolly Christmas Ale fills the nose with traditional winter warmer aromas including cinnamon, nutmeg, a little ginger and a hint of brown sugar.
With tastes similar to the nose, the body is a tad bit heavy, but nothing over bearing or syrupy like some winter warmers tend to be. A nice bitter finish with a medium carbonation makes this brew quite drinkable and not too filling.
I really enjoyed this one and so did Connie, it’s her favorite Christmas beer. Most winter warmers have a strong cinnamon flavor and I got that up front with one, however the more powerful flavor for was the brown sugar which made it very smooth and flavorful. I’ll definitely be drinking more of Holly Jolly this holiday season.
Sticking to my current cravings which haven’t changed much throughout the month of November, I had to get my fix of hops for the week. But not just any hops. I had a peculiarly odd craving for fresh Colorado hops-weird, I know. Expressing my craving to Connie, she had the perfect scratch for my itch (does that saying make sense?
I thought it sounded kinda cool. Feel free to use it).
Left Hand Brewing Company’s Warrior IPA 7.6% ABV
The Colorado brewery most popularly known for their Milk Stout (as well as their cool tap handles), they definitely did not disappoint in their once a year brewed IPA.
Pouring a beautifully clear ruby in color with lusciously thick off white head, Warrior emits an aroma of pure, fresh wet hop scents of pine and citrus fruits. A bitter hop bite on the tongue with flavors of fresh pine, citrus and strong grapefruit, Warrior IPA has a nice and creamy full body with a medium carbonation finished with a smooth malt presence.
I love the big, bold flavor of the fresh hops along with the bitter bite.
I was also pleasantly surprised with the smooth malt balance in the finish. A nice lingering bitterness in the finish as well, but it was not a sticky, overpowering residue. A wonderful IPA, maybe my new favorite. I know I say that about every IPA I drink but it’s true, they are all my favorites, and they’re allowed to be.
Don’t judge me.
Finally, I needed my dark beer fix; dark in color that is. Many people relate dark beers with being thick, heavy and filling beers.
Well folks, I hate to tell you this-actually, I love to tell you this- you’re wrong.
Man that felt good.
Working in a field where “the customer is always right,” it’s so refreshing to be able to tell someone that they’re wrong.
Okay, that’s enough fantasy fulfillments for one day.
On to a wonderfully unique brew by none other than the master brewers of Stone Brewing Company.
Stone Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers 5.9% ABV
Pouring a bright and vibrant black with a cappuccino colored head; Stone has hit a homerun with this unique brew.
The initial nose is of a nice hop aroma, almost citrusy, which will blow your mind as it is totally unexpected. However it doesn’t last long as scents of smoke, spice and chocolate fill your nostrils.
Chocolate and smoke are the two dominate flavors of this brew, but the finish is what will blow your mind.
A nice spicy chipotle flavor will dominate your palate in the finish. It’s not overpowering, and it won’t make your eyes water and make you jump around and yell for water. It’s a nice, flavorful spice, just like a chipotle pepper. The body is creamy with a mild carbonation.
A truly unique brew.
If you prefer it to be a little spicier, just let the beer warm up to room temperature.
The chipotle spices will heat up a tad.
Get down to Arnold’s as soon as possible as Connie has started another BEER SALE. Many popular Oktoberfest beers are on sale for HALF PRICE.
Better hurry, because they won’t last long. I just may go down there and buy them all myself.
Stay classy Funcoast, I’ll see you next week for a unique edition where I’ll share with you some interesting recipes for “adult deserts” made with craft beer for when the kids all go into a turkey coma at Thanksgiving dinner.
I heard that the local prisons’ Thanksgiving dinners aren’t really that good, just saying. Drink responsibly.