From the Beer Writer: Regardless which of the “happy holidays” you celebrate, ‘tis no style more fitting of current Beer of the Week status than a Christmas ale. This is Christmas after all and one needn’t align with the Christian faith to get in on a heart-warming, winter-ready, robust and flavorful brew like Mission Holiday Ale. Produced by Santa’s little helpers at Mission Brewery in downtown’s East Village, the beer fits the figgy pudding bill right off the shelf thanks to a beautiful bottle featuring a gold Christmas tree ornament adorned with a holly-berry red Spanish warship. Kudos to the clever artist who added snowflakes shaped like Mission’s cross logo to the equation. But beyond aesthetics, this beer rings true with holiday ale appeal thanks to big flavors of dried dark fruits like raisins, currants, prunes, dates and (Mission) figs, with bittersweetness up-front that gives way to slight smokiness in the finish. That multi-layered depth makes this quaff a refreshing alternative to eggnog, spiked cider and mulled wine. Also, the fact it slides snugly into a stocking cannot be overlooked. Cheers and Merry Christmas from West Coaster.
From the Brewer: “As the temperatures begin to drop, we find most of our customers slow down a bit on the lighter beer styles and prefer a more robust offering. While we offer porters and stouts, when we decided to brew the Holiday Ale, we looked to a more complex flavor profile that would both pair beautifully with a holiday meal, but also stand on its own. Looking to dark fruits, figs, and candied sugar, a dark Belgian ale seemed to be the natural choice. Our Belgian dark strong ale is a full-bodied beer that will happily accompany you into the winter season. It is our second Belgian-style offering—the bigger, bolder brother of Cortez Gold. The higher alcohol content in this beer will keep you warm during those frigid San Diego nights. That 8.6% alcohol-by-volume is balanced by a hefty grain bill featuring a plethora of roasted malts. The Belgian yeast gives this beer an incredible flavor profile that features plum, dried cherry, raisin and fig. It’s dark, smooth and rich—our version of the perfect cold weather beer.”—John Egan, Head Brewer & Operations Manager, Mission Brewery
From the Bottle: This Belgian-style Dark Ale delivers the promise of the holidays, both indulgent and delicious. Dark, rich and smooth, this ale is sure to delight the senses. Complex aromas of raisin, plum and fig, with light Belgian-style spiciness, Mission Holiday Ale proves to be an indulgent treat for the holiday season. Here for a limited time; give a little, keep a little.