Session 17: Drinking Anti-Seasonally

Posted on 07.04.08 8:27AM under Barley Wine, Stout, The Session

Fancy Session LogoWelcome to this month’s session! Our gracious host today is Pfiff! The topic is drinking out of season beers.

For the longest time I was not a believer in seasonal beer. I was always just the type of person to pick whatever seemed good, regardless of weather. It was mostly IPAs at that time. What am I saying? I would drink IPA rain or shine, hot or cold. Even to this day, I feel that IPA transcends seasonal drinking. It finds a way to fit into any season.

But this is not about drinking in season.

When this past winter came, I figured, “why not try some wintry seasonal beers?” I had actually unwittingly become a bit of a seasonal beer drinker in the summer, as I got into Belgian Tripels. Then in the fall, I was actually excited for Oktoberfest beers. But winter really got me going with Winter Warmers, Old Ales, Barley Wines, Russian Imperial Stouts, and other manner of big dark beers.

But this is not about drinking in season.

As part of my seasonal drinking habit, I made an immense RIS of my own. At 10% ABV, this was a monster not to be tangled with. Though I tangled with about four gallons of the stuff with little hesitation.

That leaves me today with a six pack in the “beer cellar” fridge set to 52 degrees and sitting in the garage. Actually a few weeks ago there were eight in there. But today there are only six left.
Six months of age has done a world of good for this beer. It has evolved from a brute to a suave sophisticated gentleman. This beast has finally become a prince. So here it is, eighty degrees, dark outside, humid as a bathroom with no vent fan right after a shower with all the windows closed. And here I am slowly working on a big dark smooth robust 10% ABV Imperial Stout. And it’s the greatest.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2008On top of that, I recently picked up the last six pack of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2008 left over at the beer store. Somehow, retiring to the living room after dinner with a big glass of Barley Wine seems to make sense, even in July. Maybe it’s the chill of the air conditioner blowing gently across the back of my neck from across the room which reminds me of the ever present cold draft permeating through the house in the colder months. Or maybe it’s that there are only so many “refreshing” beers you can have before you need a bold reminder of big beer flavor. It might just be the inner rebel that is stimulated by this mini act of rebellion, acting so contrary to the popular drinking opinion. Whatever it is, there’s something perfect in big dark wintry beers in the middle of summer.

Forget about all the drinkable and refreshing Witbiers and Weizenbiers and Wheat Beers and Golden this and Light that. This summer, I’m celebrating Christmas in July with Russian Imperial Stout and Barley Wine.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by Bill on 07.06.08 1:22 AM

    I just had my first sip of Bigfoot on America’s 232nd birthday and it is fantastic. Sierra Nevada is such an underrated brewery. Good get, my friend.