Holiday Now - 5% ABV
TrimTab Brewing Co. (Birmingham, Alabama)
Cranberry Spice Berliner Weisse
Winter is here, and for most people, that means it's stout season.
For me, that means it's also Holiday Now season. (Sure, they released it in October, but it's the whole spirit of the thing.)
The beer pours a hazy, almost rust colored red, and the scent is a lot like Christmas morning. The nose is spicy and fruity, and while you know it's going to be a tart and crisp, the holiday spices give it a warmness that combats the standard that berliner weisse is a summer style. It smells a lot like my kitchen did when I cooked up some cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving.
Holiday Now has a delicate mouthfeel, and on your first sip you get the tartness of the fruit, a little bit of orange and a whole lot of cinnamon. There's also clove and nutmeg, according to the brewery's description, but the cinnamon is the more aggressive spice.
While berliner weisse is my go-to summer style, adding in the spices transitions this beer into a winter state of mind. And while we've got "mild" Alabama winters most of the time, it's only 35 degrees outside, my apartment is at 65 degrees, and I'm still enjoying the hell out of this beer. It's got just enough cinnamon to make you think of a warm cocktail and relaxing around the holidays, but it remains crisp and refreshing.
It's a beer that can serve as a gateway for friends who "don't like beer" because the fruits and tartness make this beer approachable, almost cocktail-like, but the balance between tart fruits and warming spices is something even a beer snob can appreciate. It's truly one of my favorite holiday-season beers, and while I prefer to get it on tap at TrimTab, I've picked up a few six-packs so far this holiday season.
Overall rating: 4.25/5