While this isn’t a suggestion to rewrite the honored tradition of champagne toasts each New Year’s Eve, think of it as a nod to brewficionados. And for the uninitiated, consider it a head start on that 2015 resolution to try something new.
Between your festivities, the countdown, and the after-party, there are more than a few toasts to be had, yes? Here are four bubbly alternative celebration libations:
[jump] Buzzerkeley, 7% ABV
Calicraft Brewing Co.
Berkeley-based Calicraft brewing calls Buzzerkeley a sparkling ale. Starthistle honey is fermented by champagne yeast, resulting in a refreshingly bright and zesty brew with a dry finish. A gold-foil bottle and semi-carbonation does give this one celebration worthy appeal.
Winter Wheat, 7% ABV
Looking for a heartier brew? Anchor Steam’s Winter Wheat is it. Don’t be fooled by the name. This is not your typical summer biergarten weissbier refreshment. This is a dark, thick-bodied brew with a robust mouthfeel. Made from five types including “midnight wheat”, the complex nutty, woody, and malted flavors are perfect for a night cap post-countdown.
Santa’s Private Reserve Ale, 5.30% ABV
If you, like this writer, aren’t quite ready to un-deck your halls then there’s Santa’s Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales. This double-hopped red ale is malty and finishes with a spruce, hoppy flavor – perfect for toasting to the holiday season before, brace yourself, it’s time to hang up the ugly sweaters. If San Francisco’s firework show is your thing then why not find the brew on tap en-route to the waterfront at Rogue’s North Beach outpost, at Powell and Union.
Graviva! 8% ABV
Tilted Shed Ciderworks
Nothing wrong with overindulgence to ring in the New Year. If a multi-course dinner service is on your agenda, a little acidity to cut through is what you will find in Graviva! a semidry cider from Sonoma county-based Tilted Shed Ciderworks. It is crisp with balanced acidity and sweetness. Pairs well with crab season and is best served in a champagne flute. Perfect!