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Rounding out the holiday beer lineup

I want to have four beers on tap for family/friends. I am looking for suggestions for the final beer.

The first three: west coast style IPA, a basic stout (possibly with cocao nibs/coffee) and a blonde ale.

In this last spot, I have typically included something fairly malty and pleasing for diverse tastes. I’ve done american ambers, british browns, oktoberfest, scottish ale, all with success. Just looking for something else.

My primary considerations are a red rye, or a belgian pale. I’m leaning toward the BPA based loosely off the NB phat tyre grain bill (at least as a starting point) with the ardennes yeast. But I am still kind of looking for some inspiration here.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

A blonde is a Belgian pale. Fat tire also similar. I would go with a scotch ale. You could probably start with your Scottish ale recipe and beaf it up.

The blonde I make is american. It’s kind of a cream ale without corn. Pils and MO mix for base. Just a touch of light crystal or caravienne. 1056 and lightly hopped with C-hops.

Not to be a pedantic little twerp (but I’m going to anyway) Belgian Blonde and Belgian Pale are very different beers. Something like Leffe is a Belgian Blonde. Stronger ABV and more pale. BPA is something like De Konnick, Palm or Fat Tire and have a darker/copper color and are a little more toasty malt-centric than yeast-centric.

To the OP, my suggestions, based on the likely wide audience in order, I would say something malty might round it out:

-winter warmer/spiced holiday ale - go with a dunkel, marzen or even scotch ale base, then add some holiday spices as a tincture. Go light though. People likely want to have more than one, and you don’t want to burn them out.
-I also make a cranberry saison around the holidays that is festive and awesome (if I do say so). Any saison recipe, then add 1# crushed frozen-then-thawed cranberries per gallon to a secondary, ready in +/- 1 month. Gets a great color and makes the ladies go batty.
-I think biere de garde or a maltier steam (like Jamil’s) could go over well

I would also suggest thumbing through the new ‘draft’ BJCP style guidelines. A lot of new styles recognized/outlined that could certainly spark some inspiration. It did with me!

I suppose a lightly spiced BPA would be interesting. It should already have some clove from the yeast, and adding a touch of additional spice would probably go over well. I like the tincture idea.

I agree that fat tire is more amber and malty. But traditionally I thought blondes were Belgian and the term has gotten hijacked by craft brewers kind of like calling a hoppy pale a IPA. I stand corrected. When I get home I’ll look up pendantic.

Something malty and smokey. I did this last year and thoroughly enjoyed sitting on my back porch bundled up, taking smokey sips.

For a simple malty brew with a pleasing color, how about an Irish Red? Simple, you can have it ready in about 3 weeks.

I think Denny’s Waldo Lake Amber would fit the bill nicely. That’s been a hugely popular crowd-pleaser for me, at holidays and a wedding.


Maybe an Alt

I liked the looks of that NB Saison Noel. I decided to copy the recipe, alter it a little, and brew it next weekend after the ingredients arrive. Might add a little hint of vanilla or something.

I like a Strong Bitter/ESB during the holidays

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