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A green holiday red ale

The winter version of AleSmith’s YuleSmith belongs on any hophead's wish list

AleSmith Winter YuleSmith - Image by @sdbeernews
AleSmith Winter YuleSmith
Place

AleSmith Brewing Company

9990 Alesmith Court, San Diego

Most holiday beers are high in alcohol, heavy in texture, and rife with flavors of winter spices, caramel, dried fruits, chocolate, and booze. The majority fall into two categories — Belgian strong ales and imperial stouts — both of which are well suited for cooler winter temps. It’s not like one would yearn for too many of these big, chewy ales in the heat of summer. Rather than relegate their annual holiday offering to meteorological parameters, AleSmith Brewing Company cuts against the grain, using actual grains to brew a beer that goes down good in any climate, an imperial red ale called YuleSmith.

It’s not a total departure, with a substantial ABV of 8.5% and more malt than most of the hoppy beers in AleSmith’s portfolio, but it’s the most American, and for sure the most “West Coast,” of anything being produced as a local yuletide seasonal. That’s thanks to a pungent bouquet of floral, piney hops, all of which come through with lively force as they march across taste buds like a platoon of bell-stockinged elves. But this beer is not one-dimensional. The malt bill is every bit as important as those hops, contributing a savory breadiness with notes of toffee and spice, and bringing familiar December flavors into the fold.

Unlike most holiday beers, this isn’t one to be held onto and explored during future Christmases, Hanukahs, or otherwise merry occasions. This should be drunk fresh to experience the most vibrant hop flavors possible. This would seem to mean one must endure 11 YuleSmith-free months, but knowing hops are a hit any time of year, AleSmith also brews a summer edition of YuleSmith. Instead of an imperial red, they go the double IPA route, infusing a bevy of fruity, citrusy hops into a golden, rather hearty brew that, at 8.5%, waves a taunting finger at the seasonal thermometer but has plenty of fruity flavor to back up its deviation from the norm.

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AleSmith Winter YuleSmith - Image by @sdbeernews
AleSmith Winter YuleSmith
Place

AleSmith Brewing Company

9990 Alesmith Court, San Diego

Most holiday beers are high in alcohol, heavy in texture, and rife with flavors of winter spices, caramel, dried fruits, chocolate, and booze. The majority fall into two categories — Belgian strong ales and imperial stouts — both of which are well suited for cooler winter temps. It’s not like one would yearn for too many of these big, chewy ales in the heat of summer. Rather than relegate their annual holiday offering to meteorological parameters, AleSmith Brewing Company cuts against the grain, using actual grains to brew a beer that goes down good in any climate, an imperial red ale called YuleSmith.

It’s not a total departure, with a substantial ABV of 8.5% and more malt than most of the hoppy beers in AleSmith’s portfolio, but it’s the most American, and for sure the most “West Coast,” of anything being produced as a local yuletide seasonal. That’s thanks to a pungent bouquet of floral, piney hops, all of which come through with lively force as they march across taste buds like a platoon of bell-stockinged elves. But this beer is not one-dimensional. The malt bill is every bit as important as those hops, contributing a savory breadiness with notes of toffee and spice, and bringing familiar December flavors into the fold.

Unlike most holiday beers, this isn’t one to be held onto and explored during future Christmases, Hanukahs, or otherwise merry occasions. This should be drunk fresh to experience the most vibrant hop flavors possible. This would seem to mean one must endure 11 YuleSmith-free months, but knowing hops are a hit any time of year, AleSmith also brews a summer edition of YuleSmith. Instead of an imperial red, they go the double IPA route, infusing a bevy of fruity, citrusy hops into a golden, rather hearty brew that, at 8.5%, waves a taunting finger at the seasonal thermometer but has plenty of fruity flavor to back up its deviation from the norm.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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