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CBW Adambier & Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale


Adambier. Yes, this is a beer style and not just the pint left at the bar by your buddy Adam. Granted, Adambier is rare, with only a handful of examples on sites like RateBeer or Untappd. It’s an old, largely forgotten style originally from Dortmund, Germany—an intense, dark, complex ale (yes, an ale, not a lager) aged in oak barrels, which is sometimes soured. Think of it as an interloper between an old ale, altbier, wild beer, and a barleywine. The tricky thing about beers of this nature (extinct styles, etc. ) is that while historical references to the beers’ flavors and recipes exist, there are limited examples out there to taste, so brewers are sort of winging it. Well, our pals at Community Beer Works have taken an Adambier on wing—and this small batch, limited release beer soars high in November skies! This reviewer’s only previous experience with Adambier was with the truly spectacular “Adam” from Portland, Oregon’s Hair of the Dog brewery. There are aged bottles of “Adam” going for $2000 in traders markets, so my expectations were piqued and high for CBW’s offering. With a nose like a strong Schwartzbier, initial thoughts lean towards a standard malty, German offering, but that’s when CBW’s Adambier kicks into overdrive. Beachwood smoked barley from Bamberg offers a whiff of smoke, which lingers over the subtle oak notes obtained in its barreling. The 8.8% ABV bites, but not hard, revealing a deliciously layered malty finish—with just enough hops to add complexity. Adambier is like the German version of the Belgian dubbel. Enjoy CBW’s interpretation now!

Sierra Nevada
Celebration Ale
Style: American IPA

ABV: 6.8%

Is it that time already? It seems as though I was just in jeans and a tee shirt. It’s past the middle of November which means it’s Celebration season. This classic American IPA is one of the oldest of its kind. First brewed in 1981, Celebration Ale is one of the very few hop forward winter holiday beers; much different then and even now than your typical spiced winter ale. You could say that Sierra Nevada considers fresh dried hops as the “spice” for theirs. The brewing team at Sierra Nevada are masters at producing some of the world’s finest hopped up beers and Celebration is a shining point in their portfolio. If American IPA has a gold standard for current comparisons, this would be it. Defined by a bold blend of minty pine and citrus in the nose followed by a nutty caramel malt body and a clean bitterness, this IPA has classic written all over it. It makes me want to go back to the year of my birth to see how the beer has changed over the last 34 years. Beer is, of course, a farm product and variences in barley malt yeilds, hop alpha/beta acids and many other contributing flavor compounds result in a slightly different beer every year, no matter what. What I do know is that I certainly will be having more Sierra with my Thanksgiving dinner. This beer is delicious, just like my mom’s pumpkin pie!

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