December 11 - Widmer Brothers Brrr Seasonal Ale

Winnipeg is the coldest city on the planet with a population over 500,000 and like clockwork, every winter Winnipeg feels like Siberia, actually.. scratch that. Siberia feels like WINNIPEG! The folks over at Widmer Brothers have a seasonal ale called the Brrr Seasonal Ale, which obviously is a bit of an overstatement because none of the Widmer Bros have obviously been to Winnipeg-Churchill in January. I only discovered Widmer Bros' beer back in the summer, but damn.. I fell in love with it immediately, their Alchemy Ale is a serious summer hop filled treat.

Current Temperature: -23C with a windchill of -31C, or for American folks.. -9F with a windchill of -22F.. which doesn't sound AS bad.

Appearance: Brrr pours anice dark cherrywood reddish-brown, dark, hard to see through, starts out with a nice amount of beige crême head, as soon as it warms up, quickly diminishes completely.

Aroma: Sweet, yet bitter. Sweet caramel malts are enjoying the typical Manitoban winter, while the bitter floral hops are wishing it was 0C/30F or above. Light amount of toffee, a bit nutty, a decent amount of hops, not overwhelming but nice and light and give it a bit of presence in the beer.

Taste: Starts off with a 50/50 of sweet caramel and toffee sweetness from the malts, as well as a nice light hoppiness from the hops (Alchemy, Simcoe, Cascade). The bitterness of the hops is dancing in the back of my mouth while the sweetness of the toffee and caramel is staying near the front. Didn't expect as much of a hop presence as this would be, being a Manitoban farm boy, I expected more of a seasonal cinnamon & nutmeg presence, but this is a very good sweet yet hoppy ale that works really well.. chilling in the snow for a few minutes as I wait to drink it..

Overall Thoughts: Pretty straight forward, sweet caramel ale with a nice floral hop presence. Hops aren't usually something you see in the winter time, but the light bitterness reminds me of the harsh windchills the upper Midwest and Canadian prairies gets in the winter, bitter but at least we're not melting, as we all say "at least it's a dry winter". Witmer Brothers Brewing's Brrr Seasonal Ale is 7.2% ABV and 50 IBU and I doubt anyone over at Widmer has ever experienced a true Canadian prairie winter but they can continue making great beer! ;)

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