Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
New Year’s Eve is traditionally a celebration associated with Champagne and other sparkling wines, and while there will be a fair amount of that going around at my house this year there are many alternatives available for beer fans. Broad-appeal Lagers and Pale Ales are always welcome when there’s a crowd, so pick your favorite and stock up. When the clock strikes midnight, though, you may want something special for the occasion. Here are some suggestions:
Deus Brut des Flandres: One of the more unique beers on the planet, this Belgian Ale is fermented twice at the brewery before being sent to France to be treated in the Method Champenoise. The result is an Ale that is as close to Champagne in character as you’re going to find. With a cider-like note and fine carbonation, Deus is the beer to ring in the New Year with in lieu of Champagne. Deus is pricey and not always readily available, but worth splurging on this time of year to experience it for yourself.
Gueuze and other Sour Ales: With their bracing acidity, Gueuze and Sour Ales in general make for nice celebration beverages. Knowing your crowd is important here, as Sour Ales are certainly not for everyone. I’d recommend Tilquin’s outstanding Oude Gueuze as it is both less funky than other Sours but also more balanced and elegant in its acidity.
Large formats: When you can find them, big bottles always work for a group. If you can still find them, there should be some Anchor Christmas 1.5-liter magnum bottles available along with magnums of Gulden Draak, Duvel, maybe even Chimay if you get lucky. Recently I’ve even seen 3L and 6L bottles of Allagash Tripel, which is a lot of beer but great for a party.
Whatever you do, have a great New Year’s Eve, and please be safe: it’s amateur hour out there unlike any holiday save for St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy your friends and your celebrations and we’ll see you back here next week to start 2013.
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