I am going to start off with a couple of holiday beers that are still around and then go from there. I will probably do some themes, like IPAs for a couple of weeks, then a period of stouts, and so on. There will be an effort to try as many of the Texas beers as possible from brewers such as Rahr, Real Ale and Saint Arnold.
I am not going to try to judge the beers as 'bad' or 'good', but attempt to decribe them. I do prefer beers with a strong flavor so I will try to make some comments about the strength or mildness of flavor. Since I began drinking beer MANY years ago, I have always enjoyed drinking a Guinness Stout at room temperature, if you can use that as some type of yardstick.
LAGUNITAS SUCKS HOLIDAY ALE
There is somewhat of an odd story behind this beer. The brewery did not have the capacity to produce their regular holiday beer everyone was expecting (therein the self-deprecating 'sucks' adjective), so they released this hoppy, 4-grain (barley, rye, wheat, oats) brew as a holiday seasonal. It is 7.85% alcohol by volume (ABV) and has an International Bitterness Units (IBU) rating of 63.21, as shown on the twelve ounce bottle.
This beer poured with very little head, and has a very nice yellow-golden color. The aroma was very strong, almost floral and reminiscent of evergreens. Upon tasting, I immediately thought of citrus - at first maybe orange, but then more so of grapefruit. It has a very hoppy, strong flavor with a nice bitter aftertaste. The hops give it an almost resin-like bite - as if you were drinking a Christmas tree. So a real range of holiday flavors. I was surprised by this beer and have to say I really enjoyed it. A great way to start the new year!
Lagunitas Brewing Company