During the holiday season, local breweries turn out some specialty beers meant to get you in the Christmas spirit. Usually these beers are either higher than usual versions of dark ales and lagers (Winterbrau, Old Ales, and Barley Wines) or something flavored with seasonal spices. Below is a version that has been around for many years with the same core recipe, a red ale, lightly hopped with a bold spice character from ginger, cinnamon, orange peel, and clove.
This recipe is courtesy of Oregon Fruit so they may shamelessly plug their product.
This recipe is courtesy of Oregon Fruit.
This beer is a seasonal favorite. It dates back to a time when real beer ingredients were rare and people played a game called “Will It Ferment”, and this one did. Surprisingly, this beer is pretty good, like Pumpkin Pie in a bottle.
What started as an experimental recipe by customer, Paul Rowlette, resulted in a flavorful cooler worth recommending. It's easy to make through a short boil. It's inexpensive to purchase, less than $20 for 5 gallons. But, it does require about a month for clearing. One complication though, I like this recipe on the sweet side which makes carbonating in bottles an extra effort. It's the same rules you would apply to making sodas. You bottle with more sugar than you need to carbonate, then allow bottle conditioning at room temperature for about 3 days, then move into cold storage to stop the yeast from working. If you are kegging, it's a no brainer because you force carbonate when it's cold.