The Second Day of Christmas: Full Sail Brewing Wreck The Halls Brewmaster Reserve

December 15, 2011

I do not have any Christmas Party nightmare stories. I never got drunk and made a pass at the boss’ daughter.  I never tried to grope the secretary. Never dropped my drawers to photocopy my naked ass. There are no pictures of me with a lampshade on my head nor dancing shirtless in a fountain in sub-zero temperatures. I have never stumbled home and passed out beneath the Christmas tree.

While I have never wrecked the halls, that did not stop me from enjoying the heck out of Full Sail’s Wreck The Halls Christmas Ale.* Generously hopped with Centennial Hops, giving it a nice citrus bitterness, this beer has a nice caramel malt richness for balance. It has none of the spices traditionally associated with Christmas beers, and I am ok with that.  Think of it as a rich, malty, India Pale Ale, and you will be close to the mark. It is only 6.5 % ABV, so feel free to knock back a few of these as you trim the tree, 7/10.

Earlier Post: The First Day of Christmas

*Holy Cow! That transition was AWESOME! Seriously, read that again: While I have never wrecked the halls, that did not stop me from enjoying the heck out of Full Sail’s Wreck The Halls Christmas Ale.* Do you see what I did there? Do you!?!? I crack myself up sometimes.


The Twelve Beers of Christmas

December 24, 2010

The First Beer of Christmas: Full Sail Wassail, Hood River, Oregon – I had this on tap at the Ginger Man.  Dark velvety brown with ruby highlights and a fluffy white head.  This was mildly sweet, with a caramel taste and some dried fruit and spiciness as well.  Very good, 7/10.

The Second Beer of Christmas: Anchor 2010 Christmas Ale – The Grand Daddy of American Christmas Ales, with an ever evolving recipe.  I had this on tap at the Ginger Man, and this year’s version has a spicy ginger aftertaste, which I liked, but everyone else who tried it with me hated.  Not as good as years past, but still a fine Christmas Beer, 7/10. Read the rest of this entry »


Full Sail Pale Ale

March 12, 2010

About a year ago, I flew out to Portland, Oregon to visit BB.  JPE came out a few days later, and the three of us drove around Oregon, sampled beer and seafood, and generally enjoyed the unique culture of the Northwest.  Let me clarify that: BB drove JPE and me around and tried to keep his BAC below the legal limit, while we guzzled beer, gorged ourselves on whatever grub we could lay our mitts on, and generally made a nuisance of ourselves.

The Pacific Northwest (I am including Northern California) is the Bourdeaux region of American Brewing, and I would love to go back with more time and a bigger budget, and explore the region again.  Every podunk town we stopped in had at least one outstanding craft brewer.  Every dive bar we stumbled into had a tap selection that would be the envy of the Blind Tiger or d.b.a. I would describe myself in Oregon as being like a kid in a candy store if I was not trying to avoid cliches like the plague.

One morning, we made a trip out to Mount Hood, which is a must do trip for anyone who visits Portland.  The only downside was that JPE could not get service on his iPhone, and the GPS on my phone was out of service, so we got a bit lost. We eventually found our bearings and made our way to the town of Hood River, which sits on the river at the end of a mountain passage, creating a natural wind tunnel, and which makes windsurfing in Hood River like climbing Mount Everest.

As none of us had thought to bring our wetsuits, we decided to grab some beer instead.  The Full Sail Brewing Company was our first stop.  The bar had a fantastic view of the river, and the beer and food was decent as well.   As we were leaving, BB said “we need to head back to Portland now.”  JPE and I agreed, but only after stopping for a quick three at the  Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom, which was a few short blocks away.  I was not taking notes, so this is strictly on memory, but the beer there was outstanding, with the India Red Ale being a particular favorite.

I came across a six pack of the Full Sail Pale Ale when I was visiting my sister in Texas, and having fond memories of the trip, grabbed it.  It strikes the right balance between hops and malt, crisp and dry, and you could drink several of these without being overwhelmed.  I have yet to see it ’round these parts, but I’d drink it regularly if I could. 7/10.


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