Crane De Noel + New Arrivals 12-10-17

The holiday season is here, and among the hustle and bustle in our neck of the woods - several new beers have been hitting the stores!   This is perhaps the most seasonal/limited-release-packed part of the year. Today i’ll stick to a few recent arrivals. But stay tuned over the coming days as well! I’ll keep up the scoop on deliveries, holiday must-try’s and stocking stuffer ideas coming over the next couple of weeks.  

It’s stout season! (is it ever not, though?!)  Several big barrel-aged beauties have seen release recently.   On Black Friday we saw the release of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout.  This past week we saw Bell’s Black Note Stout and Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout.    All three were in short supply, but we hope you found the bottles you wanted.   Keep an eye sharp, a few extras could be tucked away here or there on the shelves over the coming days!

Firestone Walker is old enough to drink!  And by that I mean, the brewery is turning 21 years old!   This past Friday saw the release of Anniversary Ale 21.    Released in the newer small format bottle/box, these are still available.   Another barrel-aged big beer favorite came from Oskar Blues.  Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy is the big boozy, barrel flavored “comes in a stovepipe tallboy can” version of their classic Ten Fidy.   These surely won’t last long, so get to it!

Four Hands Brewing Co. out of St. Louis released their popular seasonal Chocolate Milk Stout variety pack.   Offering 3 variant takes on their seasonal classic, this year’s included a bomber each of Blackberry, Tiki (Coconut/Coffee) and Gingerbread.  Included as always is a 4 Hands drinking jar.    A bit closer to home, we saw Torn Label release Ingmar, their gin barrel-aged wild ale with strawberries.   

We don’t see distribution for Upland Brewing in Missouri (damn shame…) but a recent collaboration canned by Against The Grain gives us *Something*!  Overcompensation is a double-IPA collab between the breweries, and comes in 16o 4pk cans.   Limited quantities are available at all 3 stores.

Crane de Noel

Our friends at Crane Brewing Company over in Raytown just released a fantastic duo of holiday beers.   Festiweiss and Crane de Noel dropped over the past couple weeks.   Both are holiday fruited and spiced sours, and they taste like the holidays.   Santa Yoda says, “Try these beers you will!”

Festiweiss is a returning favorite.   Crane’s classic Berliner Weisse base beer is paired with the addition of cranberry and ginger.   This is a holiday home-run. The beer pours a dirty red, with a quickly receding off-white head.  The nose is tart berry, a crisp hint of ginger and spice. The taste is tart cranberries all the way, with ginger and spice in the finish.   This is the sour beer-incarnation of cranberry sauce. A common fruit for holiday beers, this is absolutely my favorite glass of Christmas-cranberry.   

Crane de Noel is a new beer for us, though is familiar to tap-room regulars.   This release sees the first of the new small format bottles to which Crane is currently switching over the next few months.  At $5.99/375ml, this is an awesome deal. Though a 750ml isn’t hard to solo-dome, this can leave you feeling a little less guilty about downing the whole bottle.   

Crane de Noel is a “Berliner-Style Dark-Sour Ale Brewed With Spices And Plums And Bottle Conditioned.”   The beer pours a murky brownish hue, with strong aromas of dark fruit and holiday spices.   Coming in at 6.5% ABV, this packs a little bit more punch than your average Crane brew, but the flavors and tartness cover the booze right up.    Nice dark fruit flavors meet holiday spice just as the nose would suggest.

This a perfect Christmas sour, and I polished off my glass very quickly.

Just as both beers burst with flavor and would pair great with any holiday meal, they are also easy-drinking enough to be worthy of your glass after a long day or work and/or the relatives.

Hopefully you will get to try a few of the new beers we’ve received! If you’re only able to try a couple: definitely give preference to those holiday Crane’s, as well as the new brew from Torn Label.   These are quality beers brewed by awesome people, and are just down the road! I often see/hear people complain about the lack of “good” beers/breweries in KC. I get it. (I, too, am bummed that Side Project Brewing requires a drive!)  But there are more and more great beers appearing from our local breweries in KC these days.   So logout from Facebook, turn off that TV…. and get down to your favorite local bottle shop/taproom!  

Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting local businesses!   If I can be of any assistance in your holiday party beer-planning, please don’t hesitate to reach out!  I can always be reached at jeremy@mikeskc.com.  

Happy Holidays, and I hope to see you soon!

Jeremy Morton | Beer Manager

Mike’s Wine & Spirits KC

Andy Doohan