Happy holiday’s everyone! Last year, we did our first 12 Beers of Christmas blog post where the team gave some recommendations of their favorite beers. This is a tradition that actually started from an eight-year practice of doing a beer exchange in our office instead of cookies or Secret Santa. So for all you beer fans out there, here is the 2015 edition of the Shavlik 12 Beers of Christmas. Enjoy!
Randy, Manager, Software Engineering
Mark, Software Engineer
Beer recommendation: Surly Todd – The Axe Man
Description: Todd – The Axe Man is a recipe created by Amager Bryghus in Denmark. The recipe was created for Todd Haug of Surly Brewing. A potent IPA loaded with fresh American aroma hops on a base of rich Golden Promise malt, Surly’s signature malt. Randy says that if you like IPAs, this one is a no brainer. Mark finds it a perfect substitute for Pliny the Elder, which is hard to come by in Minnesota.
So Todd – The Axe Man quickly became an office wide favorite, but since this is supposed to be the “12 beers of Christmas” and not the “1 beer that 12 people liked this Christmas”, I have asked the rest of the team to go down to their next picks.
Matt, Software Engineer
Beer recommendation: Toppling Goliath Pseudo Sue
Style: American Pale Ale
Description: Due to the lack of availability of Pliny, and the rise in popularity of Todd – The Axe Man and by such its growing lack of availability, Matt finds Pseudo Sue the next best thing. This single hop ale showcases the Citra hop. Named for the largest T-rex fossil ever discovered, she roars with ferocious aromas of grapefruit, citrus, mango and evergreen. Delicate in body with a mild bite in the finish.
Brent, Software Engineer
Beer recommendation: Greenbush Unicorn Killer (He would have picked Todd, but Randy and Mark had already beat him to it.)
Style: Spice Beer\Pumpkin Ale
Description: While Brent is not normally a fan of spice beer, hey says this one is perfectly balanced. Notes of caramel, bread, cinnamon, and clove make this heavier version of the seasonal pumpkin ale a good one.
Travis, Product Support Engineer
Beer recommendation: McMenamins Hammerhead Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Description: Travis is part of our support org out of Salt Lake City. This rich chestnut colored gem is a model of harmony between hops and malted barley. Hammerhead’s signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt.
Geoffrey, Technical Support Engineer
Beer recommendation: Wasatch Brewing Ghostrider
Style: White IPA
Description: Also with our Salt Lake City team, Geoffrey recommends this as a “gateway” to the wide world of IPAs. It is smooth and flavorful and light and perfect for any meal pairing. Plus, it goes to show that Utahn’s can make good beer. In the three years I have been with LANDESK, I have seen quite a change in SLC. The beer scene has improved greatly and Wasatch is one of the big contributors to that improvement.
Brian, QA Engineer
Beer recommendation: Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (not to be confused with 120 Minute Pineapple)
Style: Imperial IPA
IBU: 120 (That is a ton of hops)
Description: Now Brian is in QA, so that should be noted here. Quality Assurance is approving this beer. He says “it’s like getting voluntarily smacked in the face with a bag of hops.” Too extreme to be called beer? Brewed to a colossal 45°P, boiled for a full two hours while being continually hopped with high alpha American hops, dry-hopped every day in the fermenter for a month, and aged for a month on whole leaf hops, 120 Minute IPA is by far the strongest IPA ever brewed. And at 21% ABV and 120 IBU’s, you can see why we are calling this the Holy Grail for Hopheads.
Nick, Software Engineer
Beer recommendation: Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen
Style: Oktoberfest/ Märzen
Description: This is a decedent of the original Märzen style beer. Bavarian barley slow roasted, caramelized to a rich, red amber color combined with the purest spring waters from the Alps, exclusive yeast and the finest Hallertau hops.
Neil, Territory Sales Manager
Beer recommendation: Andechser Bergbock Hell
Style: Heller Bock
Description: From one of our Sales reps across the pond. He says this was a staple when he lived in Germany. He also recommends the Dunkel from Andechser. Aromatic and mild.
Tyler, Software Engineer
Beer recommendation: New Glarus Scream
Style: Imperial IPA
Description: Scream boasts an inspired 85 IBUs that reverberate cleanly though this IIPA. New Glarus Brewery grown estate hops join other Wisconsin grown hops to dominate this brew from Kettle Boil to Dry Hopping. You hold a deceptively seductive Original Gravity of 20.9 degrees Plato following the always 100% naturally bottle conditioned fermentation. Luscious Wisconsin grown and malted barley along with English Maris Otter malt is the bold heart of this lustful sensory enchantment. Surrender is inevitable so enjoy today.
Ben, Territory Sales Representative
Beer recommendation: Heritage American Expedition
Style: Wheat Ale
Description: a light bodied American wheat ale. Bathed in farmers honey and spiced with ginger, it will give any traveler the fortitude and perseverance to carry on.
Bob, Channel Account Manager
Beer recommendation: Southern Tier 2xStout
Style: Sweet Stout
Description: Double Milk Stout
“2 varieties of hops & 3 types of malts”
Milk stout, also called ‘cream’ or ‘sweet’ stout, is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness and body to the finished beer. Milk stouts have been claimed to be nutritious, and were marketed as such in the early 1900s with claims that would make the FDA wince. One ad read, “Ideal for nursing mothers, for the healthy, for the invalid, and for the worker.” Surely! Of course, we couldn’t stop at a traditional milk stout. Ours is a double, an addition to our 2X line, and at 7.5% abv is every bit as delicious as it sounds. To your health!
Byron, Systems Administrator
Beer recommendation: Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
Style: Sweet Stout
Description: This English style of beer, also known as Sweet Stout or Cream Stout, first appeared in London in the late 1800’s. The early brewers touted the health benefits of the milk sugar in this beer which today relates mainly to the increased amount of calories (no real health benefits…sorry). The milk sugar adds a well-rounded sweetness to this dark beer and makes it an outstanding, year ‘round stout.
And because I don’t want to be left out you get a bonus 13th Beer of Christmas!
Chris, Product Manager
Beer recommendation: Samuel Smiths Yorkshire Stingo
Style: English Strong Ale
Description: I found this in London at a pub called the Chandos. Since then I found this is distributed in the US which is AWESOME! Bottle conditioned only. Some of the oak casks at Samuel Smith’s date back more than a century with the individual oak staves being replaced by the Old Brewery coopers over the years. Gradually the casks soak in more & more of the character of the ale fermented in stone Yorkshire squares. Yorkshire Stingo is aged for at least a year, matured in these well-used oak casks in the brewery’s underground cellars deriving fruit, raisin, treacle toffee, Christmas pudding and slight oaky flavors, before being further naturally conditioned in bottle.
Whatever holiday you may be celebrating, may it be filled with joy, family, great food, and great beer.
From all of us at Shavlik, have a happy holiday season!