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by BethesdaNow.com — November 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm 867 0

Editor’s Note: This new weekly sponsored column is written by the staff of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

Brewers all over the world give us beer drinkers a special present every year during the holidays. They brew wonderful beers geared towards warming us up on a cold night, and getting through the holiday bustle.

There is no one style of winter or Christmas beer. It all depends on the specific brewery, and what kind of beer they want to brew that are suitable for the winter season. Three of my favorite winter and Christmas styles of beers are the English style winter warmers, American style Christmas beers and Belgium style Noel/Christmas beers.

English style winter warmers

These winter warmers are full-bodied, malty beers, and low in hops with a sweet finish. Winter warmers usually have dark fruit and dark caramel tasting notes and range from a brownish color to pitch black. Winter warmers also tend to have a little bit more alcohol to give you that alcohol warmth. Here is my favorite winter warmer:

Samuel Smith Winter Warmer

The Samuel Smith brewery was established back in 1798 in Yorkshire, England making this beer a true winter original. Samuel Smith winter warmer is exactly what a winter warmer should taste like. Full bodied, rich toffee, caramel malts with some sweetness and a bit of crisp hop bite.

American Style Christmas beers

American Christmas beers come in a variety of styles, but are often darker colored, malty, and spiced beers. Spices that are associated with these beers are often cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, mulled cider, ginger, and clove. Here are a few of my favorite American Christmas beers:

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Sierra Celebration is a gift that hopheads wait for all year. This fresh hopped beer breaks the mold of malty winter seasonal beers. The fresh hops give this beer that perfect citrus IPA taste while balancing perfectly with the right amount of maltiness that any hop lover would drink on a cold night.

Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas is always one of my favorite winter seasonal beers. Never brewed overly strong in alcohol, but always brewed with quality ingredients that makes a quality smooth beer. Nicely spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger this toasty malted beer is perfect for any type of beer drinker.

Belgium style Noel/Christmas beers

These high-octane Belgium beers can also come in a variety of styles most are characterized as strong, dark, malty sweetness offset by loads of spices. The high alcohol content also keeps you warm on a cold night while going down extremely clean and smooth. Here are two of my favorite Belgium style Noel/Christmas beers:

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

One of the most balanced Belgium beers I’ve ever had. At 10% a.b.v this beer offers everything you can ask for, spicy, sweet, and bold.

Scaldis Noel

Scaldis Noel will definitely warm you up. At 13% a.b.v, this sweet thick beer has tons of dark fruit characteristics that almost made it taste like a rich rum fruitcake.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.


by BethesdaNow.com — November 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,209 0

The Washington School of Photography has been in Bethesda since 1976, steadily growing in size and reach and surviving a major technological shift that changed the industry forever.

But in December, the school on Rugby Avenue will move from Bethesda for at least the next decade. Development of an apartment complex on the site is imminent. The crane already looms over the administrative staff’s offices. And they say it’s time to move on up Rockville Pike, out of their hometown of almost 40 years.

“There’s a cost involved. There’s an inconvenience,” said WSP Executive Director Missy Loewe. “Whether we feel happy about it or sad, it’s happening so we may as well be happy about it.”

Unlike some forced out by the wave of apartment development hitting Bethesda, Loewe and WSP will survive (and perhaps even benefit) from the move to an industrial area of Wilkins Lane near the Twinbrook Metro station in Rockville.

They provide a unique service: Living Social-friendly beginner photography workshops, specialized courses in shooting weddings, fashion, food or a well-recognized year-long intensive course that produces many of the area’s professional event photographers.

The new space will have 15,000 square feet, triple the size of the 5,000-square-foot space on two floors of Rugby Avenue.


by BethesdaNow.com — November 23, 2012 at 10:00 am 504 0

NIH Agrees to Notify County of Outbreaks — The agency only announced the event about a year after an antibiotic-resistant bacteria led directly to the death of seven patients at its research hospital in Bethesda. That led to some consternation among county officials, who pushed county health staff to come up with a system for notification of such incidents. [Washington Post]

Montgomery Mall Espresso Spot, Eatery Seeks Alcohol License — Aroma Espresso Bar, the Israeli Panera-like import making its first foray into the D.C. market with a location in Montgomery Mall, will have a beer, wine/liquor hearing with the county next month. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]

3 Spots to Sit With Santa This Holiday Season — The jolly big man from the North Pole is, as always, in high demand and as the holiday shopping season begins there are already three places in Bethesda and Chevy Chase where you can see him. [Chevy Chase Patch]


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