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To keep things short, since there is a lot of reading below, the beers I chose for this week are beers that make a great substitution for Champagne. Grab any or all of these and toast to the New Year so that we can all forget that 2017 ever happened. It was a weird year so why not go out in a similar fashion. Dump the Champagne and grab some beer! Happy New Year everyone! Be safe, have fun, and see you next year!


And Now, the Brews


Brooklyn Brewing | Sorachi Ace | Farmhouse Saison
The first bottle you could be popping on New Year’s Eve is the unique, tasty, and oh so refreshing beer. First, the question I have decided you’re asking yourself, “What does this beer have to do with Champagne?” The 750 ml corked bottle, as opposed to the 6 pk capped bottle, has undergone a secondary fermentation using Champagne yeast. “What does Champagne yeast do to beer?” Wow, another great question, you’re on your game today! Champagne yeast is added in secondary fermentation to do two things. First, it will chow down on any extra sugars that the first fermentation doesn’t eat or won’t eat to boost up the ABV a little. Secondly, it gives the beer a little dryer of a finish. With that said, Sorachi Ace is a once discarded hop from Japan that was revitalized by a family in Washington. Brooklyn took these hops and created this delicious Saison. Sorachi Ace is known for its lemon, herb, and lemongrass characteristic and those shine through on the nose. More wafting brings other earthy farmhouse aromas. The taste is similar to the aroma of the different lemons with added dill, pine, a touch of spicy hops, and a few extra herbs. A nice dry finish rounds out the “Champagne” substitute in perfect Champagne fashion. Pop the cork and enjoy, especially if you’re feasting on white fish, stinky cheese, tomato-based dishes, or some good ole BBQ!
750 ml | 7.6% ABV | 34 IBUs



Goose Island | Gillian | White Pepper Strawberry Saison
goosegillian You may know Goose Island for a few different beers, first, and most notably Bourbon County, followed by their flagship beers. Less known, unless you’re a craft beer fan, which you probably are since you’re still reading. Their Vintage Ale series, commonly known as “The Sisters”. All of the beers in the series have a vintage and are created in a semi-limited quantity. The wildly fermented Gillian (fermented with Brett) is a blend of strawberries, white pepper, and honey mixed with a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale that was partially aged in white wine barrels. The end result is a blended beer, part barrel aged part fresh, that has undergone a second fermentation using Champagne yeast to boost the ABV to 9.5% and dry it out. This carefully crafted brew brings aromas of fresh strawberries combined with a resemblance to strawberry Jello, orange, apricot, oak, and a touch of farminess. The tartness will hit you right away on the tip of your tongue pulling your cheeks back. As you get used to the tartness, the strawberries shine through followed by some oak, straw, with enough carbonation to remind you of a Champagne. Another excellent beer to toast to once the clock strikes midnight! If your NYE party has any cheesecake, sharp cheeses, or anything chocolaty, you’ll be glad you’re drinking Gillian.
750 ml | 9.5% ABV | 20 IBUs



Brassiere Dupont | Saison Dupont Vieille Provision | Saison
dupont-saison-4-pack In a post of Saisons, the best one needs to be saved for last. Saison Dupont has been brewed since 1844 and is renowned as one the best Saisons in the world. This Saison is what every other Saison strives to be. It’s the Regina George of North Shore High in the Saison world without the maliciousness and bus involved. Yes, that’s a Mean Girls reference. This beer is a thing a beauty with a head that doesn’t dissipate, creating great lacing down the side of the glass. The aromas lifting from the glass bring out the typical spiciness from the yeast, followed by those classic smells of clove, noble hops, barnyard funk, and a nice touch of citrus. The taste is just as a Saison should be, wheat, dry yeast, malt, a slight tartness, orange, spicy earth forward hops, and citrus. The carbonation is that of a Champagne, making it my favorite beer on this here list. Lucky for you, the 4-packs of Saison Dupont are on sale through the weekend! Normally, a 4-pack would set you back $22.99 (a fair price for one of the best Saisons in the world), but you can come down to one of the stores between now and Sunday and grab a pack for only $12.97. How these haven’t flown off the shelves already is beyond me. Pair this beer with anything off the grill, or almost any semi-hard cheese.
4 pk Bottle | 6.5% ABV | 30 IBUs


* Please Note that not all products are available at all locations. Do you want one of the beers mentioned? Ask your local Top Ten Liquors to carry it!
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