Posted on December 29th, 2009
With New Year’s eve just around the corner many people are stocking up on champagne and sparkling cider to help ring in the new year. While these beverages can be a great way to celebrate, we think that beer can do just as well, if not better then bubbly. Here are three styles of beers that make wonderful substitutes for champagne on New Year’s Eve.
Biere de champagne– This is an obvious choice for a champagne replacement considering champagne is right in the name. That’s not the only similarity this beer style has with champagne though. As we explained when we profiled this style, biere de champagne goes through the Méthode Champenoise, an traditional process of refermentation which gives champagne many of it’s unique qualities. Flavor wise these beers are very dry, lightly sweet and extremely bubbly, much like actual champagne. Because of the complicated Méthode Champenoise and aging process this beer is usually quite expensive but if you can afford it, Deus is the version to try.
Tripel– This Belgian style originally brewed by Trappist monks is also a great for any celebration. The flavor is light but very malty, with a golden color and clear appearance. With an alcohol percentage frequently over 9% this beer is sure to get any party started, New Year’s or otherwise. Because it’s brewed with Belgian candy sugar, this style tends to be fairly sweet, with none of the dryness associated with biere de champagne. Chimay White is by far the most famous example of this style. Victory’s Golden Monkey is a great American craft beer version.
Wheat Wine– This style is relatively young, but has been gaining popularity among American craft brewers over the last decade. It is a high alcohol wheat beer that really packs a punch. Sometimes known as ‘double wheat’ or ‘imperial wheat,’ this is one brew that’ll keep you warm on a new year’s night. The flavor of this style is quite unique, blending the delicate fruit and cloves of traditional wheat beers like hefeweizens with the warm flavors of alcohol. All in all it’s a wonderful new style that everyone should try when they get the chance. Smuttynose makes a great wheat wine. Pilgrim’s Dole from New Holland is also worth a try if you can find it.