Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Brothers Widmer release Brrr

Brrr it's cold outside! It puts me in a -- singin' mood! Bare with me...

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the beer is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let us drink! Let us drink! Let us drink!

Thanks to lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne for that little bit of inspiration. In 1945 Cahn and Styne created the legendary winter song "Let it Snow."

And thanks to Kurt and Rob Widmer for making legendary beers. Widmer Brothers Brewing up Oregon way is one of my all-time favorite breweries. I can/will/have drink their Hefe all summer long, Snow Plow all winter (more on that later) long, Drop Top Amber anytime, and don't even get me started on their W'08 Crimson Wheat. Put it this way: if I was stuck on an island like Robinson Crusoe (if you haven't seen the new NBC series Crusoe yet - do so!) and could only have beer from one brewery, well... Kurt and Rob would be stuck there with me.

But I digress...

We got our first "official" snowfall here in Colorado Springs the other day. So the weather outside is in fact frightful, and Mother Nature went ahead and "let it snow," so it's the prefect time for a brand spanking new beer from the Brothers Widmer called "Brrr," right?! It's the first new winter seasonal they've made in four years.

According to the PR release, Brrr is "a moderately strong dark red ale that embodies the notable 'Pacific Northwest' citrus hop aroma and flavor." How understated of their wordsmithing PR people. At a winter warming 7.15% ABV, it's "moderately" strong alright!

I recently received a few bottles to try prior to its release to 17 Western states (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, OR, MN, MT, ND, NM, NV, SD, TX, WA, WI, and WY) later this month. When you first crap the cap (I love Widmer's bottle caps; they each have a different, wacky prost on the underside of each one!) you will definitely smell the citrus hop aroma. As many long time readers know I'm not big on hop bombs, so my first thought after sniffing the hoptacular scent of cannabis' cousin was that I wasn't going to like this new winter brew.

Brrr does pour a dark red and has a super big head. The first sip was... hoppy. So for those of you who love your hops -- and I know there are many, including my wife -- you'll absolutely love this brew. According to the PR sheet Brrr should provide "a tangible, but not excessive, flavor that ultimately transitions into a candy-like malty sweetness and quick finish. Caramel and chocolate malts provide flavor complexity, and an enticing color." There was none of that on the first few sips as my "unrefined" palate was attempting to adjust to the violation of an overly hoppy invasion. However, after the third sip the hop napalm subsided and I did notice a subtle "transition into a candy-like malty sweetness."

This is a good beer. Some of you will certainly think it's great. I probably wouldn't drink a whole lot of this only because it doesn't suit my palate profile, but a lot of you will. No matter what though, it will definitely warm you up on a cold winter's night.

Sadly, Brrr will be replacing Snow Plow as Widmer's regular winter seasonal for the foreseeable future. Snowplow happens to be my favorite winter beer. I've bought 1 - 2 cases every winter for a few years now, so I'm not happy that Snow Plow is getting the heave ho. I've been told that it may come back, and I hope it's permanent. Everyone I've turned on to Snow Plow has loved it. Breaking News! I've just learned it's not totally gone! It will be released on the West Coast (and by "West Coast" they mean OR, WA and ID) in 22oz bottles for a limited time this winter. And yes, I'll be hitting up my Oregon relatives to snag me a few!

Anywho... Brrr should be in a store near you (well, if you're on the Left Side of the U.S.A. that is; sorry East Coasters) next week and I want to know what you think! Once you try it send me some feedback.

Oh, you can watch Erik Boles and I drink and talk about Brrr on the next episode of Beer Buzz (Episode 004) on Beer Tap TV!



Anonymous said...

Like you, I would get several cases of Snow Plow every winter. I was told about Brrr and just had my first one. What a let-down. To me, if you like Snow Plow, there's no way you'll dig Brrr. For my taste, Snow Plow is one of the best beers out there and I can't believe Widmer isn't supplying CO with it anymore. What a terrible shame. I e-mailed them and hope they'll change their mind - SOON. One thing's for sure, no Brrr for me!


Eli the Mad Man said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Dan. Brrr will appeal to a great many beer lovers, but Brrr is totally different from Snow Plow. I love SP, but don't have nearly the same level of love for Brr. It's not a bad beer, it's just a hoppy beer... too hoppy for me.

So if you love Snow Plow you'll love Redhook's Double Black Stout (see the review I wrote for it today). Check it out and let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

After making several suggestions for my husband to try it, he finally did. But he wasn't feeling it. Feel free to stop by & check out his review on it as well.

Unknown said...

I also love Widmers beers. I am fan of the Brr. I wouldn't call it my favorite winter beer but it is up there. As a matter of fact I am having a winter beer tasting tonight at my house and it will be one of the 6 beers on the list tonight...I never was a big fan of snowplow so I was ok with the decision. I didn't go into this beer hoping for snowplow so I think I was more pleased with it.