Hoyne’s Gratitude Winter Warmer 2013

slider-gratitudeLast year, the Hoyne brewery was barely out of the cradle when they produced their first-ever Christmas ale, known as the Gratitude Winter Warmer. Now, a year later, they have once again made this limited release available just in time for the holidays. And of course, I felt the need to grab a bottle and see how this year’s vintage compared to last years.

And just like it’s predecessor, this year’s Gratitude lived up to the name. In addition to being very smooth, malty, and balanced, it packed a nice spicy profile that was very pleasing to the palate and very warming to the body. I did note a certain creamy quality that was not there last year, one which reminded me of their Off the Grid Red Lager (which is currently my favorite from Hoyne’s lineup). Pound for pound though, I’d say its just as good as last year’s.

Appearance: Deep red-amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Spicy nose, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sweet malts
Taste: Smooth, spicy start, creamy malts, mild tang, allspice, mild hops
Aftertaste: Lingering tang and spice, enduring malts
Overall: 9/10

I really do need to get back to the brewery and see what they are up to these days. Somehow, this fall season (what with all its sickness) has not been too conducive to growler drinking! But I shall remedy that soon enough. And I’m sure Hoyne is also taking donations of clothes and canned food this year, so be sure to swing by if you’ve got an overabundance of both. Tis the season for good beer and helping out, after all 😉

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Hoyne’s Off The Grid Red Lager

hoyne_off_the_gridHoyne’s is back with another seasonal release! And as luck would have it, this one has arrived in time to meet the hot, inclement weather we have been enjoying here in Victoria. So how appropriate is it that the brewery has decided to produce a nice, refreshing lager? But in keeping with Hoyne’s style of brewing, this lager comes with a twist.

On the one hand, it has a clean, Munich-style crispness, courtesy of the addition of Noble German Tettnang hops and lagering process. On the other, it has a creamy, smooth profile, courtesy of the darker roasted red malt. And as usual, the style and nature of the beer leads to the double-entendre that is it’s name. “Off the Grid” not only refers to the summertime activity of getting out into nature and setting up camp off the beaten path, it also honors the decidedly unusual nature of this lager itself.

Appearance: Deep red amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Notes of Munich-style hops, slight sweetness, rich malts
Taste: Smooth, creamy malts, slightly syrupy, giving way dry, pilsner-like hop finish
Aftertaste: Slight tang, lingering creaminess and dry hops
Overall: 9/10

Having endured plenty of hot, sunny days and late evenings, and having now sampled this brew out of both a growler and a bottle, I can attest to this beers refreshing nature and its fine taste. I can also tell you it compliments the change of season quite well. Get yourself to the store, get some bottles, chill and enjoy! Preferably on the patio with some spicy barbeque. Congrats Hoyne, another winner. Hope everyone enjoys the heat!