I have felt trapped in my tiny studio apartment and needed a dose of normalcy. My balcony is also pretty compact, but it’s my escape and furnished with two awesome Adirondack chairs. Given that winter is here to stay, I decided it was time to develop some strategies to stay sane and have a little fun all by my lonesome.
While my preference will always be draft beer that hasn’t stopped me from scoring impeccable packaged products. And, my favorite way to drink beer is outdoors, so I created a winter “drinking beer on my balcony” series. Too cold you say? Nah, it makes me feel like a badass.
December weather was relatively mild except for the chilly Christmas holiday; however, beers tend to warm me up since most of mine are unintentionally boozy. The beers I consumed include:
- Rudolph vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing 10.5% – The first thing that drew me in was the can art, perfect for the holidays. This Imperial Stout is made with cacao nibs, vanilla, lactose, and peppermint. It’s a nice dessert, sweet and chocolatey with subtle peppermint notes.
- Bourbon County Brand Special #4 Oatmeal Stout from Goose Island 13% – I love the annual bourbon county stout variants. I have yet to sample them all; however, this one is definitely special. The #4 version has notes of mocha, roasted nuts, and sweet maple with a touch of blueberry. This beer is a smooth operator. The flavors that stand out for me are nutty, coffee, and sweetness.
- Straight Jacket from Revolution Brewing 15.8% – Not standing in line for hours, in the cold, for the Deep Wood Series releases was one of my low points. Despite the frigid temps, I relish these in-person celebrations. This year’s Straight Jacket knocked it out of the park and made up for that somewhat. It’s a hard one to sip because it’s such an easy drinker with flavors of bourbon, molasses, and stone fruit that end with a smidgen of sweetness.
- Big Hugs Imperial Coffee Stout from Half Acre 10% – This brew is robust and well balanced with notes of coffee and cocoa. A nice, easy-drinking coffee stout and perfect for the winter season. I feel like I’m getting my fix of chocolate and coffee in one can.
Cheers to 2021 and things can only get better from here, right? What are you doing to keep yourself sane and busy? Please share!
Tags: barleywine, Big Hugs, Bourbon County Stout, Chicago, coffee stout, craft beer, Deep Wood Series, Goose Island, Half Acre, Imperial Stout, patio, Pipeworks Brewing, Revolution Brewing, Rudolph vs. Unicorn, Straight Jacket, winter series