It’s December, there’s snow outside, Christmas is approaching, and the temperature has dropped down well below zero. Typically this is the time for dark, strong, malty beers sipped around a warm fire. But… while Bob Cratchit might enjoy this strong brew, I feel more like the Grinch, conniving to scrimp on the alcohol, forcing my merry friends and those who love Tiny Tim to bring 4% beers and making up the excuse that it’s for the date, the 4th of December, in order to get away with it and save face.
I jest, I jest. I just love these fresh and interesting beers. Setting the range of alcohol to >= 4%, < 5% seemed like a way to bring out creativity with some forced constraints. And so it proved to be with these beautiful beers, these frothy formulas, these tempting tipples.
Hully Gully (Les Grands Bois)
Brought by: Kristen
Kristen also brought this exact same beer (well, not the same cans…) to the “summer in my mouth” edition of Brsto (#56), so she’s obviously a fan. Other people were fans of this sour pale ale with the funky storky label too.
Mini Surette (Champ Libre)
Brought by: Jones
Yummy cranberry and ginger beer, Jones knew Christmas was coming and nailed it with this festive but light beer. Not too sweet and pretty universally loved.
Echo Chamber (Halcyon Barrel House)
Brought by: Dan
From the venerable folks at Halcyon, this beer got a strong speech from Dan. A pretty notable sour that hit all of the right notes, and won the 62nd edition of Brsto. Congrats!
Score: 25.0 (WINNER!) 🏆
Le Festif! de Baie St-Paul (Microbrasserie Charlevoix)
Brought by: Nick
A funky beer with funky labels. No, that’s not a typo. This beer comes with multiple labels for the same beer – a hotdog, a four-eyed hound/wolf, and a camper van. Fun, funky, but middle-of-the-road for votes.
Dry Stout (Beauregard Brasserie Distillerie)
Brought by: Chris
Surprisingly, there were two stouts in this edition, both coming in at 4% alcohol. This one, brough by Chris, was a “dry” stout and, despite a coffee taste, had a suprisingly short aftertaste. Interesting.
La Gigonne (La Voie Maltée)
Brought by: Corey
Corey’s edition of the 4% stout, La Gigonne showed the range that’s possible here.
BONUS BEER: Mikkeller George!
Brought by: Chris
I did say that any beer with a good enough story to fit in the 4% theme would be allowed, and Chris brought it with his math: 4 x 4 – 4 = this 12% imperial stout. After sipping on light beers all night, this shook our senses with its intense flavor, sugar through the roof, and deep deep deep coffee. I’m docking it 1 point for breaking the rules, so
Gryffindor Echo Chamber wins the house cup instead! Good luck next year.
Score: 25.5 (24.5 for breaking the rules)
A great evening was had by all. We munched on gougères, maple nuts, and cheesy artichoke dip. Some notable quotes of the night:
On how to cleanse your palate: “Wash your mouth out with cheese” – Kristen
On what happened Monday night: “I went to Blue Dog for standup on Monday, and was… not funny.” – Jones
The multiple designs of bottles for Festif! “It’s a different bottle. Mind. Blown. 🤯” – Jones
Best Label: Le Festif! de Baie St-Paul
Session: Hully Gully
Surprise: Mini Surette
Some Photos of the Evening: