When we think of Christmas ales, our minds turn to the burnished, sweet, and alcoholic. Liquid sugarplums. In the winter, we need hearty comfort drink to accompany our roast beast.
Hopworks didn’t get the memo. Their winter ale is called Abominable, and it tears through the season with razor claws of lupulin. It is so packed with hops you might use it in place of Vapo-Rub to blast out your sinuses; a clear nose can detect the lemony-citrus from a good foot away. It’s not a laceratingly bitter beer, just saturated. Hopworks uses Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe to achieve a very clean, articulated hopping. Unlike other winter ales, Abominable is a gorgeous, bright golden color, and there is enough malt character—slightly sweet and caramelly—to buoy the hops.
It’s a bit of counter-programming in a season filled with bourbony-black bombs, and one of the best winter ales available.