The beer: Christmas in July
The brewery: Martin House Brewing Co. in Fort Worth
Style: A winter warmer aged in whiskey barrels to mellow out the nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, and special ingredient of piloncillo, an unrefined Mexican brown sugar.
Fun facts: Christmas in July is a more mature version of the Sugar & Spice Barleywine Martin House brewed last December. Seven more months spent aging in whiskey barrels means more time to mature, to mellow, and to climb to a higher ABV. Yes, the 12 percent ABV of December's Sugar & Spice hits a hefty 14 percent ABV in Christmas in July, which they're tapping at the brewery July 16.
Brewery co-founder and head brewer Cody Martin considers this beer a special treat, especially because the supply is "super limited and on draft only."
"The whiskey barrels add notes of whiskey [and] oak," said Martin, "which complements the vanilla we used to brew the beer originally."
Last month I reported that Salty Lady Gose was the beer scheduled for July as part of the brewery's ongoing micro-seasonal program. That's still the plan according to Martin. Christmas in July is something of a special gift. Salty Lady is set to come out in two weeks.
Serve it: A winter warmer may not sound refreshing in the middle of a hot Texas summer, but it's perfect for cooling off when paired with a cold dessert. Try it with cold apple pie, vanilla bean ice cream or both.
Get some: Tours happen every Thursday from 6-8 p.m. and every Saturday from 2-5 p.m. A pint glass and three beers come with your $10 admission to the brewery. At local bars that will have it on draft, it will come and go quickly, Martin says, so move fast.