We’re a little closer to home for the next of the Twelve Beers of Christmas. The community of Squamish, B.C. is home to Howe Sound Brewing which annually produces Father John’s Winter Ale. The “Father John” in this case is John Mitchell, Howe Sound’s original brewer, who has had an enormous influence on craft brewing in the Pacific Northwest.
His namesake beer pours out a hazy chestnut-brown with a tight tan head. The scent has an inviting spiciness full of ginger and cloves and bit of vanilla. Flavor-wise there is a strong malt commitment, tempered by more seasonal spices and a smooth caramel/vanilla sweetness. The texture is creamy and carries a warmth from either the spice or the 7% alcohol. The finish is made for savoring. Long and sweet, with a honeyed ginger note that goes on for ever. Puts me in the mood to raise a glass to “Father John” Mitchell.