One of the priorities for me in my name change is to include more content from more of my interests. As a burgeoning craft beer enthusiast (stress on burgeoning), I wanted to chronicle a few of my beer-related ventures. Welcome to the first installment of my new series, For the Love of Beer!
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the release party for the sought-after seasonal release, Cold Mountain Winter Ale, from Highland Brewing Company in Asheville. My dad introduced me to this beer about two years ago. Since then, winter hasn't been nearly as hard to bear.
While I personally tend to prefer dark beers that are basically filling enough to be meals, Cold Mountain may always be a personal favorite despite technically being an ale. I say technically because the color is actually dark as you see below. Cold Mountain reminds me of a day off reading in a cozy sweater. Even if the sky is mostly grey this time of year, the moodiness is only enhanced with a good drink like this one.
With the combination of vanilla, hazelnut and whatever other magical, secret ingredients Highland uses, this is the perfect beer for people who need some convincing to come over to the beer side. It's definitely not too bitter or hoppy. Even though I don't hear the "But I don't like beer!" cry as much as I used to since graduating college, where PBR and Rolling Rock ran supreme, this is definitely a drink I would serve to someone just starting to get interested in expanding their taste for the brew.
It's the first beer I remember tasting and thinking that I loved. Even though my dad gave me a (responsible) taste for good beer from a pretty early age, I've had to experiment on my own for a few years to be able to fully enjoy the drink/scene. Now that I know what I like, I can without a doubt say that beer is my favorite alcoholic beverage. And Cold Mountain is right on top, but it may have to share the throne with the coconut specialty brew I had at the release party.
If you're around Asheville or East Tennessee, go ahead and get your butt to your local beer place of choice. This stuff doesn't last long on the shelves and you'll definitely want to share the wealth with your friends once you've tried it!