I stand by my original comment—Widmer has always seemed like the poor man’s Redhook to me. But when Dancing Andrew suggested that Widmer’s “Brrr” might be worth a look, who am I to question him?
And fair is fair: Brrr is actually better than Redhooks’ Winterhook. In fact, it’s a worthy competitor to Deschutes Jubeale. Like the Jubelale it’s not perfect, but it’s solid, and has the slightly hoppier taste I was missing from Deschutes’ offering. On top of that there is also a mild malty sweetness, proving that you can, in fact, have a nice balance of flavors without sacrificing hops, something Deschutes seems to have forgotten about with the Jubelale.
The color has a nice amber red to it, giving the beer not just a taste of winter, but also a look of Christmas.
Credit where credit is due—Dancing Andrew made a good pick with this one. It’s a nice ale, and it’ll be interesting to see how some of the local offerings will stack up against it. But that’s for another post.