Haywire Brewing, Snohomish
Style: Brown ale
Stats: 5.5 percent ABV
Available: On tap at the brewery
My thoughts: Sticking with holiday tradition, I was recently making gingerbread houses with my kids, or at least attempting to help make them. One sniff of this beer brought me right back to that miserable … er, wonderful experience.
Haywire’s Gingerbread Ale, brewed with cinnamon sticks, ginger root and vanilla bean, has a big nose of gingerbread with a finish that reminded me of gingerbread cookies. But the body, keeping with its brown ale base, is actually quite light, making this beer not as heavy as it sounds.
Haywire Brewing head brewer Bryant Castle said his crew brewed two barrels of the beer and released it a few weeks ago in time for the holiday season. The beer was so popular, the brewery ran out last week. Castle, who mentioned that some people were mixing the Gingerbread Ale with their chocolate stout, is brewing more and promised to have enough on tap until Christmas. I’m not so sure it’ll last.
Castle and his father-in-law and business partner, David Jez, are hosting the brewery’s anniversary party from noon to 10 p.m. Dec. 2 at the brewery in a barn off Treosti Road in Snohomish.
Along with the Gingerbread Ale, Haywire will have 15 beers on tap for the party, including five special one-off beers brewed for the anniversary. Fifteen beers is an astonishing number for a brewery brewing on a 2-barrel system. Castle said he’s been working on the beers for the past three months in anticipation of the event.
Castle has brewed up five special beers for the anniversary party, including a white IPA, black rye IPA, Scotch ale, barrel-aged porter and a vanilla porter with walnuts. The white IPA is a hazy IPA brewed with wheat and Motueka and Nelson hops and the black rye IPA is brewed with rye, midnight wheat and Summit, Amarillo and Citra hops.
The barrel-aged porter was aged in rye whiskey barrels from Skip Rock Distillery, and the vanilla porter is the brewery’s imperial porter brewed with spent walnuts also from Skip Rock, which uses them in making its Nocino Liqueur.
More new releases
Hornfaced Stout and Solitary Series: Winter 2017, Watts Brewing: Hornfaced Stout is a malty stout with dark chocolate and peanut butter flavors derived from the interplay of light and dark malts. The winter release is part Belgian quad and part Bavarian doppelbock, resulting in a smooth, dark winter ale. Available on tap at the Winter Beerfest Dec. 1 and 2.