Truth be told, dark beers are usually not in my wheelhouse. Once in a while the mood strikes for a good porter, but stouts are even more seldom given a second thought. However, when you’re enduring yet another miserable New Jersey winter and a beer by the name of Hibernation Ale comes along, it’s almost as if that beer understands exactly what you want to do until it’s time to bring out the flip-flops again.
As I write this, my home state is coming off of a weekend roughed up by below-zero wind chills, and doing what you have to do to keep warm is the order of the day. Great Divide’s Hibernation Ale, an English-style old ale, rocks an 8.7% alcohol by volume and a substantive body that will provide you with waves of warmth from head to toe as you slowly take it down.
Hibernation Ale is a dry-hopped beer, which means that it undergoes a brewing process in which hops are added secondarily to the brew, enhancing the taste and smell of the beer, but not adding any extra bitterness. This is more than evident with this one when you give it a sniff, as the hop profile comes at the old olfactory nerve with glorious force. However, the hoppiness isn’t necessarily dominant to the taste, as the malts used in the brewing process get in the driver seat and take the wheel all the way through the finish.
According to Great Divide’s website, Hibernation Ale goes great with grilled beef tenderloin, Roomano cheese, which is an aged Dutch cow’s milk cheese, or an apple crisp with ginger ice cream. I have not independently verified any of those pairings, but dive right in if any of them strike your fancy.
Hibernation Ale, from Denver’s own Great Divide Brewing Company, can be found in bottles and cans from October to December in its distribution areas. If you like a good dark winter brew, this one’s for you. Don’t forget to check out The Beer List right here at The No Seatbelt Blog every Sunday, as the beer, and the ensuing words about that beer will always be flowing. As always, thanks for reading! Cheers!