Ranger's Small Batch No. 4 Is Released
In last week's Home's A'Brewin' column, “Let It Flow: Five Gifts for Brewheads,” I tantalized you with a preview of the fourth in the Ranger Creek Small Batch Series, being released in time for Christmas. The imperial mesquite smoked porter, Ranger Creek's Small Batch Series No. 4, is now available for purchase.Rob Landerman, head brewer at Ranger Creek, describes Small Batch Series No. 4 as “carrying a sumptuous nose of sweet oak, mesquite smoke, dark chocolate, toasted marshmallow and vanilla, along with flavors of dark bittersweet cocoa laced with sea salt, smoke, vanilla, and caramel. Its a warming winter release that is heavenly to sip now, but it will also age and mellow nicely for up to 10 years if stored carefully.” If you're traveling this week, Small Batch Series No. 4 is also available in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
If you don't have time for a scavenger hunt, you can still assemble a beer pairing basket from Antonelli's Cheese Shop (4220 Duval St.). Kara Chadbourne, cheesemonger, recommends these for the craft beer enthusiast on your list:
• Blue Heron Bourbon Cajeta, a caramel made from Nubian goat's milk with Maker's Mark for a deep, heady sweetness
• Rolf Beeler Gruyere is a ruinously buttery Swiss gruyere, as in its nutty, beefy, toasty aromas will ruin you for all other gruyeres.
• Whiskey Salami, pork salami sausage links mixed with rye bourbon, juniper and nutmeg, pair well with cozy winter fare and dark beers.
Courtney Schwamb, Antonelli's beer buyer, recommends adding a bottle of Adelbert's Black Rhino Belgian Dark Ale, also available in store, to taste with it all. “We can put gifts in lovely wooden cheese crates or in our standard logo-stamped bags with ribbon!” said Chadbourne.
Anastacia Kelly of The Beerists, a weekly podcast based in Austin with listeners from around the world, posted her own list of recommendations organized by activities your recipient would enjoy while drinking beer, such as writing about beer and wearing clothes while drinking beer.
For hostess gifts, the beer pairings suggested in the Thanksgiving meal issue will likely also go down well with Christmas food.