“And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”
– Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne, 1788

“Why you at the bar if you ain’t poppin’ the bottles?”
– Nelly, Hot in Herre, 2002

New Years Eve is this coming Friday and thoughts turn to how we might choose to celebrate. If you are reading this blog it I will assume that you have a passing interest in beer and might prefer beer to champagne to ring in 2011. Here are some beers available in the DC Metro area that might suit your palate for your First Night celebration.

Infinium – Samuel Adams/Weihenstephan
Without a doubt the “it” beer for this New Years Eve. Boston Beer Company’s marketing department is describing it as “an Innovative Champagne-Like Beer” which pushes the boundaries of the Reinheitsgebot. I have read and heard mixed reviews of this aggressively marketed beer, but haven’t had a chance to try it. The jury will no doubt reconvene after the New Year.

DeuS: Brut Des Flandres – Brewery Bosteels
This ale is the product of a two-part process. The first and second fermentation occurs at the Bosteels Brewery in Buggenhout, Belgium, then transferred to a cellaring operation near Épernay in the Champagne region of France. There the bottles undergo 3rd fermentation and conditioning. After a period of months the bottles are turned slowly allowing the yeast to collect in the neck. The neck (and the yeast inside) is then frozen, yeast expunged, and bottles are re-corked and ready to ship.
Beers in this style (Bière de Champagne) are said to be effervescent, with notes of pear, and barely noticeable alcohol. I’m excited to try this one for the first time tomorrow night.
* Alternately, look for the Malheur Brut Reserve from Brouwerij De Landtsheer.


Cup O’ Kyndnes – Brewery Ommegang
A Scottish Ale named for a line in “Auld Lang Syne” by Scottish poet Robert Burns. A nice pick if you prefer maltier beers with the hop presence in the background.

Avec les bons Vœux – Brasserie Dupont
“Since 1970, the brewery has been brewing a special beer to give as a new years present to their best clients. The name of this beer Avec les bons Vœux de la brasserie Dupont means “With the best wishes of the brewery Dupont””
I like celebrating and marking occasions with Saison-style beers and this one seems like an appropriate choice.

Toasted Lager – Blue Point Brewing
This nice, basic Vienna-style Lager is good for… toasting. It might be worth having on hand for your less adventurous friends.

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(A special thanks goes out to Beer Run in Charlottesville, VA for letting me take pictures of their many fine beers.)