Three French Hens is the third beer in the series of The Twelve Days of Christmas a dark Belgian style ale with 25% of it aged in French oak barrels. The Bruery from Placentia, Ca. is putting their creativity and brewing knowledge to the test and coming up with some truly amazing beers. The Bruery is dedicated to the theme of brewing a different style of beer every year for twelve years. Ask your self this are they taking a bigger risk to try and out brew the previous year or are they taking the easy road and not worrying about perfecting a style of beer that best represents their brand. I personally feel that it is harder to try and come up with a new style every year because us beer geeks will expect as this new brewery grows that the beer needs to get better.
Three French Hens was a wonderful holiday experience, I always look forward to the winter seasonals and stock my beer fridge with everything I can get my hands on. This one stood out from the pack and really surprised me. I was expecting it to have bigger bolder flavors but what I got was subtle and well executed. The French oak was mild and came through on the back end and really didn’t start to come out until the beer warmed up. The yeast was up front on the nose but blended nicely with the roasted malts. Every sip of this beer had its own unique characteristic and started to get intense once it had warmed up.
Many of the holiday beers out today seem to take root from the early American holiday beers; Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale for the hoppy ones and Anchor Christmas for the spiced ones and of course throw backs to the English style Old Ales. This is not a bad thing at all, it’s just safe. The brewers that are standing out are the ones that seam to be pulling away from the pack.
I must admit that every year the holiday beers just keep getting better and better. The craft beer industry does have a future after all.
The Bruery Website