Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow Day on a snow day

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There is nothing much I like better than a snow day -- depending on the situation -- but this year the situation was perfect.

When I was little it was the excitement of waking up early hurriedly looking out the window, seeing the layer of white and then flipping on the television to see if we were lucky enough to be a school that was canceled. Unfortunately, since I grew up in Wisconsin, we didn’t have very many. People in Wisconsin are used to driving, walking and dealing with the snow so the only days of canceled school I remember were because of extreme cold verses snow.

Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest snow days aren’t quite as exciting. People there (at least on the west side) freak out a bit when even an inch falls and do silly things like try to drive home then leave their cars on the side of the road creating a traffic nightmare. Also, because I work in the news business snow days are all out breaking weather news days. Newsies don’t get snow days - we get overtime we don’t always want or need, we get food delivered from whatever place happens to be open and there is no calling to say we can’t make it in because the station will send someone in four wheel drive to come around and pick people up (though these are days when you're providing information and news that viewers want and need to know).

Right now I’m on vacation and I just got a snow day like no other. Before leaving on my two week vacation the forecast for Colorado and Wisconsin was nothing but sunshine and a few clouds. While this Pacific North-westerner enjoyed the sunshine I was like a kid on Christmas when the southern Colorado forecast changed and one day of the trip was nothing but flakes on the seven day forecast. I woke up to the snowblower starting, a railing piled high with light fluffy flakes and more snow still falling.

(photos courtesy: Craig P. Newcomb)

With Winter Beer Month underway there was nothing I wanted more than to write a review of New Belgium’s Snow Day, after a romp in the snow of course.

New Belgium Brewery started in a Fort Collins, Colorado basement and the brews were inspired by a bike adventure around Europe. I first discovered them during college and fell in love with the beers, the brewery and its mission.

New Belgium Brewing Company Core Values and Beliefs:
  • Remembering that we are incredibly lucky to create something fine that enhances people's lives while surpassing our consumers' expectations.
  • Producing world-class beers.
  • Promoting beer culture and the responsible enjoyment of beer.
  • Kindling social, environmental and cultural change as a business role model.
  • Environmental stewardship: Honoring nature at every turn of the business.
  • Cultivating potential through learning, high involvement culture, and the pursuit of opportunities.
  • Balancing the myriad needs of the company, our coworkers and their families.
  • Trusting each other and committing to authentic relationships and communications.
  • Continuous, innovative quality and efficiency improvements.
  • Having Fun.
The seasonal brew was created after a 2003 snow storm up in Fort Collins, Colorado that dropped more than 37 inches in two days. On my snow day down near Rye, Colorado we’ve had more than 24 inches in less than 24 hours. For those who’ve been snowed in before you know your responsibilities sort of melt away because there isn’t much you can do anyway and pretty much everyone understands (down here I don’t get cell service so that also eliminates the urge to stay connected). That means it’s the perfect time to enjoy a six pack of a great seasonal that’s sold around the country.

Snow Day pours dark and a little foamy (I’ve poured two of three over the top of my frosty mug already) with a tan head completely contrasting the beer itself. It’s described as having roasty undertones but the roasted flavor comes forward with a punch for me. It’s a strong beer that hits you in the throat a bit but leaves you wanting “just one more sip.” There are chocolate and caramel flavors in the Midnight Wheat brewing malt - I taste some of the caramel but the chocolate doesn’t find its way to my tastebuds. Perfect for drinking on a day with nowhere to go Snow Day has an ABV of 6.2%. It’s filled with Cascade Hops (hooray Oregon State U.S.D.A hop development program) and has an IBU of 55. Snow Day is also perfect for replacing the calories you spent playing in the snow, filling you up with 190 for each winter beer you put away as you warm up by the fire.

So here’s to a real snow day, a mug full of Snow Day and pure joy that I’m watching the news instead of producing it!

To find Snow Day (bottle or tap) near you, use New Belgium’s Beer Finder, just enter your location and how far you're willing to travel to find it.

1 comment:

  1. I may have to pick some up! A great way to relive the joy of snow days past.