By Connor Brown at The Grapevine
December in the Hill Country wears many different hats– Stetson hats, to be specific. Some days we are graced with beautiful blue skies that carry a chill, and some days we find ourselves in short sleeves breaking a sweat. After months of Zoom interactions and going stir crazy, the cool gentle breeze on a warm Texas day is the beginning of another eventful month in our humble community. As we embrace the gift of double-digit weather and breathtaking sights of seasons changing, we also prepare for a list of traditions that come with it. However this spectacular season is rather brief, so it is best to enjoy it while it lasts and not make any rash decisions without the help of some seasonal sippin'.
What never changes is our appreciation for delicious Texas-made beverages that accompany us through each change in weather. Fortunately, our friends at the Faust and Meridian Hive have us covered for the unexpected. There is never a bad time for a beer, and the sensation of enjoying a stout by the fire is unmatched, especially when enjoying the Mocha Stout from our friends at the Faust Brewery here in New Braunfels. Specially crafted with java beans, this brew packs a punch with robust coffee notes upon first sip finishing with malty flavors of dark chocolate and subtle smoke. Despite its deep dark color, this beer is still smooth and light on the palate, also allowing the drinker to indulge with its friendly alcohol content of 5.6%.
In the event we find ourselves basking in the warm rays of Texas during this month, fear not as the busy bees at Meridian Hive offer a unique alternative to thirsty Texans. Mead is a honey-based elixir made in many different fashions, but Meridian Hive uses only pure honey and real fruit to create a wide spectrum of flavors while being naturally sweet and gluten free. Of their selections, their Lemon Mead sticks out as a beverage of choice on a sunny day. As soon as the can is cracked, bright citrus and honey permeate the nose to resemble a pleasant hot toddy. On the palate, sweet honey cascades into a soft velvet texture, only to lift with a sting of refreshing lemon. Though the honey weighs slightly heavier on the palate, these flavors combined create a light, refreshing, and balanced drinking experience at a lovely 5% ABV, allowing for increased seasonal enjoyment, without buzzing like a bee.
Whether you find yourself in a stout situation on a frigid day or a mead driven mozie in the sun, enjoy the season whatever it may offer with some of the best brews Texas can make for you. Happy Holidays, and don't forget to bring a koozie!