Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oshkosh Beer Sampler 002: New Glarus Apple Ale and the Return of the Hotch Pot

Hotched & Potted
A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh... tallied one beer at a time.

What: New Glarus’ Apple Ale returns to Oshkosh as a seasonal offering and it’s just begging to be adulterated.

Where: You can pick up NG's Apple Ale at a few places around town, with Festival Foods and the Pick 'n Save stores being your best bets. The spiced rum used to fortify the beer can be found almost everywhere.

Why: This is a fine beer in no need of enhancement, but hell, it’s the holiday season and getting damned cold to boot, so why not give it a boost and make the spirits a bit brighter. Now, the purists among us may cringe at what is about to come of this beer, but I can assure you, there’s a great, though mostly forgotten, tradition of mulled ale. It’s called Hotch Pot and they were drinking it in the colonies back when Jean Nicolet was paddling through here looking for a short cut to China and telling lies to Indians. Ahem. 

Here’s what you do: First, splash a jigger or two of spiced rum into a fancy glass. Now, heat your Apple Ale (we did ours in the microwave) until it’s nice and warm, but not too hot. Pour the warm Apple Ale into your fancy glass and watch the fizzy, little battle that ensues when ale meets rum. Drink.

It’s good! First couple draws are a little strange, but as it settles it becomes quite nice. Like drinking an apple pie. After a cup or two of this, you’ll be just itching to go a-wassailing.

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