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We asked brewers what they’re drinking for New Year’s Eve

The results: lambic, Champagne and frozen Long Island Iced Tea.
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Brewers' picks for NYE beersWhether you’re toasting the amazing accomplishments of 2016 or, more likely, just thanking the universe that the year’s over, New Year’s Eve calls for a festive bottle. Any of our 2016 Best Beers of the Year would do nicely, but we were curious as to how brewers—who drink good beer on the regular—toast Auld Lang Syne. Here are their responses, some beery, some not:

Matt Brynildson, Firestone Walker: “I typically do some beer trades around the holiday time to be able to gift beer to our brewing staff. This inevitably results in some Russian River beer landing in my refrigerator at home. My family loves fresh Pliny on draft at the house during the holidays and I love drinking Damnation, or better yet Temptation, from a champagne flute.”

Trevor Rogers, de Garde: “Champagne, of course! I suspect there’ll be a large format bottle or two of Oregon sparkling wine as well—Argyle Extended Tirage being a favorite—and we just can’t end a year or ring in a new one without some favorite lambic and gueuze. It’s the day where Champagne sabers are most needed.”

Jeremy Kosmicki, Founders: “Many years ago, my parents got me and my wife a Magic Bullet blender/mixer thingy for Christmas. It came with a recipe book that included some adult beverage recipes, so of course we had to try some out that New Year’s Eve. We ended up making a couple rounds of a drink called Bullet to the Head, which seemed like basically a frozen Long Island Iced Tea, and we got super drunk. We haven’t made them since, but my wife actually asked if we should do it again this year, so…”

Chase Healey, American Solera: “I like making batch cocktails and filling a few growlers. It’s fun and easy to share. Old Fashioned is my Thanksgiving go-to. I’ll have to do something new for New Year’s, perhaps Campari-related. ”

Emily Kosmal, Goose Island: “New Year’s Eve is typically a champagne type of night, but not for me. It’s always beer. I still like something slightly sparkling and fruity on such a night though. A beer I’m looking forward to sipping a few of: Spotted Cow Grand Cru from New Glarus. This is an interesting one because it’s a specialty version of New Glarus’ famous cream ale, Spotted Cow, but as an imperial saison. It’s got some great fruity notes from the yeast and some spice notes too, like pepper and coriander-type flavors. I had a brief taste of one on Thanksgiving and yes, I’ll be driving up to Wisconsin to try and grab a case … or several cases before the holiday season is over.”

Drew Fox, 18th Street: “I’m looking forward to drinking Spon 1, 2, 3 and 4 from Jester King.”

Jason Perkins, Allagash: “I’d pick a Russian River STS Pils. It’s one of my favorite beers in the world. It has a beautiful balance of hops, malt and classic lager character: nearly a perfect beer. While we can’t get it here in Maine, luckily Vinnie was kind enough to send us some. I’m saving one for New Year’s night to enjoy before moving on to my standby, Orval.”

Veronica Vega, Deschutes: “I was gifted Lindemans/Mikkeller Spontanbasil for my 10-year anniversary at Deschutes by a dear friend, and I look forward to popping that.”

Khris Johnson, Green Bench: “This New Year’s Eve, I’m looking forward to opening a bottle of Jester King’s Sherry Barrel-Aged Atrial Rubicite. I’ve been hanging onto it for a little while and I think it’ll be a great nightcap since I’ll likely be drinking can after can of Postcard Pils all evening.”

Davin Bartosch, Wiseacre: “This New Year’s Eve, I’m going to be drinking Dom Perignon and Woodford Reserve. I’ve never had Dom P before but received a bottle as a gift so I’m excited to try it. And I’ll also be drinking cranberry ginger ale.”

Kim Brisson-Lutz, Maui: “One of my favorite cocktails that will help keep the energy up is by The Crack Shack in San Diego: bourbon, cold brew coffee, vanilla syrup topped with housemade whipped cream and nutmeg. My good friend and winemaker of Kita Wines, Tara Gomez, recently introduced me to drinking sparkling wines and Champagnes. I enjoy dry, hoppy IPAs and sour beers, so the high carbonation and acidity levels in Champagne are the perfect alternative.”

Matt Lincecum, Fremont: “The decision is not finalized but I do know I’ll open a bottle of 2014 Vermillion Barleywine from our friends at Perennial Artisan, a bottle of 2015 Hunahpu, and likely a bottle of Adam from the Wood from my cellar. These I’ll pair with a couple barrel-aged saisons from our Black Heron project.”

David Stein, Creature Comforts: “I’m looking forward to drinking some Tilquin Gueuze on New Year’s Eve this year. It’s typically what I substitute for Champagne anyway, so it’s perfectly festive.”

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