The holiday season - from Thanksgiving until "Little Christmas" is one of my favorite times of year. The other, of course, is the entire Summer... when the weather is nice and trips to the shore are frequent! From the Running of the Santas to Christmas card photo shoots to admiring my Christmas tree I am always looking for another excuse to get friends together for a great time.
This year, Anheuser Busch provided another great excuse, courtesy of the Budweiser Brewmasters and Project 12. Little Miss Dirty Martini, her boyfriend the Lobster, and Sequel and I had a mid-week get together with lots of snacks (of course) and to try all of these fun new beers! We also used our time to plan our Annual Running of the Santas Party for this upcoming weekend!
If you're anything like me and like to know the story behind the big company, to make it a bit more "Local," you'll like to know that Budweiser dates back as far as 1876 and the founder, Adolphus Busch wanted to create a beer that was more national than local - something that would appeal to America as a whole. It sounds counter-intuitive; in 2013 everyone wants to be Local, grow Local, eat Local, drink Local. Project 12 embraces the concept of Local, but makes it accessible to more people.
Each brew was created in a different part of the country and named for the zipcode within which it was created. We are proud of our Philly zip code and love our little section of the city. I loved each of the labels. It really adds a craft dimension and looks quite a bit more grown up than your typical Budweiser and Bud Light. Another aspect of the labeling I loved was the "notes" section. We had a little preview of each beer before we jumped in!
The girls thought that the Vanilla Bourbon Cask Batch 23185 was excellent... our only recommendation would be MORE BOURBON - of course.
The Beechwood Bock Batch: 43229 was malty (in a good way!). It also had a really great aroma. Smell for me is a huge factor when it comes to beers. It can't smell like those fraternity basement keg parties where everything is a mess... The Bock passed the sniff test with flying colors!
The North Pacific Lager Batch 94534 was, by far and away, the Idiot Girl and boyfriends favorite. It had a great crisp flavor that was right up our alley.
Sequel and Lobster are avid beer brewers, using fresh hops and barley and doing lots of chemistry that I barely understand. They were intrigued by the methods use to create each of these Project 12 brews. Lobster is currently doing a bourbon cask beer, so he was able to explain to us a bit more about the process. It always surprises me just how much attention and detail goes into crafting the perfect beer. It is truly an art.
As I mentioned, this was a week-night get together. I'm sure you can relate to the insanity of the work week and just how much goes in to just getting to work on time, making dinner, having clean clothes... you know the drill.
Our snacks reflected our hectic schedules - Manchego and Brie cheeses, soppresatta and chorizo, apples and pears, homemade hummus, homemade guacamole, a veggie tray, wasabi peas and garlic crust pistachios (a new obsession). Plus, this was a "work meeting" - we had a Running of the Santas Party to plan! The drinks were the focus, including the decision to grab another Project 12 pack for our Santa event! The North Pacific Lager (the resounding fan favorite) has become a new staple in the beer section of the fridge!
And just because everything has to be a contest, both the boys and girls ranked the beers, from #1 to #3, with #1 being the favorite of course. We, of course, matched up with our #1, but we split for second and third place (girls decisions in red, boys in blue).
We felt like Project 12 was a winner all around. There is definitely a variety in this "variety pack," and you will find something for everyone - even a non-beer drinker like myself found a friend in the North Pacific Lager!