Editor’s Note: Today is day four in our Twelve Days of Christmas series on Pints and Steins – where we’ll be letting you know about a winter beer every day between now and Christmas Eve.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Snow Cap from Pyramid Brewery!
Today we check out Snow Cap – a beer that is celebrating its 30th anniversary from Seattle-based Pyramid Brewery. Personally, I think Pyramid beers are hit and miss as this establishment is known for turning out beers that are universally approachable by a varying audience. Therefore, they don’t make many beers that snobs enjoy.
However, I’d argue that Snow Cap is one of their better beers and is a favorite winter beer of mine.
Available October through January, Snow Cap is a dark mahogany beer that’s 7.0% ABV and 47 IBUs. This beer pours a dark reddish brown and has no head whatsoever. It’s heavy on the caramel and roasted chocolate malts.
How does it taste?
To your nose – when poured into your pint glass, this beer smells of biscuit and light chocolate flavor. On your tongue, you’ll be surprised by the beers’ dryness.
Snow Cap starts off full and then ends with a sweet caramel malt finish that carries a sense of chocolate. This beer has a very slight hoppy aroma to your nose, but it’s super soft.
Pyramid’s Snow Cap is an easily drinkable winter warmer ale that qualifies as a must-have.
Should I buy it?
Yes, without question. I hope you love it too.
Pyramid Brewing used to be one of my favorite breweries because it was local when I lived in Seattle for a short time long ago. However, I’ve had a few of their beers in the last few years and they haven’t been all that great.
However, let’s take a fresh look at Pyramid as I focus on their Snow Cap Winter Warmer ale as a part of the winter/holiday ale series. Snow Cap Winter Warmer is a very dark amber ale that has a very unique taste to it. Some winter ales, as beer fans know, are dark and very malty, however, Snow Cap continues this streak of a dark bodied amber combind with roasted chocolate-tasting malt to add extra zing and a hint of sweetness.
Snow Cap Winter Warmer utilizes three different malts including Caramel, Chocolate malt and barley combined with Willamette hops and a few others. It is 7.0 ABV and has a low IBU score of 47, meaning it isn’t very bitter at all.
Snow Cap pours a dark copper/amber color and has a frothy head at the top, a little too much for my taste. When you first sip Snow Cap, the beer’s amber flavor comes through with a nice hit of malted barley providing a somewhat chocolatey taste, but not too much. This isn’t a sweet beer, but a smooth one. After you swig it around, you can taste the hops kick in a little, providing some floral zing and finishing off with the hint of caramel.
This beer is very similar to Widmer Brrr, although not as sweet on the last bit of the drink. Snow Cap is excellent. This is by far the best beer I’ve ever had form Pyramid and has restored my faith in them…I’ll be looking for more Pyramid ales for review.
Do you have a Pyramid ale that you especially like?
Readers of this website know that I’m an IPA nut. India Pale Ale is by far one of my favorite classes of beer, because of it’s tempting color, bold hop flavor, and smooth finish.
In that spirit, it’s time to conclude the batch of Pyramid brew reviews by checking out Thunderhead India Pale Ale. As may have already seen, we’ve already checked out Pyramid’s Haywire Hefeweizen and Curve Ball Blonde Ale.
Looking at Thunderhead, this is a bold hoppy IPA. The reddish-pale color makes you think this IPA might have a light flavor. The beer has a gravity of 16.7, is 6.7% in alcohol and has an IBU rating of 67.
At my first sip, this beer has a moderate punch with it’s hoppy bitterness. It won’t knock you off your stool like Hopyard Dog IPA from Pale Horse – and has more of a malt balance than some hop-heavy IPAs, but Thunderhead is flavorful. The aftertaste is pleasant and dissipates quickly.
I would recommend Thunderhead to those new to IPAs as it is a good middle-of-the-road IPA that any beer nut would love to sample.
Pyramid week continues here at Pints and Steins, as earlier in the week we checked out Curve Ball Blonde Ale. Today’s brew to evaluate is the Seattle, Washington brewery’s hefeweizen. Haywire Hefeweizen is the company’s wheat beer offering.
As some might now, hefeweizen is an unfiltered wheat beer that is very popular hear in the Northwest. In fact, the most popular micro-brew from the Northwest is likely Widmer Hefeweizen, as I see that particular beer on tap no matter where I go in the country.
Getting back to Haywire, Pyramid advertises Haywire as
The standard by which all other wheat beers are judged. Our deliciously deranged American-Style Hefeweizen is an award winning take on this Bavarian classic. This refreshingly unfiltered wheat ale delivers a distinctively smooth flavor worth sharing with friends.
In my opinion, Haywire Hefeweizen is an amazing wheat beer that is not to be missed. This cloudy beer has enough flavor to light up any summer afternoon. The initial sip brings you a soft refreshing flavor. The aftertaste is a bit sweet and fruity, enough to be noticed but it’s not overwhelming.
Pyramid’s Haywire is a perfect summer beer and would go great with any type of meal featuring a white meat or even seafood.
What do you think of when you hear blonde ale? To me, I think of hot summer days that are made a bit easier by an easy-drinking smooth beer that goes down easy with a clean, refreshing finish.
In this light, I try Pyramid’s Curve Ball Blond Ale – a Summer only brew that I have seen on store shelves. Pyramid is based in Seattle, Washington but is a popular brewery here in Oregon. The company offers quality beers at a good price, both on draft and bottled in stores.
As far as taste – the Curve Ball is very refreshing at first taste. It has a smooth beginning that is light and crisp. However, this ale has an unexpeted wheaty finish that reminds me of a hefeweizen, my other favorite summer beer.
All in all – the Curve Ball will not disappoint. This beer is the perfect one to accompany a summer hamburger or perhaps even some seafood including crab or lobster. Check it out at your local pub or beer store.