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Skagit Brew Corner: Under the Tree

Good brews under the boughs

The decorating elves have been busy at the Co-op, putting up lights, gifts and even a real live holiday tree decorated with beautiful ornaments and peppermint treats. And what’s under that tree, nestled between the meat department and cheese island? Seasonal winter micro brews – a perfect gift for your fridge, friends, family and self.

With a chill in the air, it’s time to hunker down with good brew and food on those long winter nights. Depending on your preferences, any of these seasonal beers will pair nicely with the delights of the holiday season: a hearty stew, stuffed squash or a fine cheese plate. Offer your friends a selection and try some of these tasty 6-packs while they last! Now on sale for $7.99!

  • Snow Day from New Belgium – 6.2% alcohol by volume; 55 IBU. Open a bottle of this micro brew and step into an aromatic pine forest, with earthy chocolate undertones. Inspired by a massive 37-foot snow storm that hit Colorado in 2003, Snow Day strikes an aggressive balance of bitter Cascade, Centennial and Styrian Goldings hops and caramel roasted malts. New Belgium uses a new type of brewing malt known as “Midnight Wheat” and achieves a clear, ruby color with notes of spiced cocoa, grapefruit peel and coffee. Snow Day inhabits an interesting space between an IPA and Imperial Stout, and is sure to please lovers of strong flavored ales.
  • Jubelale from Deschutes Brewing – 6.7% alcohol by volume; 60 IBU. a classic style “Old Ale” winter warmer, with an inviting maltiness, a medium nutty brown body and hints of leather and spices. For fans of Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter, with more intense flavors of smoked toffee, molasses and cinnamon. Smooth, sharp and utterly drinkable. Buy this one for fans of dark stouts and porters. Also use it to add flavor to rich meat stews, or serve with dark chocolate cupcakes and vanilla ice cream.
  • 10° Below from Scuttlebutt Brewing – 7.4% Alcohol by volume; 22 IBU. Brewers in Everett devised this light bodied seasonal ale in the style of an Imperial Dunkelweiss. This beer is a good choice for those who enjoy the crispy, pleasantly sour flavor of a mildly bitter bouquet of locally grown American Sazz and Mt. Hood hops. Fans of pilsners and lagers might want to ease into the holiday season with this local seasonal classic.
  • Sno Cap from Pyramid Brewing – 7% alcohol by volume; 47 IBU. A great brew for recovering from hitting the slopes on your snowboard or skis. A flurry of chocolate raw malts and generous spicy hops, Sno Cap will warm up the chilliest of bodies. Sno Cap’s hearty hop flavor and rich roasted malts make it an excellent cooking beer. As it cooks, the sugars in the beer caramelize and release some great flavors.

Try this recipe to liven up carrots, a commonly available winter vegetable. You could also try this same process with brussel sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower. Follow these simple steps for making Cinnamon Glazed Carrots & Sno Cap, courtesy of Chef Michael Symon. For more delicious recipes using Pyramid ales, click here.

Cinnamon and Sno Cap Glazed Carrots


  • 3-4 large peeled carrots, cut diagonally or large diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cup vegetable or chicken stock/broth
  • 1 bottle Pyramid Snow Cap
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat a large sautée pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tbsp. of the butter along with the carrots and cinnamon stick. Season the carrots with salt and pepper. Cook the carrots until ¾ of the way through, allowing them to get some color as well and stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium, deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup Pyramid Snow Cap (add the beer and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the brown flavorful bits), then add half of the stock. The stock will quickly reduce and start to turn into a glaze. Add the rest of the butter, and continue adding more stock, ¼ c at a time, until the carrots are cooked through and the liquid turns into a glaze, coating the carrots. You most likely will not need all of the stock. Season to taste, add more salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the cinnamon stick, and then serve with mashed potatoes, hearty squash soup or braised short ribs.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.