NYNM Sierra-Nevada Celebration Ale
#2: I meant, "What makes the "holiday" flavor....?
kinda pre-dates the era of the flavored and spiced beers (altho' Anchor's Our Special Ale
was already on the market, it wasn't a "tradition" quite yet for every brewery to release a different beer every season with a different spice or fruit).
As a result, I've read complaints about people not tasting the spices in Celebration - Hey! It's flavored with HOPS
and lots of 'em - the way an India Pale Ale should be.
I think of it like this - a brewer's Christmas beer or Holiday beer is their "present" to us (even if we have to pay for it). Sometimes you got a bike, sometimes you got a sled, sometimes you got some itchy sweater ("WTF
- 100% polyester?!"
)- they were ALL Christmas presents. I say it's a Christmas beer if the brewery says it's a Christmas beer/Holiday beer/Winter Warmer.
On the other hand, SNCA
is one of the longest-lived of the craft-brewed IPA's and I've looked forward to it for, well, I guess decades now.