title4.gifWassail Beers and Ales In the last few years there has been an amazing growth in the number and variety of  Beers and Ales which go under the name of Wassail. I shall provide some documentation  of this trend below.

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Wassail Beers and Ales
While it is true that in the ancient past beers and ales were brewed specially for the Christmas/New Years/12 th Night seasons these were not generally associated with the Wassail Bowl traditions. Yet....one must include them here  to be complete, as the term wassail  has been given to them.  They are surely quite appropriate to the season. These


beers are usually of dark amber color.  Spices included may be: nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger, licorice,  molasses and others. It is of some interest that  of the flavors mentioned apple is generally  absent. Perhaps it is thought that this could be added locally, however, its absence means that the product is generally  not quite a complete wassail. I have had good luck using Sam Adams Boston Ale for my wassail bowl.  Be careful when using a winter special ale that you do not add too many extra spices which may already be in the beer itself.  Serve Wassail a.k.a. winter warmers or Christmas beers at  50 to 55 degrees so you can relase the bouquet. Use a snifter or bowl  shaped glass to take full  advantage of aromatics.

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A few well known wassail brews....there are more....feel free to send in your list or review! click here to e.mail.

Samuel Smith's. - Winter Welcome from Yorkshire's Oldest Brewery. Flavor of spice running  through the
               malt and floral aroma. Mix with cinnamon and orange peel for
               a traditional wassail, the brewery says.

Full Sail - Wassail Winter Ale
                Heavy ale: British "Winter Warmer" style. Strong  full-bodied .a dark, garnet color. Highly hopped a blend of domestic and imported hops. The hopping balances and refine the flavors of the four types of malt. 5.2 percent by weight, 36 IBUs, available on West Coast. brewed  with orange peel, as holidayales often are, it does have a beautiful orange/amber  color, a delicious spicy citric flavor and fruity sweetness evident in
 the aroma and taste.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale  Massachusetts, USA
Sami Claus  Switzerland

Grant's Spiced Ale Washington, USA
Sisson's Wassail Baltimore,Md. U.S.A.

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A few traditional recipes......
Wreck the Halls Wassail
Bryan Perettol
Twin Hills Brewery
  (link: www.TwinHillsBrewery.com )

Bryan Peretto

10 gallons, All Grain

15 lbs Pale Malt(2-row) Golden Promise
3 lbs	 Vienna Malt 
1 lbs	 CaraMunich I 40L	 
1 lbs	 Special Roast	 	
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt 
1 lbs	 Brown Sugar 	
1 lbs	 Honey 
1.5 Gallons of Unfiltered Apple Cider 
2.50 oz Goldings - E.K. [5.00%] (60 min)	
2.00 oz  Fuggle [4.10%] (30 min)

1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33)

Spices. Add 5 minutes before the end of the boil:
1/2 tsp Powdered Ginger
1/2 tsp Fresh ground Nutmeg 	
1/2 oz Dried Sweet Orange Peel
2 Cinnamon Sticks slightly crushed
2 Whole Cloves
2 Stars of Anise

1. Formulate your brewing session/water so that you end up with 8.5
gallons of finished beer.

2. Mash the grains at 155'F. Because of the many adjuncts that will thin
the body of the beer, you want to mash this high to achieve a nice

3. Boil the wort as normal for 75 minutes. Added spices, honey, and
sugar 5 minutes before flameout

4. At flameout, add the 1.5 Gallons of Apple Cider to the kettle. This
should bring you to the final quantity of 10 gallons. 

5. Cool and ferment as normal. Any clean English yeast should work just
fine. I was very happy with my S33 choice, but you can also try WY1098
or WLP007.  I think any Irish, Scottish, or American yeast would also
produce a good wassail.

Stats (Estimated):
OG 1.062
FG 1.012
ABV 6.6%
IBU 33
SRM 16

Valley Forge Winter Spruce
                                                       (5 gallons, extract)

        A beer of the 18th century.


         10 lbs. dark malt extract
         0.5 oz. Chinook hops (8.7% alpha acid, 4.4 AAUs) for 60 min.
         1 oz. Centennial hops (6.9% alpha acid, 6.9 AAUs) for 30 min.
         1 oz. Kent Goldings hops (5.2% alpha acid, 5.2 AAUs) for 15 min.
         Wyeast 1056 (American ale) yeast or 14 g Doric dry ale yeast
         1 to 2 oz. spruce essence
         2/3 cup corn sugar for priming

    Step by Step:

    Heat 5 gal. water and stir in malt extract just before boil. Total boil is 60 min. Add Chinook hops and boil 30 min. Add Centennial hops, boil 15 min. Add Kent Goldings hops, boil
    15 min. more. Kill heat, cool to 70° F, and pitch yeast.

    Ferment at 65° to 70° F for seven days. Rack to secondary and allow to condition for an additional seven days. At bottling time prime with corn sugar and add spruce essence to
    your own taste (amount varies depending on type of essence). Bottle and age for three weeks.

         OG = 1.074
         FG = 1.017
         Bitterness = 35 IBUs


                                                      Sleepy Bear Wassail
                                                     (5 gallons, partial mash)


         5 lbs. two-row pale malt
         0.5 lb. chocolate malt
         0.75 lb. special roast malt
         5 lbs. light malt extract
         1 lb. of either honey or molasses, depending on taste
         1 oz. Wye Target hops (8.4% alpha acid, 8.4 AAUs) for 60 min.
         2 oz. Willamette hops (5.6% alpha acid, 11.2 AAUs) for 30 min.
         1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
         1 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon stick
         2 oz. vodka or grain alcohol
         Wyeast 1084 (Irish ale) or White Labs WLP002 (English ale) yeast
         1 cup dry malt extract for priming

     Step by Step:

        Heat 1.5 gal. water to 163° F. Mash in grains, hold at 150° to 153° F for 45 min. Sparge with enough 168° F water to collect 2.25 gal. in brew pot.
        Top up to 5.5 gal. and bring to boil, stirring in malt extract just before the boil begins. Total boil is 60 min. Add Wye Target hops and boil for 30 min. Add Willamette hops
    and boil for an additional 25 min. Add either molasses or honey (or 0.5 lb. of each) and boil for remaining 5 min., then cool to 70° F and pitch yeast.
        Ferment for nine days at 70° F, then transfer to secondary and allow to condition for 10 days at 70° F. When racking to secondary, steep ground ginger and cinnamon in
    grain alcohol for 10 to 15 min., then introduce all into secondary before transferring. After conditioning, prime with dry malt extract and bottle. Age for four weeks.

         OG = 1.078
         FG = 1.021
         Bitterness = 49 IBUs


                                                       Old Man Winter
                                                       (5 gallons, all-grain)


         12 lbs. British pale ale malt
         5 lbs. DeWolf-Cosyns pale malt
         0.75 lbs. DeWolf-Cosyns aromatic malt
         1.5 lbs. crystal malt, 60° Lovibond
         0.5 lbs. chocolate malt
         1 oz. Magnum hops (11% alpha acid, 11 AAUs) for 90 min.
         4 oz. Kent Goldings hops (5.2% alpha acid, 20.8 AAUs) 2 oz. (10.4 AAUs) for 60 min.; 2 oz. (10.4 AAUs) for 20 min.
         1 tsp., Irish moss for 10 min.
         Wyeast 1728 (Scottish ale) or White Labs WLP028 (Edinburgh ale) yeast
         2/3 cup corn sugar for priming

    Step by Step:

       Heat 4 gal. water to 167° F, mash in grains and hold at 153° to 155° F for 60 min. Sparge with 170° F water to collect 5.5 gal.
        Total boil is 90 min. Bring to boil, add Magnum hops, and boil 30 min. Add 2 oz. Kent Goldings hops and boil 40 min. Add 2 oz. more Kent Goldings and boil 10 min. Add
    Irish moss and boil 10 min. more.
        Cool to 70° F and pitch yeast. Ferment for eight days at 70° F. Transfer to secondary and condition at 65° F for 10 days. Prime with corn sugar, bottle, and age for five

         OG = 1.088
         FG = 1.019
         Bitterness = 58 IBUs

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