The game goes on: still 16-14, though McNabb is ripping off an exciting series of mid-length passes and marching up the field. So time for another beer, something also PNW but completely different: Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale.
Let me get right to the payoff first: I wish more spiced ales were like this. PAA is not overspiced at all, and comes across as a delicious Chrismas cookie. I had something like this New Year's Eve: Cathy and I dropped by Triumph in New Hope where I had a glass of Oatmeal Cookie Stout. Same kind of sweet, gently spicy mouth-fillingness...but where the Triumph OCS was dark and had a hint of chocolate to it, the PAA takes that and somehow slices off the back half of it and bolts an IPA on there...well, at 5%, maybe more like a pale ale.
What's good? The sweetness is not overpowering, the spices -- orange, nutmeg, cinnamon -- are not overwhelming, and the alcohol is not overwhelming. Oh, thank you, Pike: a holiday beer that isn't too heavy, or too spicy, or too strong, or too boring. I'm ready to drink this whole bomber. It's like cookies without the crumbs.