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September 30, 2020 was a big day for MiddleCoast Brewing Company out of Traverse City, MI.

Deven Larrance and Joel Mulder, MiddleCoast’s brewers, turned on the camera for another one of their quirky Facebook live sessions to let the world know that they were “pushing the season” with a few holiday products.

First, was their Hessian Revelry, a tradition dunkel with toasted pecans. I was very excited to hear that this one was coming out after seeing the label pass through the TTB and posting it in October’s New Michigan Beer Labels post.

The second product to also begin “pushing the season” was actually two products with two flavors of Winter Hard Seltzers. Deven and Joel shared labels, along with a few insights into their research and development process. To check out the full video, click here.

As far as “pushing the season” goes, I applaud MiddleCoast Brewing Company’s efforts on getting their products out into the market ASAP. While they weren’t shipping out Winter Hard Seltzers in October, they were building the hype for their product. I’ve learned that microbreweries need to get their seasonal products out well before the actual season starts in order to compete with seasonal products from macrobreweries.

I’m of the traditionalist mindset when it comes to holidays in October (Halloween), November (Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas). When MiddleCoast Brewing Company shot me over a 6-pack of the Winter Hard Seltzers to try and review, and I was ecstatic but didn’t start drinking them until after Thanksgiving when I start getting ready for Christmas.

I had given all of their hard seltzers a try for Hard Seltzer Summer and was looking forward to what was in store with the winter flavors – Ginger Snap and Peppermint Bark. Both flavors posted the same nutritional stats for the 12oz cans with 100 calories, 5% ABV, and zero grams of sugar or any of the macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein).

The Ginger Snap poured clear and had a rich and lingering taste of molasses and ginger. Each sip reminded me of eating ginger snap cookies. There was a touch of cinnamon that gave a good balance to the brew. On the flip side, the Peppermint Bark poured dark and resembled a Coke in color. There was strong peppermint on the nose and front end. The back end is where the chocolatey bark came into play. It tasted like MiddleCoast melted down peppermint bark for me to drink. I bet candy cane garnish would work well with this one.

I savored each drop and was sad when I drank the last can of each. Neither of these seltzers were as crisp as a summer seltzer. Each had a strong flavor but weren’t out of balance or heavy. It was difficult to pick a favorite because both were unique and delicious! I would recommend these as dessert companions or substitutions with each having a ton of holiday potential no matter what you celebrate!

Cheers!

Disclaimer: As noted above, MiddleCoast Brewing Company sent me a 6-pack of the Winter Hard Seltzers to try. Thank you to the team at MiddleCoast for the seasonal gift!

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By Ed Norton

Edwin "Ed" Norton was first introduced to craft beer when his designated fraternity Big Brother Vince asked him if he knew anything about the topic. Ed admitted his ignorance and the rest is history as Ed and Vince would split six-packs of craft beers each week during Ed's probationary status. Ed is now a craft beer enthusiast who is always on the lookout for a beer he has not tried when bottle shopping or drinking at breweries and bars. In addition to drinking beer, this livelong Michigan resident enjoys a bunch of hobbies that he doubts you really care about, other than drinking beer and sounding off about it.

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