Thursday, December 13, 2012

10 Barrel Pray for Snow

Last month I mentioned three winter beers that had caught my eye.  Of course that's just the tip of the iceberg, and there are even more winter beers on the shelves than there were a few years ago when I tried to describe a holiday ale family tree with branches for winter warmers, hoppy winter beers, barleywines, and what I rather inarticulately called "crazy European big brews".

A new contender has entered the field, 10 Barrel's Pray for Snow.  This beer kind of flew under my radar -- the brewery's description of it simply as a "strong ale" wasn't very inspiring, and with so many tasty winter beers at hand, there was nothing that made me seek it out.  Then a couple days ago I had a pint with a late lunch, and was bowled over by the combination of flavors in this beer.

Thinking of the family tree, I want to put it in the winter warmer family, and the first tastes remind me of Deschutes Jubelale, with flavors reminiscent of nutmeg and pie spices, and a long, bitter finish.  But it has less of the dark, roasty flavors -- Jubelale is so roasty it sometimes tastes almost charred to me, in a good way -- and substitutes a caramelly, burnt-sugar flavor that is very appealing.  That might make it sound too sweet, but it's not.  It's got a medium body, and isn't very boozy at 7% ABV.  I love this beer, it's my new favorite for the winter.

Best of all, I picked up a six-pack of Pray for Snow on sale for $7.50.  I'm glad to see 10 Barrel join the six-pack fray as part of their quest for world domination.  It ensures that cheapskates like me will keep on top of their products.

I found myself wondering if there are spices added to this beer, or if all of its flavors teased out of the malt and hops.  The label and six-pack holder don't offer any clues, and Google just brought up more questions.  The brewery's outdated webpage shows that Pray for Snow has been a seasonal since 2008; John Foyston says that it's "Tonya Cornett's reprise of the Outback Ale she made at Bend Brewing"; and the six-pack carton says it's "Created by Jimmy Seifrit".  2008 is long before either Tonya or Jimmy joined 10 Barrel, so the true parentage will have to remain a mystery for now.  Whatever the case, don't wait for the first snowfall to track down some of this tasty brew.


  1. I have a friend for whom this is the go-to winter beer. I wouldn't go that far, but it's tasty.

  2. I'm not a huge fan of winter beers at all, and you won't even see me buying Jubelale. This beer however is very good, and as well ranks at the top for the style.


Thanks for leaving a comment! I will delete spam and long stupid comments. Comments that are smart or short will survive.

Please tag anonymous comments with your name, initials, or CB handle so that people can respond to you.