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New beers from 12 Gates, NYBP, Big Ditch, 42 North

Four area breweries are releasing various beers before the end of the year.

12 Gates has developed its own take on the traditional strong, yet smooth Belgian tripel style. Tripels are golden in color and easy to drink yet typically fairly high in alcohol. They were originally popularized by the Trappist monastery at Westmalle. For this take, popular American and New Zealand hops were added to lend a resinous and fruity character. Together with notes of banana and clove from the Belgian yeast, this 9.6 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) beer is on tap now and will be out for distribution starting Dec. 26.

12 Gates Brewing Company is at 80 Earnhart Drive in Williamsville. Call 906-6600.

New York Beer Project will release New York Amber and Old Fashioned Ale.

New York Amber, a Czech-style amber lager at 5.4 percent ABV, will be released at 5 p.m. Dec. 23 at NYBP. With a deep orange color and off-white head, New York Amber is replete with toasty malt character,  light caramel sweetness and a dry finish.

Old Fashioned Ale, being released Dec. 28, is inspired by a classic cocktail. It has a hefty 8.5 percent ABV and boasts flavors of rye whiskey, cherry and orange peel. Only a small batch was brewed of this beer.

New York Beer Project is at 6933 South Transit Road, Lockport. Call 743-6927.

Big Ditch has three new beers on tap offering an array of different flavors: Balnamoon, Blacksmith and NoNang.

Balnamoon is an 8 percent ABV Scotch ale. Brewed with fruity ale yeast and caramel malts, it has a rich sweet character along with a light citrus flavor thanks to the orange peel that was added.

Blacksmith is a smoked black IPA that balances roasted malt, smoked malt and citrusy hops. It weighs in at 6.5 percent ABV.

NoNang has a name inspired by the fact that the brewers ran out of the Tettnang hops used to make Big Ditch’s golden ale, Low Bridge. Taking advantage of the situation, they added a bunch of aromatic hops (Mosaic, Nelson Sauvin, Zythos and Pacific Jade). The resulting American Pale Ale at 4.8 percent ABV is sure to be satisfying to hop heads.

Big Ditch Brewing Company is at 55 East Huron St. Call 854-5050.

42 North is releasing Ukranian Christmas Ale, Rum Rum Rudoph and a special cask of Asylum Porter.

Ukranian Christmas Ale is returning this year. Inspired by the dessert Kutya, this stout is brewed with dark malts, wheat and honey and then aged on roasted walnuts and poppy seeds. It has 8 percent ABV.

Rum Rum Rudolph is the brewery’s Russian Imperial Stout that has been aged on rum barrel oak staves. It comes in at 11 percent ABV and will be released Dec. 21. Both Ukranian Christmas Ale and Rum Rum Rudolph are small batches.

A special ten gallon cask of 42 North’s Asylum Porter will also be tapped on Dec. 22. Two pounds of crushed candy canes were added to the cask which then aged for three weeks. This beer isn’t likely to last beyond Thursday, so you’ll want to try it then.

42 North Brewing Company is at 25 Pine St., East Aurora. Call 805-7500.

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