In 1987, a handful of visionaries took over a dormant fruit cannery and turned it into what's now known as the Full Sail Brewing Co. Since then, the operation in Hood River, Oregon, has focused on the region's natural beauty and keeping things local.

About the brewery

In 1987, a handful of visionaries took over a dormant fruit cannery and turned it into what's now known as the Full Sail Brewing Co. Since then, the operation in Hood River, Oregon, has focused on the region's natural beauty and keeping things local. It sources many ingredients from nearby farms and, in 1999, divvied up company ownership among its 47 employees. In addition to this admirable mission, Full Sail has made some truly fine beers.

About the style

Around Ohio, drinkers are used to winter warmers and holiday ales dosed with everything from ginger and nutmeg to something Thirsty Dog Brewing Company simply calls "Santa's secret recipe." It's a rich, flavorful style that has spread throughout the Midwest. Yet many cozy-up winter ales, including the Wassail, opt for a more traditional approach. This one finds character in a hearty amount of malt, carefully selected hops and water from a Mount Hood spring.

About the beer

Lovely smells of red raspberry and black cherry explode from the open top, wafting about as if you had just baked a holiday cobbler. Pour it into a pint glass for the full aromatic effect and a chance to gaze longingly into deep, dark maroon hues.

In terms of taste, this beer has a substantial body, with a bit of sweetness and stout malts that'll remind you of a bran muffin. Before long, you'll be warm, toasty and ready for some holiday cheer.