Sunday Sixpack: Howl (and Pizza Al’s)

This sixpack is a winter seasonal: Magic Hat’s Howl (4.6% ABV). What you might notice from that description is that Howl is a little light on the alcohol content compared to some of its seasonal ilk – you see a lot of winter warmers around this time of year with alcohol in the double digits.

What this means, however, is that Howl is a beer you can have more than one of in a sitting and still remain upright. This makes it a much better fit for December football viewing (besides, as a Bills fan, I tend to hold off on the heavy hitters until after the game, when I know I’ll need ’em).

Howl is kind of a departure for Magic Hat. It’s almost a stout, really: Nice and dark in both color and flavor, yet not nearly so hoppy as a lot of Magic Hat offerings. It’s roasty and smooth, yet it’s almost crisp, too, which makes it a strange drink. Plus, check out the label:

That is an intense beverage.

Howl brings a tasty, fast-dissolving dark brown head, and has a slightly coffee-ish taste. I had mine cold, but it would probably be good at room temperature too (and maybe a little thicker).

Along with my Howl, I enjoyed a few slices from one of Morgantown’s best-kept secrets, Pizza Al’s (shown reheating above), or “Al’s Pizza” as they’ll call it when you order by phone. Pizza Al’s place of business is a little crackerbox between a convenience store and the PRT on University. There’s a Little Caesar’s next door, which has somehow managed not to close down out of shame in comparison to its neighbor.

You’ll drop about $10 on a large pepperoni at Pizza Al’s, the box for which is shown above. What you will receive is approximately the size of a golf umbrella. It will probably not fit on your passenger-side seat. In addition, you will have a ridiculously difficult time parking in Pizza Al’s lot, which was seemingly designed for gnomes, and even more trouble exiting that lot. I tell you, it is worth it.

See that slice? The way the pepperoni curls up? (I’m told the sausage is excellent as well; no bacon, sadly) The general floppy excellence of it? This is good pizza.

I think I may prefer Al’s pizza reheated, but only because a fresh pie must be eaten almost immediately upon leaving the oven for maximum quality; this is no slight, as a warm pizza from Al’s beats most hot ones elsewhere. You’ll drop a ridiculously low amount on the meal, and their subs (sorry, “hoagies”) and salads are good as well, if you’re into that kind of thing.

A Howl and Al’s is a worthy gametime pair. Now if Buffalo can just find a decent coach, I might have a decent Sunday.