Name: Schlafly Christmas Ale
Brewer: The Saint Louis Brewery, St. Louis, Mo.
By the numbers: About 240 calories per 12 oz; 8 percent alcohol by volume
Notes: I often refer to the Saint Louis Brewery as the best brewer in Missouri - a dig on the Anheuser-Busch behemoth. Another of their seasonals, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, made it into my Top 12 of last year. So it should be no surprise that this is a good beer. It’s not great, though. Winter warmers, the category where this beer fits, are traditionally marked by a higher alcohol content in England and Germany. In Belgium, winter beers are spicy. Schlafly mixes both traditions with orange peel, ginger, cloves and other spices in a boozy brew that includes mixed malts, honey and noble hops. It pours a beautiful amber color, with almost no head. The aroma is of ginger snaps and citrus and the taste is sweet and tart with the cloves coming through pretty strongly.
Try it with: Peace on Earth, goodwill to all and a very merry Christmas Day! I love the quote from Sir Walter Scott on the beer label: ” ‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale, twas Christmas told the merriest tale.” Here’s hoping my readers have a happy holiday and many good beers to come in the new year.
— Posted by Mike Freimann