On the First Day of Christmas….

No, Grolsch will not be included in the 12 beers. But the tree is awesome.My true love gave to me….one vintage Christmas Ale! Discontinued to be exact. Hold tight, and I shall explain. But first, let’s review the beers from my First Annual 12 Beers of Christmas. Last year my cup runneth over and I covered 14 beers. Beginners zealousness I suppose:

  1. Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
  2. 2008 Anchor Christmas Ale
  3. Mahrs Christmas Bock
  4. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
  5. Shiner Holiday Cheer
  6. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  7. Delirium Noel
  8. Gouden Carolus Noel
  9. Corsendonk Christmas Ale
  10. Ridgeway Brewing Reindeer’s Revolt
  11. Santa’s Butt Winter Porter
  12. Marin Brewing Co. Hoppy Holidaze
  13. Great Lakes Christmas Ale
  14. 2009 Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi

This year I adhere to the title and present you with 12 Christmas beers. So let’s get on with the holiday cheer, shall we?

2009 Goose Island Christmas Ale, 5.7% ABV: Yes, folks the sad news is true. Goose Island, with their expansion and ever-growing popularity is physically unable to brew their delicious Christmas Ale in 2010. Let’s hope they get tank space by next year! (Fingers are crossed) So when I saw the 2009 at a local beer shop I furtively grabbed several bottles, looked over my shoulder, and scurried to the checkout counter with my delicious liquid booty. Known for it’s ability to age for up to 5 years, Goose Island creates(d) a different recipe each year, like the classic Anchor Christmas Ale.

Lovely aromas and flavors of caramel malt, piquant (think white pepper) and baking spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice), orange peel, and citrus, with a nice hop nudge in the finish. It’s like standing in the kitchen during Christmas cooking! Everything melds and balances beautifully for a comforting, yet enticing holiday ale.

In the 2009 year, a portion of the profits went to the Chicago Christmas Ship, a vessel that delivers Christmas trees to the less-fortunate. It is truly a shame they were unable to brew this beer in 2010. So folks, go out and find yourself this beer if you can. Who knows when it will come again….

And if you are able, give to those less-fortunate this holiday season.



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