Welcome to the first day of the Beer Advent Calendar for 2011! This year’s Christmas season starts out with a bang as today’s selection is only the strongest lager in the world: Austria’s Samichlaus Bier, a 14% abv Doppelbock (Quadrupelbock?) brewed once a year on December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day, and bottled the following year. The name itself means “Santa Claus” and in my opinion is one of the quintessential Christmas beers around.
“Samichlaus” beer is brewed once a year, in each case on December 6th, and stored and matured afterwards for over 10 months before it is bottled. “Samichlaus” beer can mature for many years in the bottle; older vintages obtain a complexity and receive their creamy warm aftertaste. This beer can be served with heavy meals and desserts, particularly with chocolate – or as digestive and meditations drink. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the strongest lager beer in the world with 14 % alcohol and 32° original extract content.
Samichlaus has been brewed since 1980, originally by the Hürlimann Brewery in Zurich, Switzerland. The original brewery closed in 1997, but Samichlaus returned in 2000 brewed by Schloss Eggenberg in Austria.
In addition to the “classic” there is also a Samichlaus Helles that is brewed—a “light” version that is light in color only as it also tips the scales at 14% alcohol.