For as important and influential as Germany is when it comes to beer, there doesn’t seem to be a strong tradition of Weihnachten (“Christmas”) beers—most of the ones I’ve seen are Oktoberfest-styled beers brewed special for the holidays, but there don’t seem to be many. Yet what Advent calendar would be complete without at least one German beer on it—after all, Advent is a very important part of the German Christmas tradition, with Advent calendars and even Advent wreaths being a prominent feature.
So with today, December 6, being St. Nicholas Day, the traditional day Germans begin celebrating the Christmas season, today’s pick is Mönchshof Weihnachtsbier, from the large Kulmbacher Brauerei (best known for their EKU 28 and Eisbock). This is an Oktoberfest-styled beer, 5.6% abv, brewed for the holiday. The brewery says:
Our coveted Mönchshof Christmas Beer is always the highlight of the Christmas season. It’s exclusively offered from October until December and is impatiently expected by the real beer gourmet. Darker in color, with a perfect hop note and a fine malt-aroma, the Mönchshof Christmas Beer is a noble “festive beer” and a special gift from Mönchshof.
(Mönchshof is one of the brands under the Kulmbacher label.)
St. Nicholas is the northern European analogue to Santa Claus, and in the German tradition he visits on the night of December 5 to fill the boots of good children with gifts and sweets (the boots were left outside the front door) for the children to find on the 6th. Perhaps if the adults leave their boots out front they’ll find Weihnachtsbier in them…