The city of St. Louis, Missouri has a long and venerable brewing history behind it, but today’s Advent beer pick is not from that brewery. Rather, it’s Christmas Ale from Schlafly Beer, itself a St. Louis icon. Christmas ale is a spiced strong ale that is 8% alcohol by volume.
Our Christmas Ale is a warming winter ale that blends the spices of the season with sweet caramel malt. Orange peel, juniper berries, ginger root, cardamom and cloves are added for spiciness. We use honey in the fermentation process, which raises the ABV without producing too much heat from the alcohol content.
Many breweries produce richer, higher alcohol beers for the winter holiday season, bolder than their year-round offerings. The inspiration for this beer came from spiced holiday beverages such as wassail and mulled wines. Around the holidays, the sweet and spicy aromas, not to mention the booze, in such libations tend to smooth the rougher edges of enjoying each other’s company and spreading goodwill.
The combination of the caramel and the spices make me think this would be a great beer to pair with your Christmas dinner—be it turkey, ham, or goose. I imagine it’s also versatile enough to be a digestif, or to pair with sugar plums, or just as an all around holiday treat.
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