Each year on the Advent Calendar so far I’ve selected Samichlaus, and this year’s selection has a bit of a twist: Samichlaus Helles ("Samichlaus Light") from Schloss Eggenberg. I was clued in to this from this post on Joe Sixpack’s blog, wherein he writes:
…this “lighter” version of the classic Santa Claus beer was made especially for the American market. “I don’t want to cannibalize Samichlaus in other countries,” Stohr writes. “America is the best market for Samichlaus.”
I’ve read elsewhere that this is he first time this version has been made in 20 years – I honestly don’t remember that one. The Helles pours much paler than the original Samichlaus. And by original, I mean the 10-year-old bottle from Hürlimann (its original Swiss brewer) that I compared it with over the weekend. It’s still quite strong at 14 percent alcohol, but the body is just a bit lighter; it’s a sipper but dangerously drinkable.
Take note, the "light" part of the name isn’t equivalent to the American Macro notion of "lite"—it’s every bit the super-strength Samichlaus we all know and love, just paler (brighter) than the original.