Specifications

Original Gravity: 1.067 (17.0° Plato)
Color: Copper
Bitterness: 35 IBU
Alcohol Content: By Weight: 5.6%; By Volume: 7.0%

October-December

Description:


A rich, hearty ale perfect for the holiday season with a malty sweetness and spicy hop character. The generous use of five different malts is responsible for the full flavor and high alcohol level of this beer.

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale is best consumed at 45° Fahrenheit.

Recommended pairings: Fruit cake, Christmas pudding, & squash bisque.

Awards:

  • Gold Medal, Real Ale Festival, Old Ale/Strong Ale, 2000
  • Gold Medal, Real Ale Festival, Old Ale/Strong Ale, 1998
  • Bronze Medal, World Beer Cup, Old Ale/Strong Ale, 1998
  • Silver Medal, World Beer Championships, Strong Ale, 1997

Ingredients:

Malted Barley:
We use five different types of malted barley in the Christmas Ale, no other grains or cereals such as corn or rice. The large quantity of malts is responsible for the sweetness and high alcohol content.

Hops:
We use two different Pacific Northwest hop varieties in the Christmas Ale. The resulting hop character is a spicy bitterness and a flowery hop bouquet.

History and Trivia:

Debuted November 1995.

This was the first seasonal we made. There has long been a tradition amongst brewers for making a special beer for the holidays. We decided on an old ale. The definition of this style has changed over the years. When we use the term, we use the old definition which describes big, malty, rich beers as they brewed in the olden days (as in a couple of hundred years ago--those olden days). Thus the name. (Today this name often implies a big beer that has been aged.)

We named it Christmas Ale because, well, that's the holiday most of us celebrate. Also, we didn't see anything particularly exclusive about calling it this. And we thought naming it this would set us apart from all the namby-pamby marketing wusses that tell people not to use "Christmas". We're yet to see anybody not drink this beer because of its name. So there, wussies.

There was an argument between Brock and Kevin the first year this beer was brewed. Kevin was concerned that we wouldn't be able to find enough taps to sell the single batch we were making. Brock offered to drink whatever couldn't be sold. It was released in November. Ten days later, Brock was complaining that it had sold out.

Christmas Ale, with its 7% alcohol, has interesting effects on people. Many of these people have been compelled to share these exploits with us. Why? We're not really sure. Several have involved public nudity. One of the best was a voicemail left the evening after a tour that included Christmas Ale. The lady called to say, "I don't know what you put in your Christmas Ale, but after the tour, my husband and I went home and made love all afternoon long."