Author Archive | Real Beer

Saint Arnold’s Christmas ‘blend': Sailing Santa

Saint Arnold Sailing Santa

Saint Arnold Brewing releases a second beer for the fall season today. Saint Arnold Sailing Santa is a blend of Saint Arnold Elissa IPA and Saint Arnold Christmas Ale. It is sold in 22-ounce bottles.

This is the first time Saint Arnold has released Sailing Santa, which was invented by craft beer lovers a few months after the introduction of Elissa IPA in 2004. In the years that followed, the community adopted the name, “Sailing Santa,” for the concoction when ordering draft pints at bars and restaurants.

“Normally we aren’t big fans of blending beers, but this one works,” said Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner. “The hoppiness of Elissa IPA with the big malt and slightly higher alcohol of Christmas Ale makes a nice winter beer.”

Saint Arnold Sailing Santa will be an annual seasonal release that precedes Thanksgiving. It is the second new seasonal from Saint Arnold in just over a month, following Saint Arnold Pumpkinator.

Saint Arnold produced a single 240-barrel batch, which equates to approximately 3,600 cases of twelve 22-ounce bombers. Saint Arnold Sailing Santa will not be shipped in kegs, but can be prepared on-site wherever Saint Arnold Elissa IPA and Saint Arnold Christmas Ale are on tap.

For the dog on your shopping list

As you probably know, you can’t slip just any beer in your dog’s stocking. Hops can be toxic to your best friend.

Bowser Beer

Instead there is Bowser Beer.

What’s in Bowser Beer?
* USDA beef or chicken.
* Malt barley (full of B-vitamins) –just like in your beer.
* Glucosamine for joint health.

What’s NOT in Bowser Beer:
* Alcohol or carbonation.
* Hops,which can be toxic to dogs.
* Commercial broth, which contains loads of salt,fat,MSG,onions and meat of unknown origin.

Book review: The Naked Pint

This review originally appeared at

Alan McLeod totally nailed it with his review of The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer, answering the two biggest questions I had while reading the book.

– First, why are there homebrew recipes in this book? Can’t even a book for beginners be a bit specialized or must every introduction to craft beer tell us a little bit about everything? Look, I’m not exactly complaining because (disclaimer alert) they recommend Brew Like a Monk and it’s a good thing when a book that is going to rank ahead of yours at says nice things about it.

I like the analogy that Alan draws to The Yachtsman’s Week-end Book, writing that Naked Pint “harkens to a day when a book could purport to be an omnibus filled with everything you practically need to know to get from novice to pretty well capable.”

– Second, were you to give this book as a present who would you give it to? Again, quoting Alan, “This is a book for beer nerds to give their friends. It will tell the nerds a lot about good beer but it will also tell them a lot about their beer nerd pal.”

Indeed. Any copy coming from me would come complete with Post-it notes correcting a variety of niggling errors. I can’t help myself. I’ve already whined about “candi sugar,” though because almost everybody seems to get that crooked I’m giving them a pass. However you wonder who was in charge of editing when you see the phrase “bottom-fermenting ales.” Or why on page 130 they get it right in explaining misconceptions about dubbels and tripels after getting it wrong on page 23.

So you probably aren’t going to use this book to study for the Cicerone exam. But it’s easy to like. Authors Hallie Beaune and Christina Perozzi write in a breezy and sometimes brassy manner. (“A 5% ABV beer can make you friendly; an 8% ABV beer can make you French kiss a tree.”)

They consistently explain things about beer that can seem overwhelming at the outset. Consider their approach to presenting styles. They always begin with an easy-to-read blurb. Like this:

Bitter, but Not Angry: Bitters

This beer’s for you if you like: being surly but not mean, long discussions about Shakespearean themes. Notes of toffee. Staying on your stool. Evenings at the pub.

Far more interesting than any style guidelines you’ve ever read.

Alan got it perfect, but before you give it to your friends ready for a bit of beer education read it over yourself. You might find yourself better prepared to talk with them.

K-9 Cruiser

Flying Dog’s K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale is the psycho in the pack. K-9 Cruiser is a dark, sweet and malty winter warmer that will captivate any adventurous craft brew drinker. A true Flying Dog original, K-9 Cruiser is the perfect brew to warm you up in those cold winter months.

K-9 Cruiser

ABV: 6.4%
Plato: 16
IBU’s: 30
Specialty Malts: 50/60L Crystal Malt, Chocolate Malt, Oats, Munich Malt
Hops: Millennium, U.S. Saaz

Samuel Adams shakes up Winter pack

Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety PackBoston Beer has changed the lineup for the Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack.

The brewery added Chocolate Bock and White Ale to the package. Those beers join the Winter Lager, Old Fezziwig, Holiday Porter and Boston Lager in the 12-pack (two of each beer).

The package no longer includes Cranberry Lambic — a beer some customer love and others are happy to not see included. Cranberry Lambic remains available in 6-packs through the holidays. Production is somewhat limited, with locations listed in the beer finder at Samuel Adams website.