Archive | December, 2008

Stille Nacht

Stille Nacht (Silent Night) is a prestige beer from Belgium’s De Dolle Brouwers, brewed for Christmas. It has the highest density of any Belgian beer (27° Pl). It has been boiling for many hours, brewed with pale malt with white candy sugar in the kettle. The Nugget hops gives an extra bitterness to balance the extreme sweetness due to the density. The taste triangle is completed with some acidity of the fermentation.

Stille Nacht

It is a very interesting beer to age. They have samples of every bottling we have done so far and aging hasn’t decreased the quality of this beer. Keep some samples at 10°C (50°F) and mark the year on the cap with an alcohol marker. Cheers!!

Keg Wizard For Party Planning

If you’re throwing a party between now and New Years Eve, the good folks at have launched a Keg Wizard Beer Calculator to help you figure out exactly how much beer you’ll need.

Keg Wizard

You input the number of guests and then how much each will be drinking on a sliding scale from tipsy to hammered. Then you press the “Kegulate” button and it calculates how many cases of beer you should pick up, along with how much ice and the number of cups you’re likely to need. Genius.

The World’s 50 Best Christmas Beers

One chapter of Don Russell’s book, Christmas Beer, is devoted to his bold choices for the world’s fifty best Christmas beers. With his permission, we’ve reprinted the list below. See if you agree with Don’s picks.

Mad Elf

  1. Mad Elf Ale; Troegs Brewing, Pennsylvania
  2. Avec les Bons Voeux; La Brasserie Dupont, Belgium
  3. Samichlaus Bier; Schloss Eggenberg, Austria
  4. Stille Nacht; Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers, Belgium
  5. Our Special Ale; Anchor Brewing, California
  6. Celebration Ale; Sierra Nevada Brewing, California
  7. Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale; The Old Brewery at Tadcaster, England
  8. Winter Solstice; Anderson Valley Brewing, California
  9. Old Jubilation; Avery Brewing, Colorado
  10. Ringnes Julebokk; Ringnes Bryggeri, Norway
  11. Delirium Noel; Brouwerij Huyghe, Belgium
  12. Baladin Noel; Birrificio Le Baladin, Italy
  13. Gouden Carolus Noel; Brouwerij Het Anker, Belgium
  14. La Binchoise Reserve Speciale; Brasserie La Binchoise, Belgium
  15. Corsendonk Christmas Ale; Brouwerij Corsedonk, Belgium
  16. Mahr’s Christmas Bock; Brauerei Mahr, Germany
  17. Affligem Noel; Brouwerij Affligem, Belgium
  18. Hibernation Ale; Great Divide Brewing, Colorado
  19. Santa’s Private Reserve Ale; Rogue Ales Brewery, Oregon
  20. Smuttynose Winter Ale; Smuttynose Brewing, New Hampshire
  21. Alpha Klaus; Three Floyds Brewing, Indiana
  22. Winter-Traum; Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg, Germany
  23. Scaldis Noel; Brasserie Dubuisson Freres, Belgium
  24. Winter White Ale; Bell’s Brewery, Michigan
  25. 2° Below Ale; New Belgium Brewing, Colorado
  26. La Dragonne; BFM Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes, Switzerland
  27. Ebenezer Ale; BridgePort Brewing, Oregon
  28. La Choulette de Noel; Brasserie la Choulette, France
  29. St. Nikolaus Bock Bier; Pennsylvania Brewing, Pennsylvania
  30. St. Feuillien Cuvee de Noel; Brasserie St. Feuillien, Belgium
  31. Jenlain Noel; Brasserie Duyck, France
  32. Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale; Kiuchi Brewery, Japan
  33. Doggie Claws; Hair of the Dog Brewing, Oregon
  34. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale; Brouwerij St. Bernardus, Belgium
  35. Heavy Seas Winter Storm; Clipper City Brewery, Maryland
  36. Goose Island Christmas Ale; Goose Island Beer, Illinois
  37. Petrus Winterbeer; Brouwerij Bavik, Belgium
  38. Longfellow Winter Ale; Shipyard Brewing, Maine
  39. Kerst Pater; Brouwerij Van den Bossche, Belgium
  40. Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig; Boston Beer, Massachusetts
  41. Alaskan Winter Ale; Alaskan Brewing, Alaska
  42. Geary’s Winter Ale; D.L. Geary Brewing, Maine
  43. Snow Goose Winter Ale; Wild Goose Brewery, Maryland
  44. Pere Noel; Brouwerij De Ranke, Belgium
  45. Old Man Winter Ale; Southern Tier Brewing, New York
  46. ‘t Smisje Kerst; Brouwerij De Regenboog, Belgium
  47. Young’s Winter Warmer; Wells & Young’s Brewing, England
  48. Snow Cap; Pyramid Breweries, Washington
  49. Nutcracker Ale; Boulevard Brewing, Missouri
  50. Monchshof Weihnachtsbier; Kulmbacher Brauerei, Germany

Excerpted from Don Russell’s new book, Christmas Beer. Pick up a copy for the beer lover on your shopping list at Amazon or buy one directly from the author.

Altenmunster Winterbier

Altenmünster Winterbier Dopplebock, a Bavarian specialty beer-style first brewed by 17th century monks, will arrive this December in many major U.S. markets, including metro New York, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Reno, Seattle, Phoenix, San Francisco and Los Angeles/Southern California.

Traditionally enjoyed as the mercury drops, Altenmunster Winterbier Doppelbock is a full-bodied, amber brown beer with emphasis on malt flavor and aroma. It pours with a creamy, beige head. The doppelbock style was considered “liquid bread” by the monks, who found their nourishment in this hearty beer while fasting during the Lenten season.


Altenmünster Winterbier Doppelbock is available in both 16.9 oz. and 2-liter ceramic swing-top, glass bottles. The larger bottle is embossed with the marke of the Allgäuer Brauhaus of Kempten, Germany. It has 7.2% alcohol content, slightly stronger than the “ordinary” bock at about 6% – 6.5%.

Samuel Smith Gift Box

Available on a limited basis, the Samuel Smith Selection Box contains 18.7 oz. bottles of three classic ales, each an international benchmark for the style: Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown Ale, and Old Brewery Pale Ale. It also holds an authentic Sam Smith logo Imperial Pint glass, two “Rose of Yorkshire” coasters, and a Merchant du Vin Classic Brewing Styles Brochure.

Samuel Smith Gift Box

Imported by Merchant du Vin, look for the Selection Gift Box at stores that carry better beer everywhere.