Monday, February 6, 2012

Guest Post by “Count Hopula”

Here is one of my promised guest posts. Unfortunately I am still not up to having fizzy beverages, so I will not be providing my opinion for a while yet. Please enjoy this post from "Count Hopula"
So, one would think that being past the holiday season, there would be absolutely no reason to invoke Saint Nicholas or his once a year philandering. One would also believe I was talking about that special event on December 25th which brings tides of joy across the world. One would be wrong…
The event I am talking about is the bottling and delivery of one special beer from Austria called “Samichlaus Bier” in their classic dark label.  Sitting at 14% ABV, this is one for the “warm fuzzy feeling” books.  The interesting story behind this special beer is that it is brewed once a year, and sits for 10 months before bottling.  Much like the dormant jolly fellow we know so well, it has a thick body, and has the ability to spread joy to all the little beer loving ladies and gents. 
Where does the connection truly exist? Well, saying the name “samichlaus” is very close to “santa claus” for a reason.  The beer is brewed only on  December 6th (which happens to be my b-day…bonus!) which is internationally known as Saint Nicolas Day.  So Austrians would most likely break out the Stutenkerl, and crack open a Samichklaus to warm up and celebrate the approach of Christmas.  Although the quality of this beer makes me think they were celebrating Saint Gambrinus just as much as Saint Nicolas.
Now, getting down to the brass tacks of the beer…it is not by any means a “Christmas beer” per se.  It’s not laced with spices or hints of winter like many of the trendy brews that come out annually.  It is a bold creamy lager, that drinks like a barley wine.  It pours to a dark brown hue, and smells of sweet malt greatness.  The taste is absolutely phenomenal, mellow, and a great substitute for either port or an after dinner aperitif.  This beer would be ideal with spiced fruit desserts, savory snacks (bring out yer’ bacon!) or ultimately a well prepared aged steak.    
If you do spot this brew at your local beer stop, grab it before it is gone!  It is a rare commodity that does not last.  Being a rare commodity, it is also a bit on the pricey side. About 20 bucks for four standard size bottles will get you to where you need to be.  Just like fine wine, we can buy and hoard…saving the brew for any special occasion.  Personally, I will be setting two bottles aside for drinking, and two next to my prized bottles of Three Floyds' “Dark Lord” for consumption at a later, and better aged date.
So to all a Merry Samichlaus, and a beer-y good night.

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