Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the Third Day of Christmas...

...my true love gave to me – Christmas Bock, Mahr's Bräu, Bamberg, Germany.

There are, as I see it, two kinds of Christmas beer—Christmas Eve beer and Christmas Day beer. Christmas Eve beer should rich and robust—warming like an old friend visiting on a chilly December night—there's just something about sipping on a deep, complex porter or a spiced brown ale while your watching the snow fall and waiting for ol' Saint Nick. Christmas Day beers should be bright, fresh and sweet—merry beers to drink on a merry day. We do a double Christmas at my house. First, with the kids and my folks on Christmas morning—which usually starts at about five after five in the morning, so no beer, just coffee. Then, around 11ish we're off for another round of presents with Amy's family and my folks at my in-laws. By that point I'm all hopped-up on holiday spirit and caffeine, so that's when I want something jovial and sweet to match the mood. 

I've never had Mahr's Christmas Bock before tonight. So, imagine my surprise I was expecting a deep, brown Chritsmas Eve beer to fill my pint, when instead, and to my delight, a bright flow of Christmas Day, wheat-field gold tumbled into my glass. The beer swirled around the pint and billowed to an off-white cap of foam. It has an earthy and bready aroma matched with a little caramel and some fruitiness—like apple or pear. It's sweet, but not think or syrupy, with a toffee-like, buttery creaminess. It has almost no bitterness, but a nice hay-like hoppiness. This beer has presence to it, a little weight, without being heavily or thick. Its sweet and fun, but it also has just the right amount of crispness to it—think of it like your tipsy Uncle Tom boisterously belting out Jingle Bells at the piano Christmas Night. This Christmas Bock is an easy drinker—be it on Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, or any other day of the year!

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