What type of beer should I leave for Santa on Christmas Eve?

This Month’s Question:  What type of beer should I leave for Santa on Christmas Eve?


I can still remember the days of my youth, or more exactly, at least back to the days when my nephews were young, and they asked their Grandmother if they could leave milk and cookies for Santa.    Their stockings were hung by the chimney with care when my brother piped in, “Don’t you think Santa would rather have a beer with his cookies?”

My Mom grimaced at the thought and said, “Cookies and beer?  Yuck!”

Well, after years of dedicated scientific study, including considerable liquid research, I have concluded that you can in fact leave beer and cookies for Santa, provided, of course, you leave the right type of beer.

Most beers by their nature are rather bitter.  My mother was quite right in perceiving that ordinary beers clash strongly with the sweet nature of cookies.  However, find a good rich beer, infused with its own malty sweetness, and now you’re talking.  Take a Porter or a Sweet Stout, and you have a beer that fits right in.  Other styles such as Scottish Ale or Dopplebock work well too.  We are also fortunate that several seasonal specialty beers hit the market just in time for Santa’s visit.

I’m not talking Sierra Celebration ale here.  Way too bitter for cookies.  If you want to leave one for Santa, make sure you leave the cap on so he can take it back to the North Pole.  He won’t want to drink it with the cookies, but he will sure appreciate it when he has finished his world-wide delivery stint and has a chance to kick back.  In the meantime, here are some that he will appreciate while he is en-route and the cookies are still warm.

We can start off with Anchor’s “Our Special Ale”.  The blend of spices fits the bill, especially if you are serving gingerbread cookies.  However, to really get on Santa’s nice list, try some of the Belgian seasonal beers.  One of the Corsendonk Christmas Ales will put you near the top of the list, as would the festively-decorated Scaldis Noel bottles.  Delirium Noel is another good choice.  If you’re feeling naughty, try a Fantome Noel.   Some years this is quite an interesting beer.  Other years it is just plain weird.

If Santa knows that you are one of the bad types, and you want to make him forget, try pouring a Samichlaus.  At 14%, he won’t remember who’s been naughty or nice.  About the only thing he will remember is that someone left him a beer with his name on it.

Some of the beers at the Holiday party would be perfect too.  Holiday spice ales by four different brewers were all exceptional.  Clearly the most directed was the Cookies ‘n Milk Stout brewed by Jonathan Fischer, followed in a close second by Reed Wilson and his Pick-me-Up Coffee Cocoa Robust Porter.   The latter entry was much appreciated by Santa, who still had the entire Pacific Rim to cover and the jolt of caffeine was most welcome.

And finally, don’t forget to leave some beer for the reindeer.  It took me a long time to figure out just exactly why Rudolph’s nose is so red.

Got a question for the Brewmaster?  Drop me a line at [email protected].  Also, an archive of prior questions can be found at the Picobrewery website at http://www.picobrewery.com/ask.html.