Saint Arnold Sailing Santa by Chris



Sailing Santa

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Houston, TX

Christmas Seasonal

ABV: 7.2%

IBUs: 45

Packaging: 22 0z. Bombers



Sailing Santa is actually a consumer inspired brew! The great minds at Saint Arnold listened when we asked for a seasonal blend of Elissa IPA and Christmas Ale with a touch of Christmas spice!

Sailing Santa isn’t a true IPA – it has more malt characteristics than anything. It sure is smooth sailing though! Sailing Santa has a sneaky high ABV which is always good around this time of year. Many breweries are releasing big stouts this time of year because cold weather is perfect for that style of beer. However, in Houston, we are lucky to wear a hoodie a few weeks out of the year. This beer is built perfectly for Houston. It will go perfectly with our 60 degree “winter” weather and it’s still light enough to drink with all the massive amounts of food consumed during the holidays! If you’re on the fence with Sailing Santa because the words “IPA” scared you off, worry not, this would make a great introductory IPA. Not very hoppy, nice smooth malt flavor blended in. You can also try what is being dubbed “Driving Santa” by mixing Saint Arnold’s Art Car IPA and Christmas Ale, however you’ll have to make that at home, until Saint Arnold decides to give us another shot!

I can’t think of a comparison for Sailing Santa. It literally is in a class all by itself in my books!

I gave Sailing Santa a four star rating because it is a great Christmas beer. It’s very flavorful, its very well balanced, and it’s a brainchild of us, the local beer drinkers of Houston!

Sailing Santa has a light red/ slightly bronze looking body with a slight tan head and little to no lacing on the glass.

In all honesty, this is the first year I’ve tried Sailing Santa, and that’s mainly due to the fact that most seasonal beers aren’t my style. I know pumpkin beers are big, but they’re not my thing. I’d previously grouped Christmas and pumpkin into the same category, even though I realize they’re not the same flavor profiles. So needless to say, my expectation was low and Saint Arnold totally blew my expectations out of the water… see what I did there?


The artwork reminds me of classic wrapping paper with, of course, Saint Arnold on the front and an anchor wrapped in Christmas lights beside him. It also illustrates reindeer pulling the Elissa in the background. You may have noticed that Saint Arnold recently went through a major upgrade with their designs. I, for one, am a big fan of the fresh new look! (Above red photo on the left is the current label you’ll find in stores today and the Above green photo is the previous, original Sailing Santa label.)

Sailing Santa can be found wherever you’d normally pick up your favorite Saint Arnold brews! I found mine at HEB and have seen it at Specs also.

This beer is great! it will replace the milk and cookies I had previously left out for Santa. I have a feeling he’ll be ok with the change of pace! Were you like me and avoided all seasonal brews or have you tried Sailing Santa before? Either way, let’s talk about it. Drop a comment and let us know which side of the fence you’re on!


Chris loves Beer, Whiskey, Cigars, Music, Sports and Houston! He's worked in the oil industry since 2011. He's an Army veteran and most importantly a husband and father. His favorite beers are hop-forward and unique.

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