21 Dec Saint Arnold Sailing Santa by Tam
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Houston, TX (Downtown)
Hoppy Holiday Ale with Spices (Christmas Seasonal)
Packaging: 22oz. Bottles
I don’t want to sound like a Grinch, but their was no such thing as traditional Christmas in my household. You’re probably wondering why not, and if you grew up the way I did then you probably wouldn’t need an explanation. My mother was an education oriented woman, and when Christmas break would come around my mom was always complaining about why I wasn’t in school or why I needed gifts. Her biggest lie to this day was that I never got gifts because Santa was disappointed in my grades; I made all A’s! (-_-)
As time progressed, I grew up and ventured into the world on my own. There, I was able to truly enjoy the embodiment of the season; in fact I was spoiled by it. I lived abroad in Europe, specifically Germany, and if you want a “White Christmas” with all the sparkly trimmings then head there. Since this is my first year back home in the land of the free and home of the brave, I had to get my hands on a Saint Arnold Seasonal release. So, needless to say, I was eagerly awaiting this Christmas brew like most kids waiting for Christmas morning.
Sailing Santa, as I was informed by my fellow authors, is a consumer inspired brew. The love child of Elissa IPA and Christmas Ale with its own festive spice twist. When poured, it creates a beautiful copper color that has slight hints of rouge or amber that allows no light to filter through. I personally thought it was a bit cloudy, but it could be due to the pour as the spices where still swirling throughout the brew. It had an inordinate amount of foam head that settled to a light lace after a few minutes but would build with each taste; it wasn’t enough to overpower the taste. That first drink gave me long lasting hoppy taste with a familiar sweet linger. I immediately thought of cinnamon but shook that off when I realized it was nutmeg. So essentially I was drinking a gingerbread cookie! It had a dry finish that completed the concoction of classic Christmas cookie and that high ABV was a welcomed addition.
I gave Sailing Santa a 3.5 because this beer is just perfect for the season, be it with friends, family, or like me settling in with my pups and enjoying the warmth of a chimney fire. Because it is a holiday beer, I expected focus on one main ingredient, just like Pumpkinator which is (surprise surprise) pumpkins.
The packaging is classic with its Christmas “wrapping” that, in my opinion, is Saint Arnold’s way of saying “Hey buddy, I got this gift for you.” You may also notice the subtle symbols within the animation, Elissa ship being pulled by a team of reindeer and the Anchor from the Christmas Ale. I also want to point out that this is the first beer that has no specific craft type, so we drinkers must settle for “A Hoppy Holiday Ale with Spices.” You can find this brew in your local HEB, and if you’re traveling to either Colorado, Louisiana, or Florida you may be lucky enough to find it there too.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t take my word on it! Try it yourself! Christmas is right around the corner and let the reality sink in that you’ll have to wait another 11 months until the next release! So what do you think of this year’s seasonal release from Saint Arnolds? Let us know in the comments below, as always, Beers to you Houston and Happy Holidays!