Merry Christmas Eve! The featured beer painting for the day is of Samichlaus Helles by the Castle Brewery in Eggenberg, Austria. This beer may look like a normal Helles beer, but it is not. It is actually a big barleywine-type of malt liquor at 14% ABV. Brewed in a castle in Austria, this beer is extra special, because it is brewed only once a year on December 6th, and then aged for 10 months before bottling. I hope your local bottle shop has this offering, because this is a rare release, and may not make it everywhere, because of its limited nature. It’s been a tradition to brew this beer since 1321, but it was halted periodically including a period starting in 1986, but was reinstated in 2007. I first drank this beer in 2007 when I was painting my first big beer paintings series called 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. Now, seven years later, this beer tastes much better than I remember. I have had many more barleywines, strong ales and lagers since then, or maybe this was a better vintage year. I don’t know, but I feel this was an exceedingly good batch. A great dessert beer, and a perfect pairing with snack cakes. I just got a case of Tastykakes from Philly as a Christmas gift from my buddy Rich, and the Samichlaus matched perfectly. Crack open a 12 oz bottle, but share it with at least one other person, otherwise you will feel your head spin.
Cheers to Christmas, and seasonal brews! The Samichlaus is a very good brew for the holiday season! Wish I could go to Eggenberg to see the castle where this beer is brewed. From all the images I saw on the Internet, I surmise that peacocks roam the castle grounds. Better go in the winter season, so I can go skiing in the Austrian Alps too!