Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Ridgeway Brewing's Insanely Bad Elf

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 5, 2007 7:00PM

2007_12_botw49.jpgWe were downstairs at our neighbors' a couple weeks back, drinking bloody marys before the Bears-Broncos game while we were making chicken stock for soup. Normally, we make a killer bloody mary. But on this occasion we were missing something. Turned out that our neighbor had the cure-all: a good beer chaser.

She had been to Sam's earlier in the week and picked up some selections from Ridgeway Brewing, and the first bottle she opened was a bottle of Ridgeway's Insanely Bad Elf. Labeled as an imperial red ale, we savored the caramel malt, toffee and raisins we picked up as flavors, then just as quickly were hit with some serious alcohol burn and a sticky mouthfeel. That's when we realized that this beer is actually a barley wine, not a red ale. Had we read the label before taking a glass we would have realized that from the 11 percent a.b.v. content.

Ridgeway Brewing has a history of making holiday-themed beers with crazed elves on the labeling. Two years ago their "Seriously Bad Elf" and "Warm Welcome" beers were banned from sale in Connecticut because they featured Santa in some precarious situations. Bet you won't see that brought up on Fox News when they start the drumrolls for their annual "War on Christmas." Anyway, cooler heads prevailed in Illinois, and we've been able to enjoy Insanely Bad Elf, Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week."

Image via Utah Beer.