The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Breckenridge Brewery 2007 Christmas Ale

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 6, 2008 7:00PM

2008_02_botw6.jpgYou might have the headline to this week's installment and thought, "Isn't it a bit late to review a Christmas ale?" And you may have a point, if you're a Grinch.

We found this beer at Lush Wine and Spirits University Village location over the holidays. The two things that drew our attention to the bottle were the size of the bottle (one full liter) and the top. The beer had one of those ceramic flip tops you used to find on a pint-sized bottle of Grolsch, before they switched to plastic flip tops. More than a novelty, flip tops are a great way of keeping beer carbonated after you've opened the bottle. This bottle lasted us for three days, and the beer never lost its effervescence.

Breckenridge's Christmas ale is a top fermented American strong ale brewed with two row pale, black, chocolate and caramel malts, and a blend of Chinook and Mt. Hood hops. It pours a deep mahogany in color with a long-lasting head and minimal lacing. The abundance of sweet dark malts in this beer gives it a richness not normally found in strong ales. This would be a serious dessert beer to pair with, say, lava cake. Or, maybe you can experiment and drizzle this over fruitcake, another seasonal food that tends to overstay its welcome.

We paid a hefty price for this beer ($24.50) but then saw on the back label that the liters were limited to a run of 1400. Turned out that Breckenridge Brewery's 2007 Christmas Ale, Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week," was worth every penny.