Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Dec 20, 2013 10:40PM

2013_12_20_alpha_klaussmall.JPG If you're at a loss for buying a gift for a beer loving friend or family member this Christmas, we can tell you what we'd like to see in our own stocking next week.

Alpha Klaus is a Christmas Porter that Three Floyds makes annually and every year it's just as good as we remember. It's definitely one of the hoppier porters we've ever tasted, which is apparent before you even take your first sip. The nose of this beer is loaded with hop notes, we pick up pine and spruce and a little hint of espresso from the heavily roasted malt. If this beer is fresh, it almost smells like a Christmas tree. On the palate, those earthy hop notes hit right up front with a palate-awakening bitterness that leads to a complex malt profile that's laced with hints of raw cocoa, espresso and burnt caramel. The hop notes mix so well with the roast bitterness of the malt here, but the beer is also brewed with a little Mexican sugar, which lends just enough sweetness to balance the recipe. At 6 percent alcohol content, Alpha Klaus is a relatively full-bodied and full-flavored beer that won't knock you over if you decide to have a few rounds in front of the tree.

Alpha Klaus fits very well into our Christmas drinking because it's very different from a lot of other Christmas beers out there. A lot of Christmas beers are brewed with various spices or honey and some are very heavy, dark beers with high alcohol content. Alpha Klaus manages to stay sessionable and gain it's spicy component from the hops the brewery uses. It's a beer that we feel really captures the wintery spirit but in a way that's unique to Three Floyds. Alpha Klaus may be a little difficult to pair with food. It may pair best f you were roasting beef or lamb and there was a slightly sweet sauce on the dish. You could also try it with chocolate, but dark chocolate would work better than milk.

Alpha Klaus is available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. Check beermenus.com to see where you can snag some this weekend.