A Christmas ale away from Christmas Ale

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2012/11/29 by Mr. DNA

In Cleveland, despite being the place where this beer comes from, it is often extremely hard to find Great LakesChristmas Ale, due to its popularity.

Oh my … there you are, you elusive little RASCAL!

Being as it is hard enough to find this beer in Cleveland, living in Calgary, there is no way that I could ever taste the delectability that is Christmas Ale (“impossible” would be an understatement).

However, I am happy to report that I have found a beer to replace, or at least tease, that urge of satisfaction.

Oh, hello there.

I say “found” with some trepidation, because Lagunitas has been brewing Brown Shugga’ since 1997. I can only imagine it has been around as long as (if not longer than) Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale. Regardless, despite being on my radar for some time, this was the first year to try it, and it rang my bell as much Christmas Ale does.

[Side note: I couldn’t find any information on which came first, the Shugga’ or the Christmas Ale, but Great Lakes has been brewing Christmas Ale at least as far back as 1999 when they took a Silver Medal in the World Beer Championships.]

While the two beers are not identical, I find it to be a deliciously suitable replacement for when I’m craving the warmth of high alcohol content, that bittersweet Christmassy spiciness and thinking of those cold, Cleveland winter nights.

And the best part? Even in October or November, I can throw it in my “Canadian refrigeration unit.”

Pretty chilly, eh?


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