The next three beers that are up are ones we bought to bring home with us to Chris’s parents. We intended on sharing them with his dad, though we only ended up drinking 2 out of the 6 there on Christmas eve. Two ended up accompanying our Christmas dinner and two came back to Pittsburgh with us. Our Christmas eve selection was to open up the two bottles of Penn Brewery’s St. Nikolaus Bock. (It’s neat to have such good local breweries, and even neater when they come with a little bit of history. The building now housing the Pennsylvania Brewing Company used to be home to the Eberhardt and Ober Brewery, which was making beer since 1848. Read more if you’re intrigued.)
Enough with the history and on to the beer! This one was really nice–a dark, malty beer with good German character. (They advertise it as a dunkel bock, though what makes that different from a bock is beyond me at this point.) It smells of malts–the toffee or caramel hints you’d expect–and it tastes malty, though not overly roasted. It doesn’t cross over into the chocolate/coffee flavors, but stays hanging out in the toffee/malt arena. There isn’t much spiciness or hops, which makes it very smooth and easy to drink. Also, it goes very well with Christmas cookies, not so well with eggnog ice cream. (Christmas eve after church pretty much consisted of digging into all sorts of goodies–cookies, ice cream, beer for some of us–and then going off to dream sugarplum dreams.) It’s too bad this is only a Christmas beer, because I found it very enjoyable–it’ll be added to the list of things to look for next Christmastime, methinks.