T’was 12 days before Christmas, when all through the brewhouse.
Beer fans were stirring over some nicely brewed stouts.
The kegs were filled by the brewers with care,
In hopes that there’d be enough carbonation there…
Every year around the holidays, Santa Fe Brewing Company gets into the giving and sharing spirit with a festive little tradition they call the Twelve Beers of Christmas. Starting on the 12th of December, for 12 days they give the local brewing community the opportunity to show off their brewing prowess, which they then share with you, the brew-loving public.
Beginning as early as October, homebrewers, brewery employees, and any brewing enthusiasts jazzed enough to brew head over to the brewery on a Small Batch Saturday. There, on SFBC’s dime and gear, they make a special batch of holiday beer. Then, for those 12 days and 12 nights, it’s buzzes, warm fuzzies, and Christmas tree lights. Sorry, I got a little carried away there.
BrewBound.com posted SFBC’s [Press Release] to their site, detailing the event. But, for our local, loco-cervezaphiles — because it’s Christmas, and because we care — The Crew is bringing you a full list of the beers and their tap dates, so take a look below and mark your calendars, folks! Synchronize your watches, if people still do that sort of thing, and make it out to either of Santa Fe’s taprooms for some special batches of Yule fuel.
Dec. 12 — John, Paul, and Chantal’s Smoke ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em
Dec. 13 — Sweet Ginger Brown
Dec. 14 — Bill’s Dreaming of a Double White Christmas
Dec. 15 — Catz Pajamaz Chai Porter by Dave!
Dec. 16 — The Jive Turkey by Leif
Dec. 17 — Luke and Panda’s Piñon Roasting on an Open Fire
Dec. 18 — Carnie’s Coal in Your Stocking Stout
Dec. 19 — Orange Chocolate Cream Stout by Jason Kirkman
Dec. 20 — Biscochito Stout by Miggs and Jerome
Dec. 21 — Minty Fat Man Stout (SF Tasting Room), Wassail (Eldorado Tap House)
Dec. 22 — Flaming Reindeer
Dec. 23 — Saffron Tripel
According to social alchemist, Max Otwell of SFBC, “the beers will be tapped at 5 p.m. sharp on the weekdays and 2 p.m. on the weekends.” So get there early because they can (and will) go fast! Just ask the folks who didn’t get to try the Biscochito Stout last year. That’s right, I still haven’t gotten over that. Bah-h*mb*g, indeed! I was, however, there for the Small-Batch Saturday when the now famous Zymurgic duo Miggs and Jerome brewed a tweaked version of that big biscochito beauty for this year’s 12 Beers, and I’ll tell you, both were in excellent form that day, and they’ve brought down the Christmas hammer hard with an assortment of quality ingredients and perhaps utilizing a little Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout for inspiration.
Miggs shared a little info with me about his and Jerome’s beer: “This is our third generation Biscochito Stout, and it’s the second time we had it included in the 12 Beers of Christmas. The first gen was made for our friends and family. We’re fortunate we can share this version with more people.”
So, Merry Christmas, stout fans! He went on to say, “We try to make the batches different every year. This year is different because we got our cinnamon from a local spice shop. In this batch, we included two sticks of Ceylon (True) Cinnamon. It’s not as spicy as the traditional one, so we think it’ll give the beer a nice taste.” Miggs definitely plans to get out there earlier this time to try his finished brew. Last year it had sold out quickly at the brewery, and he had to drive out to the Eldorado taproom just to get a taste! True story.
Discounted beer for a good cause
Also, happening during this holiday event, the Sangre De Cristo Craft Brewers Club and Santa Fe Brewing Co. are pairing hand-crafted brews with good holiday feelings, by holding their annual canned food drive.
President of the club, John Rowley, said, “For each can of food you bring in to either SFBC location, you get a dollar off a pint (limit two discounted pints).” It should be noted, however, that there’s no limit to donations and good karma. “All of the cans will be donated to various local food banks depending on availability and accessibility. Any cat or dog food brought in will be taken directly to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, as it happens to be the preferred charity of the club.”
Regarding this special holiday event, Rowley explained, “12 Beers of Christmas is a long standing tradition, as the club has been collaborating with the brewery for many years now. It’s a fun way to showcase the club’s creativity and brewing skills, as brewery employees and club members get to place their holiday themed beers on tap for the 12 consecutive days leading up to Christmas. Many fun and tasty beers come out of this collaboration, and it’s a great way to bring people out and to get them in the holiday spirit. This year’s events look to be pretty good, so, I encourage people to come out, bring some canned food, and enjoy a pint brewed by local enthusiasts.”
‘Now I have an excuse to be at the brewery every day,’ is what I’m going to tell my girlfriend. But seriously, I hope you guys can make it out to share in this fun holiday tradition. Some of these beers are brewed by award-winning brewers. And then there’s the one I made, too. But don’t worry; Max already assured me there would be batches on standby just in case something goes awry. So come on out, and get your merry on! It’s all for a good cause — the brewery and the beer community, coming together to spread holiday cheer with holiday beer, and helping out the less fortunate in one nice little package. Is there a better way to wash away the humbugs? I think not. Sure beats 12 drummers drumming, anyhow.
Holiday brews will be available at both Santa Fe Brewing Co. locations, releasing at 5 p.m. on the weekdays, and 2 p.m. on the weekends. The event kicks off today (Friday) with a recipe Rowley designed, “Smoke Em If You’ve Got ‘Em,” a smoked rye Brown Ale, brewed with Santa Fe Spirits Colkegan Mesquite-Smoked Malt, a touch of Weyermann rye, and some Indian Jaggery sugar.