Ninkasi Brewing's Sleigh'R

You might expect that a brewery named after the ancient Sumerian goddess of brewing would take a more reverential approach to holiday tradition. Instead, the Eugene, Oregon-based Ninkasi Brewing Company features the big guy standing up in his sleigh and flashing the devil horns. The beer is called "Sleigh'R" and the name is written out in the spiky font that adorned heavy metal albums and defaced every school desk we sat in during the 80's.

Sleigh'R is what the brewery calls a "Dark Doüble Alt Ale." "Alt" translates to "old" in German and the altbier style is brewed in what Germans consider the old way, with ale yeast instead of lager yeast. The beers are well balanced with warm malt flavors and a punchy finishing bitterness. 

Sleigh'R is deep brown with toasty, caramel aromas and flavors, a hefty 7.2 percent alcohol punch, and a bitter finish that's just short of IPA levels. It's refreshingly drinkable and we'd give it a thumbs up, but under the circumstances we'll just flash the devil horns and order another pint.