Brewer: Ninkasi Brewing
Style: German Altbier
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 features the big guy standing up in his sleigh and flashing devil horns. 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.