Earlier this week, I was out looking for some Christmas gifts and was in search for a special beer for a person I work with here at 100.7 The Bay: Joe Heffron, the station’s General Sales Manager. Joe has been with the station for 16 years, but before joining The Bay, Joe worked as the Bar Manager and Marketing Director for Kclinger’s Tavern in Hanover, Pennsylvania. It was during his time at Kclinger’s that Joe developed a passion for craft beer. Alas, Kclinger’s isn’t around anymore but craft beer certainly is!
Earlier this week, Joe asked me if I had ever had Santa’s Private Reserve from Rogue Ales, a legendary Oregon brewery. I told him that I loved the brewery’s products and had Santa’s Private Reserve several times, but it didn’t capture what I was looking for in a Holiday ale.
So with that said, here’s what happened after that conversation. While looking for some craft beer for Joe, I saw a bottle of the 2017 version of Santa’s Private Reserve and it looked very different. The artwork had changed. The colors were different. Instead of mostly red and white, the label was green, red and white. And the recipe had changed, just from the description on the bottle. So I grabbed a bottle and took it home to try that night. When I opened the bottle, I immediately picked up the scent of Belgian candi sugar. Then when I poured the beer, a beautiful deep brown nectar filled my glass, with a thick tan head and I knew my adventure was just beginning. After the head settled, I lifted the glass for my first taste of Santa’s Private Reserve 2017. The aroma had hints of toffee and fruit and the flavor exploded with raspberries and cherries, enhanced by the Belgian candi sugar in the brew. This is a Christmas ale! And on the bottle, it’s all spelled out: a Belgian Dark Ale with Cherries and Raspberries!
Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve is available in 22 ounce bottles and is now on my annual craft beer Christmas list!
With the Holiday Season underway, a cold night and a little snow, warm up with a bottle of Santa’s Private Reserve tonight!
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy