1st December

Welcome to December! For us at TheCru.ie it means absolute pandemonium, but for ye it means oh so many tasty beers!

I think we may have taken all of this beer that was brought into Ireland!

We decided to start with a beer that is all about this time of year! Be Careful!

Samichlaus Classic – 2021 Vintage

  • ABV: 14%
  • Beer Style: Doppelbock
  • Brewery: Schloss Eggenberg
  • Origin: Austria

Like Santa Claus, the brewers of Samichlaus beer carry out a very special task on one day each December. Every year, Austria’s Schloss Eggenberg brewery prepares a batch of Samichlaus on Saint Nicholas’s Day (December 6). Then, they age the brew for ten months, yielding a lager with notes of raisin, malt, and caramel that’s ready for release the following winter. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world.

Europeans once knew Samichlaus as the strongest beer in the world. During the early 20th century, a scientist and yeast specialist named Albert Hürlimann discovered a strain of brewing yeast with an unusually high resistance to alcohol, which became known as the Hürlimann strain. He opened a dozen or so breweries that offered increasingly potent beers, but it took more than two decades to perfect the recipe that would eventually become Samichlaus. In 1979, the doppelbock became Hürlimann Brewery’s staple offering. 

After Albert passed away in 1934, the business remained in the family until 1996 when it merged with another Swiss company. It didn’t last long, however, and Hürlimann Brewery closed for good in 1997. But that wasn’t the end of Samichlaus: Its brewers still team up with Eggenberg once a year to produce their annual batch of Samichlaus each December. The company now touts the beverage as “the world’s most extraordinary,” as its strength has since been surpassed by more extreme beers.

Tasting Notes:

  • Appearance: Bright copper-amber, with no head.
  • Aroma: Honey, candied fruit, caramel, and brown sugar.
  • Flavour: Molasses, toasted sweet bread, caramel, candied fruit, with warming alcohol.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with little/no carbonation thanks to the ABV.