By Roger A. Baylor
As Chico Marx once presciently observed, there ain’t no sanity clause, and that’s why restricting one’s choices to either naughty or nice in the sense of holiday largesse is to commit the fallacy of the excluded middle.
In our view, chimneys and voyeurism go together much like Chico’s great uncle Karl and Charles Dickens, author of “A Christmas Carol,” because what is this most materialist of capitalist shopping seasons if not the pretext for a much overdue dialectic?
And then there is the man of the hour himself, Mr. Claus, and he needs his daze off, too, just like the rest of us. NABC’s annual ale in his honor debuted in 2006, and since 2011, the recipe has held fast, as formulated by our director of brewing operations, David Pierce, whose first batch of Christmas ale at the Silo brewpub in 1992 predates the birth of today’s Naughty Claus drinkers of a certain, youthful legal age.
Naughty Claus is NABC’s signature Fall/Winter seasonal release, available on draft and in 22-oz bombers from NABC’s wholesalers in Indiana and metropolitan Louisville. It also can be enjoyed in all forms at NABC’s two New Albanian locations beginning on Wednesday, November 26.
X-mas Spiced Ale
Color: Orange to amber/brown.
Flavor: Medium- to full-bodied. Malty/fruity backdrop, classic Christmas spiced character (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel).
Compare to: Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Old Fezziwig.
Description: Quintessential X-mas. Malts include Rahr pale, Castle aromatic and Crisp medium crystal, with Hosey autumn gold and midsummer day honeys. Hops are German Hallertauer Magnum. Sweet and bitter orange peel, fresh ground ginger, Vietnamese cinnamon and West Indies nutmeg are the spices (with dry-gingering in the Brite tanks). NABC’s house Chouffe yeast completes the scene.
Recipe suggestion: Seeing as Naughty Claus shadows the Wassail bowl, it isn’t an easy call, but since turkey and ham with all the trimmings are common Christmas meals, why not start there?
Updated November 2014