We have Northern California’s Dr. Elmo to thank — or blame — for the unsinkable Christmas novelty hit “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Annoying radio programmers love the song this time of year. So do kids in elementary school. But why couldn’t Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” be the big contemporary Christmas classic, or “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love? Or anything? “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” is now part of our cultural landscape, though, so you must give Elmo props. What the song doesn’t include is the fact that the reindeer each had a craft beer before running over Grandma. Duh. While Peaks and Pints can’t find exactly what the reindeer drank that night, we can make educated guesses. And, since we only have five slots on our flight crosscut, we chose to highlight our five favorite reindeer. Enjoy Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Santa’s Reindeer and happy holidays!
Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Santa’s Reindeer
You know Dasher, all about speed. She chugs. She’s a member of the PNW Chuggers Facebook group. Peaks & Pints is pretty sure Dasher pounded Claim 52 Brewing Stuffed: Raspberry Gingerbread Cheesecake in one chug and then raised the can where all the other reindeer could see it. The dessert sour is conditioned on raspberry puree, gingerbread cookie crumbs and cheesecake. It’s brewed with milk sugar for creaminess too. Dasher could drink it all day.
Santa’s little stargazer, Comet, probably performed a furry little back flip after she drank a Hellbent Brewing Everglow Winter IPA. Brewed with pale malt and a touch of wheat and caramel malts then hopped with Simcoe, Azacca, and Chinook hops with spruce tips added, this light coppered beer offers fruit and berry flavors intertwined with pine and spruce. As much as we believe Everglow is to blame for Comet connecting with Grandma that Christmas Eve night, we know how distractible Comet is when she flies surrounded by the glow of stars. We’re surprised Santa hasn’t given her blinders for Christmas Eve and let her enjoy herself the rest of the year.
Not to be critical, but when you name a reindeer after the pioneers who ended up eating each other in the mountains, you can’t be too surprised that Donner is fascinated with creepy subject matter. Peaks & Pints bets Iron Horse Brewery’s Cookie Death satisfied his craving for that sort of thing. This Death has notes of caramel, cinnamon, oatmeal, and raisin to round out the dark smooth base. It’s a sipper, which we’re sure kept Donner focused more on the beer (and less on his serial-killer trading cards).
Poor Vixen. Peaks and Pints can’t imagine why she ever thought things with Blitzen would last. We mean, Blitzen has always had his eye on Cupid — it was just a matter of time. pFriem Family Brewers Belgian Style Christmas Ale may not fix her broken heart, but she probably took comfort in the wonderful flavors. This big dubbel-based holiday ale is brewed with German Perle hops, candi sugar, coriander and Belgian ale yeast that changes flavor with every sip. Just as you think it’s a toffee delight it morphs into chocolate-covered orange. Then raisin. And cinnamon pastry. Oh, and dried cherry. The flavors change as often as Vixen changes her mind.
Santa was a little reluctant to encourage Rudolph to drink even more, but he knows Rudolph is a reindeer of his word: not a drop till after the last gift is delivered. And when Rudolph did his part, Santa rewarded him with his double IPA namesake, Baerlic Brewing Ho! Ho! Hop Man. This seasonal craft beer is brewed with Cascade, Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Galaxy hop for big pine and sharp citrus character. And before you get all sanctimonious rewarding a reindeer with an 8 percent beer, let us remind you: it’s Rudolph’s red nose Santa hired him for.