Dec 6, 2010

Ridgeway Pickled Santa

Ridgeway Pickled Santa

I’ve had a few of the Ridgeway (Shelton Brothers) winter brews through the years. Their catchy, humorous labels were the first thing that caught my attention a few years ago, and I still can’t seem to shake the urge to pick up a bottle or two based solely on their names alone.

It also doesn’t hurt that the beer isn’t half bad considering the cheesy naming conventions they are given. And while Pickled Santa isn’t going to replace any of my favorite brews any time soon, it is a tasty little winter warmer that fits the bill just right.


Luckily, the label artwork isn’t any indication of what was going to show up in my glass once the bottle was poured. Amber in color, the brew sits with a large off-white head that faded to an impressive lacing.


There’s a good amount of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg…) on the nose with this brew. It’s bready, toasted malt forms the backbone with the slightest hop presence, but it’s the spices that dominate the nose.


Pickled Santa doesn’t have as much of a spice presence as the nose indicated, but the cinnamon and nutmeg are still in the mix. The semi-sweet, caramel malts step a bit more into the foreground as the spices serve a complimentary role, only really making themselves known as the beer warms. The medium bodied brew also carries a hint of orange peel, but not sure if that’s from the light hops or spice used in the recipe.


Pickled Santa has got just the right flavors for the season and is a pretty tasty, easy drinking little brew. I don’t know if I would go out of my way to find it, but I would certainly put a couple away on a cold afternoon as snow flurries fill the sky.

Rating: 3/5

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