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Keep Houston Press Free
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| Booze |

Merry Christmas to Ale and to Ale a Good Night

If you ever wondered when it as appropriate to drink a particular beer, this is the one day when the instructions are printed on the bottle. Saint Arnold's Christmas Ale should be consumed most of Christmas Day and all of Christmas night. It's a beer that combines big malty flavors with plenty of hops. I like it colder than the recommended 45 degrees.

The Great Brewers website recommends you drink Saint Arnold Christmas Ale with fruitcake. Yeah, right. I drank my last bottle with green onions and radishes. Saint Arnold made extra Christmas Ale this year because the stuff is so popular -- and it's so popular because it's so damn good.

Christmas Ale is one of those seasonal Saint Arnold beers that disappears just when you start getting thirsty for it. It will get yanked from the shelves tomorrow, to be replaced by Saint Arnold Winter Stout. I am as fond of a big black stout as the next beer lover, but I hate to see the last of the Christmas Ale. It reminds me that its almost time to recycle the tree.

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