Søgaards Bryghus Julebuk on the woodpile
I was ready for a nice brew after clearing the demolished playhouse

Søgaards Bryghus Julebuk | Aalborg, Denmark
[Editor’s note: I actually wrote this on Feb. 8. I’m just now catching up. Sorry if I repeated myself from the last review]
I was excited when I saw this Aalborg brew at Five Points Bottleshop in Athens. I visited Aalborg back in October 1997. We were looking at purchasing a publishing system from the Danish company Saxotech. Their beautiful offices were in an old brewery. Some kind of karma that I would find a brew from Aalborg. I enjoyed several great brews during our visit in Aalborg. There were several pubs, including an English style pub called the John Bull where we enjoyed several pints. In Copenhagen we celebrated Carl Carlsberg’s birthday with his annual birthday brew. Every one that night got a free pint. We all wanted to keep our Carl’s Special pint glass but were denied.

Dane’s know how to brew beer. Unfortunately not much of it makes it to the U.S.. I long to return to Denmark and show Mrs. Dan and Mr. Ben a country that knows how to enjoy life.

I bought this brew back in February when we were in Athens to distract Beer Brother Brett on his big 40th birthday. His wife and co-conspirators were back home prepping for his surprise birthday party.

I had planned to drink this during the Olympics to celebrate any victories Denmark achieved. Unfortunately their team of 12 athletes didn’t win any medals, with 6th place in both men’s and women’s curling their best showing. This kind of surprised me since they are pretty close to all those snowy countries. But then again they really don’t have many mountains so maybe Winter sports aren’t their thing.

Søgaards Bryghus Julebuk is one great beer
Søgaards Bryghus Julebuk is one great beer

Then the ice storm hit. This is one of my first reviews since the first night of the ice storm. I was all cheerful thinking it was going to be okay. Using my cell phone I posted a review of Bluepoint Oktoberfest. Little did I know that Mother Nature was about to deliver a really big shit sandwich.

Here it is 5 weeks later and I’m still trying to catch up. I simply haven’t had the energy to do any reviews. Tonight I don’t have much energy but I thought enjoying this brew will soothe my aching muscles after breaking apart Mr. Ben’s play house.

We got nailed. I had the corner of the house ripped away, holes punctured in several places around the roof, the power ripped from the mast and Mr. Ben’s playhouse… one of those play things that has a building, swings and giant sliding board…. was smashed flat from a huge oak limb from a neighbor’s tree. Beer Brothers Brett and Mark (and family) came over the weekend after the storm and helped cut out much of the wood. But we couldn’t remove it all because it was in the middle of the broken boards of the playhouse. Finally that last huge limb is out where I can cut it up.

So, I pulled out this brew, a 22 oz bottle, as I prepped the grill for some chicken.

This is a very dark brown brew. It is obviously unfiltered as there was quite a bit of sediment on the last pour.

I really like this brew. It’s a Christmas brew named after an old Danish game played during the Holidays. The label doesn’t describe the game. But the Danish Wikipedia implies that it’s a Christmas version of Halloween where a group goes door to door searching for food and drink. They are dressed in costumes, which one traditionally dressed as a goat or Julebok which roughly translates as Christmas Goat.

Okay, I like this Christmas Goat. Very malty with strong toffee and caramel flavors. It starts off very bold and smooth and quickly dissipates. The first taste seemed to end a bit hoppy and dry but on one second sip it continues on its malty path but the flavors drop off quickly. No lingering aftertaste. Their isn’t much effervescence, just flavor. It doesn’t form much of a head when poured. The flavors really start to ramp up after it starts to warm up. As usual I started with a nicely chilled brew in a frosted glass. With a 22 oz brew there is plenty of time for the brew to warm up.

I visited their website but it’s in Danish. My Danish is very rusty. I have to assume that Bryghus means brewhouse. I see a Menu in English. Ooohhhh. There is a list of over 35 brews along with a food menu. This is interesting history of many brews they made for special occasions. I believe this is a true brewhouse where you can order just about any brew for any meal.

Carsten, my good friend from Aalborg, who used to work for Saxotech, didn’t laugh when I attempted to speak some common phrases in Danish. He kinda of cringed. Carsten is a good friend. He recently called me when he was on a business trip to Atlanta.

Our business relationship with his company ended in late 1998. On New Year’s Eve of that year he called me at Midnight his time to share the sounds of fireworks at midnight from a hill overlooking downtown Aalborg. He took us to that park during out visit back in 1997. I have to admit I shed a tear that night because it meant a lot to me that Carsten shared his New Year’s with me. I wish I could spend New Year’s in Aalborg at some point in my life.

Just maybe I can do that enjoying more fine brews from Søgaards Bryghus. Here’s a link to some info on their site. “A typical nordic Christmas beer. A rich malty taste is combined with Denmark’s typical Christmas spices orange, anis and cinnamon, that makes this beer so perfect for the most cosy time of the year.” I can’t wait to taste two of their brews Snake Bite and Munkens Ale.

My favorite saying on their site is “It happens that some beer varieties are sold out, but we keep brewing.” Cool.

When we were in Denmark we used the value of a six-pack fo beer to judge what things cost. We determined that 5.5 Kroner was the cost of a six-pack of typical American beer. So we used a 6-pack as the measuring stick. “Wow, that brass ornament is 2 six-packs!”

Nice beer. Nice country. I miss them both.

Brewery: Søgaards Bryghus
Cost: $8 or so


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