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Ridgeway Brewing Company - Santa's Butt

Ridgeway Brewing Company - Santa's Butt

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club International Beer Club



Alcohol by Volume:


Ridgeway Brewing Company - Santa's Butt

  • ABV:

  • Serving Temperature:

    50-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    English Pint Glass, Mug or Stein
Why this beer's label didn't upset Connecticut officials, we have no idea. The image of Santa Claus on this beer's label is just slightly more conspicuous than the Very Bad Elf label, a point that distributor Dan Shelton of Shelton Brothers Distributing was quick to point out during the ordeal; "We even had a beer called Santa's Butt last year. They didn't notice Santa's Butt, but they notice this one. How can you miss that big red thing?" Priceless…

Clearly, the unusual name is caricaturized on the label, but the term "butt" doesn't really mean what you might think it does. But hey, it's tough to avoid the temptation of using the name to its fullest double entendre potential. Consider for example this statement that originally led our panel's review notes: "our panel really loved the taste and feel of Santa's Butt." But what does the name really mean? Let's get down to the core of Santa's Butt… OK, OK, sorry! As you can see, the possibilities are endless… "Butt", though today a bit archaic, originally referred to an especially large barrel that held exactly 108 imperial gallons. Diehard fans of porter (or your average beer geek) will recognize the term from porter's original name: entire butt. The term 'entire' referred to the fact that porter, which originally came in three different 'threads' or varieties, was eventually blended in 'butts' at the local pub (come on, we're trying to be serious here!) and this blend, which had the characteristics of the 'entire' range of porter threads was the incarnation of porter that made it profoundly popular with London's local "porters".

Santa's Butt has a rich, ripe nose (do we have to ask again? Be serious!) featuring notes of figs and plum, hints of licorice, and a touch of smoked peat. Expect rich, syrupy malts to flood the palate, with hints of milk chocolate, plum, figs, coffee, anise, and smoky, roasted malts. The finish is mildly bitter, with characteristically English porter notes that distinguish themselves from the chalky, resolutely dry bitterness present in many domestic interpretations of the style. Great with fig pudding, or chocolate covered raisins, pretzels or nuts. Ahhh, nuts and Santa's Butt, what could be better? People, please! Get your minds out of the gutter!! Fact is, Santa's Butt smells and tastes great… Oh geez… we've done it again… Happy holidays everyone!
You'll find our featured brewery about 30 miles west of downtown London. The Ridgeway Brewing Company stands as a proud Phoenix that has risen from the ashes of the revered Brakspear Brewery. Sometimes there's just no sense to life… such is the sentiment many craft beer drinkers—UK citizens and others—felt when they heard that this venerable establishment, where the most famous and perhaps best Bitter in England had been made for centuries, was being sold off to make room for an upscale hotel. The year was 2002, and for an establishment that had been in operation since 1779, the situation was a real heartbreaker. Thankfully, the master brewer at Brakspear was determined not to let his craft come to an end. Peter Scholey set out on his own, setting up shop as the Ridgeway Brewing Company, not far from the site of the original brewery. The Ridgeway Brewery is named for the ancient road—passable now only on foot—that meanders through the southwest of England. The now patchy stone surface of the Ridgeway was laid by Britain's oldest inhabitants, the Druids, thousands of years before the Romans set down their own routes through the region. It is the oldest road in the British Isles and Europe. It runs for nearly 100 miles, passing Stonehenge as well as Peter Scholey's relatively modern home. It would seem the name represents Scholey's intent to keep British history alive and well as he connects old-world brewing with modern brewmaster's innovation.
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