If you are looking for some fruity, high alcohol, complex, ruthless, holiday cheer in a bottle, then Mad Elf Ale is a seasonal craft beer for you. And this beer is not messing around! This tasty brew, with a mosaic of rich cherry and harmoniously sweet honey, will have you emptying a bottle in no time. But watch out, you can easily down two or three of these bad boys, and before you know it you too will be sporting an empty glass alongside this expression:
Mad Elf is brewed by “Troegs Brewing Company“, founded by brothers John and Chris Trogner, and located in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The name Tröegs is a combination of a nickname derived from the surname Trogner and the Dutch word kroeg (“pub”). –Wikipedia
Unfortunately for many readers, Mad Elf might be hard to come by, as Troegs distribution is limited to states adjacent to Pennsylvania, and maybe slightly beyond, although I’d love to hear from anyone who has managed to find Mad Elf beyond this limited geography (add a comment below). Further complicating matters is the high demand for this succulent beer. Since I live about an hour away from their Hershey location, I have not encountered too many issues finding Mad Elf at my local Wegmans or my beer distributor of choice, Exton Beverage. However, it seems others are not so lucky when they head to their local store in search for Mad Elf. So, stock up early and often when the Christmas season approaches.
Mad Elf is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and it pours a delightful auburn red with a healthy head dissipating quickly to a slight lacing along the glass. But, if you want a really thick head, just follow these directions printed on each six-pack.
To Release Your Inner Elf:
Hold Chalice & pour the Mad Elf into the bottom center of the glass to create a 2-3 inch robust head. This aggressive pour best releases the Mad Elf’s cherry aroma & distinctive spicy yeast.
Word of caution. If you follow these directions using a standard 12 oz glass, like the one Troegs sells specifically for Mad Elf, be prepared if that “robust head” decides to spill over the sides.
Think of Mad Elf as a more robust, full-bodied Belgian
Triple Quadruple that one drunken night found itself passed out in a cherry and honey filled bathtub. Upon first sip, it quickly becomes apparent you are drinking a different category of beer. The carbonation is kept to a minimum, although I wouldn’t exactly call Mad Elf “smooth,” it still goes down quite nicely, and the warmth of the 11.0% ABV is readily apparent. The flavor is quite complex with an even balance of hops and malt and just the right amount of spice. Mad Elf might actually be a beer that non-beer drinkers will like, or anyone who likes a good quick buzz. And after you get that good buzz going, it’s not unlike the warm tingle you get from a fine wine.
But, it’s getting late in the season to experience the Mad Elf. So, get yourself to the nearest beer outlet and pick up a six-pack. Shit, make it a case.