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Home / Blogs / Get to the Pint
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Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 - 119 days ago Get to the Pint

Holiday beer-buzz maintenance

The Night Rider from Manzanita will save you from embarrassment

By Ian Cheesman
IMAG0755 Photo by Ian Cheseman

Over the last few articles, I've made lots of cheap jokes about drinking too much on Christmas. This article will be no different. I see no reason to start classing this joint up before New Year's Resolutions kick in. However, I would like to approach it from the serious, logistical side of


I am writing this from the comfort of my parent's home in Orange County in my snuggliest of jammies, admiring a panorama of gifts while I sip on my warm mug of Johnnie Walker Black. All is peaceful with the world, but it won't be like this for long if I continue drinking at this pace. For the sake of my family's holiday, I need to find something equally festive to drink, but with considerably less potential to summon drunken tirades over the missed dance recitals of my past.

This is what makes The Night Rider from Manzanita a perfect addition to my holiday. This "English Style Dark Mild With Coffee Beans" only weighs in at 4% ABV, making it a perfect beer for buzz maintenance. Luckily its sparse alcohol is not the only reason to give this a whirl. The rusty brown ale, while pouring an anemic to nonexistent head, delivers a plush and inviting nutty aroma with mild notes of milk chocolate. The flavor is coffee-forward as expected, but has a pleasant nutty and earthy character to round it out.

This beer is most certainly adhering to the tenets of a mild. The hopsmack that accompanies so many other Manzanita brews is definitely absent here by design. However, if you enjoy your beers with a tilt to the malty and want some roasty, sweet flavors without the heft of a stout, you'll probably enjoy this.