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Home » Breweries

Piggly Wiggly Releases a Holiday Ale

Submitted by on December 6, 2011 – 6:13 pmNo Comment

From micros to macros, breweries around the world release their holiday ales and lagers this time of the year, some to glowing reviews, and others to not-so-kind remarks.

And then there’s Piggly Wiggly.

The grocery chain with the chuckle-inducing name and stores mostly through the South introduced two store-brand beers earlier this year under the “Pig Swig” brand: Pig Tail Ale and Pig Pen Pilsner.

Now Piggly Wiggly stores (“Bringing home the bacon for millions of American families since 1916”) in South Carolina and coastal Georgia also will offer a holiday brew beginning this week: Seven Swines ‘a Swigging Ale.

Here’s how the Piggly Wiggly folks describe it:

Seven Swines ‘a Swigging Ale pours a deep, copper color while delivering a light, crisp body.  Noble and American Hops balance a touch of holiday spice to warm even the coldest Scrooge.

Seven Swines ‘a Swigging Ale is the third Pig Swig variety to hit the shelves this year (“Pig Tail Ale” and “Pig Pen Pilsner” debuted at the end of May). All three varieties are brewed locally by Thomas Creek Brewery in Greenville, SC.

Before the collective wrath of beer snobs begins to heap ridicule on this venture (which comes in at a respectable 6.5 percent ABV), they need to consider a few things.

  • The other Pig Swig brands garner relatively decent ratings on BeerAdvocate.com and RateBeer.com. BA tasters give Pig Tail Ale a high-average score of C+, while the RB score comes in at 2.6 on a scale that goes to 5.0. The Pig Pen Pilsner gets a weighted average of 2.0 on RateBeer; no one has ranked it on BA. These are not the sort of scores that indicate gold medal wins at the Great American Beer Festival, but by comparison, Budweiser is given a 1.4 on RB (D+ on BA), and Walgreen’s store brand Big Flats 1901 receives a C- on BA, and a weighted average of 1.86 on RB.
  • Thomas Creek Brewery contract brews for a lot of brands, makes some pretty good beer of its own and has brought home medals from the GABF.
  • The brand names of the Pig Swig brews are as funky and irreverent as any produced by craft breweries.

OK, that last point may have nothing to do with the taste of the beer, but if I lived in the region where the holiday ale was offered, I’d be sure to give it a try. It sounds promising, and likely a step above most other store brands.

If any of you get a chance to taste Seven Swines ‘a Swigging during a road trip, I’d love to hear what you think.

Now, which of the little piggies in the children’s rhyme had beer … ?

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