Hey, it’s dark and cold up there at 36,000 feet. Sometimes Santa needs something a little, you know, stronger (wink, wink) than a lukewarm glass of milk that’s been sitting out since the kids’ 7 p.m. bedtime.

What about beer? Guys love beer, even old guys with a strange fashion sense. Santa must have tried beer, right? He’s got the biggest beer belly around.

Dan Kleban, co-founder of Maine Beer Co. and a board member of the Maine Beer Guild, plans to keep things traditional tonight and make cookies and milk with his own kids, 3-year-old twins Madeleine and Oliver. But after they’ve gone to sleep, Kleban might just sneak out a couple of extra libations to help keep Santa jolly.

Kleban says his gift to St. Nick would be two beers. The first would be a low-alcohol, light session ale that Santa would be able to enjoy while conducting his rounds (and maintaining his sobriety). He’ll leave a few bottles so Santa will have enough to share with his reindeer.

The reindeer would like a beer, too? “Of course they would,” Kleban replied. “Who doesn’t like beer?”

Kleban’s other choice would be a higher alcohol beer (9 to 13 percent ABV).

“I would probably leave him a robust imperial stout so he could kick back when he’s all done and open that up at the Pole and knock himself out after a long evening,” Kleban said.

A dark, rich imperial stout is “something that will stick to your bones after a long, cold night delivering gifts.”

— MEREDITH GOAD