8 Winter Holiday Seasonal Beers to Bring in the Christmas Cheer
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s officially time to get out your favorite ugly sweater, turn up the heat, and pour yourself a Christmas ale (or three). But, in a market saturated with seasonal beers, it’s hard to decide which stout, porters, and strong ales to spend your hard-earned money on. Fear not, for like the holiday elves we are, we did the work for you. So, keep the airing of the grievances to yourself, hide the Festivus pole, and get the mistletoe ready because once you crack open one of these beers, everyone is going to be looking for a smooch from you.
Photo: dusanpetkovic (Getty Images)
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Anchor Christmas Ale
Possibly the most famous Christmas beer made in the U.S., Anchor Christmas Ale has been brewed every season for the last 45 years. The 2019 version is 6.9 percent ABV and has flavors of coffee, winter spices, and caramel. It’s the perfect beer to warm yourself after a few hours of back-breaking shoveling.
Photo: Anchor Brewing
Avery Old Jubilation
This 8.5 percent ABV English strong ale is perfectly named because it’s like an explosion of seasonal spices with hints of toffee, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. It’s the perfect beer to sip as you celebrate the first big snowfall of the year. Or, if you don’t get winter where you live, the first time you see a gawdy blow-up Santa on a lawn.
Photo: Avery Brewing
Great Lakes Christmas Ale
This 7.5 percent ABV Christmas ale is a seasonal staple all over the country. With holiday spices like cinnamon, honey, vanilla, and ginger, this malty, rich beer is perfectly suited to be paired with all of your favorite holiday meals and desserts. Yes, even fruitcake if you’re some sort of masochist.
Photo: Great Lakes Brewing
Rogue Santa's Private Reserve
Why wouldn’t you want to drink the beer that Santa himself enjoys? Well, according to the folks at Rogue, Santa’s Private Reserve is an 8.1 percent ABV strong ale that the jolly fat man himself would drink. This limited-edition offering gets an added kick from the addition of maple-flavored, candy cap mushrooms. Candy and beer together at last. That’s what we like to hear.
Photo: Rogue Ales
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
The Quadrupel is one of the most famous Christmas beers in the world. This 10 percent ABV Abbey-style ale is like a whole Christmas dinner in a glass. With flavors of bread, caramel, coffee, holiday spices, and even sugar cookies, you won’t even need to eat dinner. Just drink two of these bad boys instead and take a long nap.
Photo: St. Bernardus Brewery
Shiner Holiday Cheer
Shiner is well-known for its Bock beer. But, if you’re fans of that favorite, you’ll want to try the brewery’s winter season called Holiday Cheer. This 5.4 percent Dunkelweizen is made with roasted pecans and local peaches, giving it a unique flavor perfectly suited for sipping while you huddle under a blanket watching Netflix all night.
Photo: Spoetzl Brewery
Tröegs The Mad Elf
This 11 percent ABV spiced holiday ale is eagerly awaited every season. It pretty much tastes like the holidays in a beer with its spiced flavors including allspice, cinnamon, cloves, honey, and sour cherries. You’ll go mad for this brew and won’t want to share it with anyone. Not even your grandma.
Photo: Troegs Brewing
Prairie Christmas Bomb!
This Christmas beer is literally the bomb (it says so in its name after all). If you enjoy a nice sticky toffee or a rich, fudgy brownie, you’ll love this seasonal stout with hints of cinnamon, cocoa, espresso, and dried fruits.
Photo: Prairie Ales