We all know about the 12 days of
Christmas. They involve such strange presents as leaping lords, swimming swans, pipers, drummers, gold rings, and a literal partridge in a pear tree (is that one gift or two?). But what if we’re not interested in getting a bunch of waterfowl or a maid in the midst of milking a cow? In that case, you can just spend the weeks before Christmas imbibing the 12 best holiday beers that are perfectly suited to set the seasonal mood.
This year don’t give Santa Claus some lame room temperature milk and stale cookies. Instead, opt for one of these 12 great beers.
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12 Beers of Christmas
Boulevard Snow & Tell
Snow & Tell is a 6.3 percent Scotch ale that’s well-suited for drinking in front of a roaring fire as you watch snow cascade down outside. It’s highlighted by hints of sticky toffee, rich caramel, and a subtle smoky backbone.
If you want to kick your holiday festivities up a notch, grab some of this 10.7 percent whiskey barrel-aged Christmas Ale. It’s filled with charred oak, sweet caramel, and rich whiskey flavors.
This 6.7 percent brew is referred to as a “festive winter ale” for a reason. It’s the perfect amount of subtle spice followed by rich malts, sweet caramel, and dark chocolate.
Golden Road Christmas Cart
You might not immediately think of wheat beers when you think of the holidays, but Golden Road is hoping to change that with its holiday wheat ale bursting with hints of dried cherries, cinnamon, allspices, and Christmas cheer.
Photo: Golden Road
Great Lakes Christmas Ale
This 7.5 percent Christmas Ale was pretty much designed to be paired with all of your favorite foods. It’s subtly spicy and full of honey and caramel sweetness that pairs perfectly with deep-fried turkey and literally every seasonal dessert.
Photo: Great Lakes
Anchor Christmas Ale
The most iconic Christmas Ale in the US, Anchor has been this annual release since 1975. This year, it’s 7 percent, smooth, spicy, and the best accompaniment to seasonal dishes.
This festively brutal beer is 6.5 percent ABV and is aptly adorned with Santa Claus wearing only a barrel. It’s full of wintry spices, caramel, and hints of candied orange peels.
Photo: Revolution Brewing
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
One of the most classic Christmas beers, this quadruple ale is 10 percent alcohol and brimming with wintry spices and malts.
Photo: St. Bernardus
Victory Winter Cheers
This 6.7 percent hazy wheat beer is the perfect respite for the usual dark, higher ABV beers. It’s refreshing, robust, and full of bright citrus flavors guaranteed to warm you up on a cold, snowy day.
Bell's Christmas Ale
Bell’s Christmas ale is a 7.5 percent Scotch ale. It’s the perfect warmer for a chilly, winter day with its flavors of sweet caramelized sugar, rich malts, and creamy vanilla.
Rogue Santa's Private Reserve
One of the most anticipated holiday beers, this year Santa’s Private Reserve is a Peppermint Bark Milk Stout. It’s full of festive flavors like peppermint, rich chocolate, and subtle coffee.
Troegs Mad Elf
This beer is named for a reason. This 11 percent ABV Christmas ale, brewed with cherries and honey is rich, sweet, and the perfect way to warm up during the cold days ahead.