Well, it’s that time again. Snow is on the ground, fireplaces are lit up, and colorful Christmas trees shine in every window. Cozy nights chatting with friends and family who’ve traveled from afar are yet to come, but now is the time to fill your refrigerator, or a lucky someone’s stocking, with Christmas ales and winter lagers before they’re all gone! With the help of my trusty coworkers, I was able to try some of this year’s most flavorful picks!
Shiner Holiday Cheer, Texas
I don’t normally think of peaches during the winter months, but Shiner makes me think I might from now on. Spiced peach notes on the nose with cinnamon and pecan, the Shiner Holiday Cheer is light to medium-bodied and very, well, cheerful! Great for a crowd, and unpretentious, this will be a hit for the folks that drink Shandys in the summer.
Frankenmuth Brewery Christmas Town Ale, Michigan
Now a perennial favorite, the Christmas Town exhibits loads of spice cake on the nose with toasty malts and mild gingerbread notes. Medium-bodied with soft carbonation, it is very drinkable and just slightly sweet.
Anchor Brewing Company Christmas Ale, California
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Christmas Ale, Anchor has put something truly special out for its purveyors this year. Toasted malts, roasted nuts and a hint of spiced ginger and citrus peel, the Christmas Ale is dry and refreshing. It’s terrific for true beer drinkers, without a lot of the over-the-top cookie/cake spices you get with many other winter beers.
North Peak Dubious Black Chocolate Stout
North Peak’s Dubious pushed the boundaries with rich coffee and coffee liquor on the nose and intense malts and dark chocolates on the palate. Full-bodied and powerful, it has a mild bitterness on the finish. This makes the beer a perfect pairing for pfeffernusse cookies.
Winter beers should be warming and inviting. These picks will do the trick whether you’re having a small, intimate gathering or a full-blown Christmas party.
I’ve registered all these beers on my Untappd app. Have you?
– Jennifer Laurie