Ah, the joys of family, food and festivities! We have already posted some of our favorite cocktails, holiday recipes and decorating tips. But, we left out one of Nick’s favorites – beer! As a former bartender, I always looked forward to the various winter beers that would come through. In this post, we break down ten of the best beers that should be readily available across the nation this winter that we recommend picking up at your local shop.
Brooklyn Winter Ale
Brooklyn, NY 6.0% ABV
This is a malt-heavy Scottish ale with rich, creamy caramel and spice notes.
Samuel Smith’s Winter Warmer Ale
United Kingdom 6.0% ABV
Another nice malty beer with a rich amber color and notes of caramel apples and cherries.
Peak Organic Winter Session Ale
Portland, ME 5.0% ABV
Using Citra hops and roasted wheat malts, the citrusy pineapple hop notes pair really nicely with the toasted notes of the malt.
Germany 14% ABV
Often touted as the king of Christmas beers, Samichlaus is brewed every year on December 6 and bottle aged for at least one year. Spicy notes mingle with raisins and toffee flavors that go down smoothly – with a bit of a bite to match the high ABV!
Belgium 10% ABV
Pours a rich maroon-amber with notes of sour plums and raisins on the nose. This one has a lovely carbonation and pairs alcohol, sweetness, sour and malt perfectly.
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
Belgium 10% ABV
Pours darker and has more spice on the nose than the Delirium. The spice carries through the taste and finishes with a strong residual alcohol sweetness.
San Francisco, CA 5.5% ABV
With notes of citrusy pine, spices and toffee, this beer has an equally warming effect to the higher-in-alcohol Belgian varieties. This beer finishes clean with an enjoyable Christmas crisp on the end.
Troegs Mad Elf
Hershey, PA 11% ABV
The name of this one doesn’t lie. Imagine a mad elf combining a blend of honey and cherries and brewing this sweet and delectable concoction with a surprisingly high alcohol level.
Southern Tier Crème Brulee Stout
Lakewood, NY 9.6% ABV
Pours pitch-black with a very strong dessert nose. A full-bodied, very rich beer that can be split among friends for… dessert!
Ridgeway Lump of Coal
United Kingdom 8% ABV
This export stout has subtle and well-balanced notes of malt, berries, spice and licorice. Surprisingly light in body, it goes down smoothly with a nice creamy mouthfeel.
What are some of your favorite winter-time brews? Let us know below!