Twenty Fantastic Holiday and Christmas Beers
Winter Warmers, Strong Ales, and special holiday beer releases fill the shelves of craft beer stores during the winter holiday season in December. Twenty hand-selected beers to try during the holiday season are listed below. Most of our selection is craft-brewed in the US with a few special beers listed which are brewed in Norway, Belgium, Quebec, and Italy.
Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale | Strong Ale | 7% ABV
Rich and malty with a balanced hop presence. Brewed in Lakewood, NY with wide distribution in Eastern and Central US states. First brewed in 2003 and still going strong in 2013.
Full Sail Wassail Winter Ale | Strong Amber Ale | 7.2% ABV, 56 IBUs
Strong and balanced Amber Ale with flavors of Pacific Northwest hops and rich caramel malts. Brewed in Hood River, Oregon and widely distributed throughout the US.
Troegs Mad Elf Ale | Belgian-Style Strong Ale | 11% ABV, 15 IBUs
Strong malty ale brewed with sweet and sour cherries, and fermented with Belgian ale yeast. Seasonally released in the late Fall and available through December. Brewed in Hershey, PA.
Indeed Old Friendly Holiday Ale | Spiced Holiday Ale | 7% ABV
Limited December release. Brewed with fresh ginger root and honey. Rich and malty with pleasant ginger spice flavors. Brewed in Minneapolis, MN.
Cigar City Sugar Plum Brown Ale | Spiced Holiday Brown Ale | 5.5% ABV, 22 IBUs
Special holiday release with flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Brewed in Tampa, Florida and available in southwestern Florida.
Captain Lawrence Winter Ale | Spiced Amber Ale | 6% ABV, 35 IBUs
Balanced Amber Ale flavored with holiday spices. Brewed in Elmsford, NY. Seasonally releases each Winter.
Fort Collins Brewery Big Shot | American Brown Ale | 6% ABV, 38 IBUs
Malty brown ale released in November and available into March. Brewed in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Great Lakes Brewing Christmas Ale | Spiced Holiday Ale | 7.5% ABV, 30 IBUs
Strong ale flavored with fresh ginger, cinnamon, and honey. Smooth and malty with low hop bitterness. Brewed in Cleveland, OH and released each November.
Ninkasi Brewing Sleigh’r | Double Alt | 7.2% ABV, 50 IBUs
Rich and malty with a clean bitter finish. Released in October and available into January. Brewed in Eugene, Oregon.
21st Amendment Fireside Chat | Spiced English-Style Strong Ale | 7.9% ABV, 45 IBUs
Strong ale brewed with dark malts and flavored with holiday spices. Available for the holiday months through December.
Upslope Christmas Ale | Spiced Belgian-Style Dubbel | 8.2%, 25 IBUs
Rich, malty, and fruity with flavors of holiday spices, sweet caramel, and dark fruit. Smooth finish. Released for the holidays and available through December. Brewed in Boulder, Colorado.
Karbach Brewing Yule Shoot Your Eye Out | Spiced Black Ale | 8% ABV, 37 IBUs
Seasonal winter release brewed with dark malts and flavored with ginger, cocoa nibs, orange peel, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Produced in Houston, Texas.
Boulevard Nutcracker Ale | Strong Holiday Amber Ale | 7.8% ABV, 38 IBUs
Brewed with brown sugar and molasses. Rich and malty with a smooth finish. Released for the holidays and available through December. Brewed in Kansas City, MO.
Revolution Brewing Fistmas Ale | Spiced American Red Ale | 6.1% ABV, 31 IBUs
Ruby red ale flavored with ginger root and orange peel. Smooth and malty with moderate hop bitterness. December release. Brewed in Chicago, IL.
O’Fallon Cherry Chocolate Beer | Cherry Chocolate Wheat Ale | 5.7% ABV, 10 IBUs
Seasonal December release specialty beer brewed with cocoa, cherries, and wheat malt. Produced in O’Fallon, MO.
SweetWater Brewing Happy Ending | Imperial Stout | 9% ABV, 51 IBUs
Strong, dark, rich, and roasty ale released seasonally in December. Brewed in Atlanta, GA.
Christmas Verhaeghe | Belgian Strong Golden Ale | 7.2% ABV
Crisp, fruity, and effervescent. Brewed in Belgium and releases annually for the Winter months.
Birrificio Lambrate Brighella | Belgian Style Dark Ale | 8.8% ABV
An Italian craft brewed beer fermented withBelgian ale yeast. Flavors of honey, dark fruit, almond, and ginger spice. Seasonal December release. Brewed inMilan, Italy.
HandBryggeriet Bestfar | Norwegian Christmal Ale | 9% ABV
Brewed in Norway in the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Rich flavors of dark fruit, caramel, and chocolate. Seasonal winter release.
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Solstice d’hiver | Barleywine | 9% ABV
Strong malty ale aged for 5 months and released each December. Brewed in Quebec, Canada.