Have a beery Christmas

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First Posted: 12/14/2014

As we begin to unwind after the hectic shopping season and Santa gets ready to shove his fat, jolly butt down our chimneys it is time to kick back with some great Christmas themed beers. There are many available this time of year with the holiday in mind, but there are, of course, some that are far better than others.

Here is a short list of great beers to help you and your loved ones celebrate what’s left of this year.

1. Tröegs Brewing Company- Mad Elf: This 11 percent ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale is full of sweet cherry aromas and flavor and is an absolute favorite among craft beer lovers. The high ABV provides a gentle warming feeling throughout the body, perfect for cold winter evenings. The addition of cherries adds a great seasonal touch during the holidays. This is a beer that sells out fast so get it quick before it’s too late.

2. Anchor Brewing Company- Our Special Ale: The collectible bottles change each year on this special release along with the beer’s recipe. One reason this beer is so beloved is each year the beer is unique. This beer has long been a tradition for the brewery and this year’s release marks the 40th for Anchor. Notes of cinnamon and ginger balance against dark fruit notes of figs and plums for a true holiday experience in a bottle. This is also a beer that comes in highly collectible 1.5L magnum bottles that make great gifts.

3. Brewery Ommegang– Adoration: A rich and roasty beer with a perfect dose of spicing and a 10 percent ABV that makes for a truly wonderful beer to enjoy by a roaring fireplace. It comes across as a perfect blend of a winter warmer and a Belgian Dark Strong Ale with hints of spices. The most apparent spices are coriander, orange peel, and cardamom which balance perfectly against a strong backbone of sweet malts and Belgian yeast. The high ABV is non apparent and will sneak up on you so take your time with this one

4. Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV – St. Bernardus Christmas Ale: This Christmas Ale is a Belgian Quad with a hefty 10 percent ABV full of rich Belgian goodness. The full body, sweet malts, and Belgian yeast strain makes this a very quaffable and highly enjoyable Christmas ale. Aromas of dark fruits abound with touches of spice that when balanced against the malt gives the appearance of sweet pie crust which makes this beer seem more like dessert in a glass. St. Bernardus brews some of the finest ales in the world and the special Christmas Ale is no exception, fans of Belgian beers simply must try this beer.

5. Ninkasi Brewing Company – Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale: Ninkasi also decided to tip the standard holiday ale style on its head by brewing this wonderful beefed up German altbier. Regular alts are around 5 percent ABV, but Sleigh’r is 7.2 percent ABV and has a deep, toasted malt flavor that finishes dry. Not only is the beer fantastic, but the labeling and logo make it great for the metal head beer lover in your life, but be warned this is a bit harder to find on the East coast.

No matter what you choose to celebrate with this year, there is no shortage of great holiday beers. The flavors and styles are wide and varied but this short selection offers some of the best for craft beer lovers. Whether you celebrate with a small group of friend or a large family, celebrate safely this year and Merry Christmas.