#holidaybeer – PorchDrinking.com
I’ve done my best this year. Sure, I may have had a few bumps in the road on my way to the Nice List, but what can I say? I’m only human. Besides, a few parking tickets never hurt anyone! Look Santa, I want to reason with you. I don’t need anything too fancy, so you can save the diamond earrings and shiny new cars for the real heroes out there. There is really only one thing I want to find in my stocking this year, and it’s a shiny new bottle of Shiner Holiday Cheer from Spoetzl Brewery. Now, they probably don’t sell this one where you’re from up North, so I’ll give you a few pointers to make sure you know what you’re looking for.
When it comes to holiday beers, New Belgium Brewing had the market cornered for years with Frambozen: a medium-bodied brown ale awash with fresh raspberries and a delightfully festive pinkish head. The seasonal release was eagerly anticipated every year, and when they discontinued this brew back in 2015, I mourned the loss deeply.
Luckily, though, fans of the tartly fruited brown ale have been treated to new iterations of the classic over the past few years. An imperial version with cocoa was delightfully similar to the original, with subtle hints of chocolate that deepened the overall flavor without adding too much sweetness. I suspect it was the success of that iteration that brings us to the current limited release: New Belgium Brewing Foeder Frambozen.
Like an adult candy cane, Lloyd Christmas Peppermint Chocolate Porter from 3 Freaks Brewery in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, offers a minty, tasty holiday treat that captures the spirit of the season. Each year the brewery tweaks the recipe to explore new flavor profiles; the 2019 version seems more mint-centric and somewhat lighter on the chocolate than previous incarnations.
As I was using a plastic snow shovel to chip away at the glacier-sized chunks of hardened ice in my driveway the other day, I was reminded of just how much I loooove the holiday season. And what’s not to love? Dry, cracked hands that look like a relief map of the Mojave Desert? Check. General sense of terror every time I walk in public because no one got the memo about covering their coughs and sneezes? Double check. But at least there’s good beer.
It’s great that St. Nick takes care of the kids. But, for grown-ups, it’s all about St. Bernardus. He doesn’t need to send his elf for your shelf because his smiling face and festive hat adorn every bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. One sip of the exquisite Belgian beer will surely bring an abundance of holiday joy to any beer fan.
Ah, the holiday season. A time for cheesy movies, eating too many tree-shaped cookies, and imbibing in specialty beers that just fit perfectly with the time of year. Seasonal brews are a staple in nearly any taproom; since the colder months give brewers the inspiration to create warming and holiday dinner inspired drinks.
Maxline Brewing is now one of Fort Collins’ must-drink breweries. They have several awesome seasonal beers on tap, including their fiery Mean Heat Wheat and the childhood-cereal reminiscent Arrez Con Leche. This year, however, Maxline and head brewer Shaun Woodbury added Maxline’s Spiced Plum Ale to the rotation.
Cheer and happiness and all that festive crap is important, I suppose. But once in a while, the get-off-my-lawn crowd needs a shoutout. If you love the holidays and feel all warm and tingly at the sight of fresh December snow, this ain’t the article for you, Cindy Lou Who. This one’s for the grinches, the scrooges, the grown Charlie Browns; the curmudgeonly and cantankerous cranks of the world.
My promise to you right off the bat, is that there will be no cute rhymes here. If there’s anything I hate more than holiday music, it’s the nauseating rhymes companies try to incorporate into everything. Between the stress of shopping, the weather, traffic and that unbearable Mariah Carey song, we need an Ultimate 6er – and not just any 6er – to get us through to New Year’s Day. There are 12 shopping days left until Christmas, and today is 12/12. So here’s a 6er of beers that are all at least 12% ABV to pair with the season’s most pervasive annoyances.
The holidays are behind us and it’s time to put away the tree and restore the yard to it’s former non-whimsical state. While most folks are scouring stores for deeply discounted wares or decorations for next year, I’ll be driving around town looking for the last of the Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale. Even though Christmas has officially past, this rich, malty old ale pairs perfectly with cold weather and hearty meals and is only available from October through December each year.
Just when you think you know what to expect from a Christmas Ale, Around the Bend Beer Company comes along and provides a unique holiday surprise — the Pretty Lights Belgian Tripel with Cranberry and Almond. Although this beer is exceedingly capable of standing on its own, it would be tough to find a beer more suited for pairing with a holiday feast.
It’s about that time everyone. You know what I’m talking about. It’s about that time where you’re going to be snuggled up close and personal with your family for an extended amount of time. And whether you love em’ or could live without em’, a tall, stiff drink does a body (and peace of mind) good! When a cold glass of beer won’t scratch that ugly sweater party itch, enter the beer cocktail as a very important part of your Holiday survival guide!
ABV: 14.0% | IBU: 65
Fremont Brewing delivers another liquid giant to liven up another holiday season. Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb is the awesomely adjunct-ed, cooler and even more popular older cousin of Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Ale, Fremont’s flagship bourbon barrel aged beer. It can be found lounging around the MoonTower, slicking back it’s long golden waxy locks, and murmuring phrases like: “Alright, alright, alright.”
Welcome to the time of year when families gather to spend quality time in the same room staring at their phones. With all kidding aside, sometimes it is nice to take a step back to reflect on the good old holiday traditions of the past, with a good old Christmas Ale.
What better way to get acquainted with Holiday beer than a December beer festival offering local, national and imported selections? For instance, BrewLights 2016 — a craft beer festival held amidst Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo’s animal family, adorned by a plethora of holiday lights and accompanied by plenty of holiday tunes. The scene at BrewLights made it tough not to get into the holiday spirit. Throw in a little nip in the air and the smell of Christmas beer, and it’s as if Santa himself has arranged the party. As you shop this year, it may be difficult to know what holiday-seasonal beers to purchase, so let’s go through the 12 beer samples of Christmas provided at BrewLights 2016.
Moody Tongue Brewing in Chicago, the brainchild of Jared Rouben, a graduate of both the Culinary Institute of America and Seibel, recently opened its new, cozy taproom on the city’s west side. With that opening, Moody can now provide its coveted Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner on draft – a sinful holiday beer treat for either the naughty or nice this year.
ABV: 4.8% | IBU: 16
You know when you eat too much turkey at Thanksgiving and you regret it? Or you pour yourself a spicy pumpkin porter and realized it’s exhausting? This doesn’t happen with this beer. ?
The Day of the Dead – or Día de los Muertos – involves a myriad of cultural traditions, largely comprised of the Roman Catholic All Saints Day celebration and ancient Native Mexican observances associated with those who’ve passed. But, like most things these days, the festivities have evolved in such a manner as to take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, which ultimately results in a large party! Throughout Mexico and the U.S., it’s a good excuse to have some fun. Let’s just make sure we do it with the right beer.
ABV: 9.2% | IBU: 11
Let me preface this showcase: Upslope’s standard Christmas Ale is a really solid holiday dubbel. The Abbey Ale Yeast adds pleasant notes of dried fruit to the beer’s expected holiday spice to create a unique flavor. By any measure, it’s a good holiday beer.
That said, the Upslope Wild Christmas Ale takes it to a new and unexpected level.