The Top Domestic HoHoHoliday Beers
There is arguably no other time of year when the beers are as creative and wide-ranging as they are during the holiday season. Winter brews, spiced brews, riffs on hearty, rib-sticking international brews—this seems to be the time when brewers dig deep into their well of ideas and see what they can come up with. There are, of course, too many great ones to cover in their entirety, but we think that these five are a good start. And they all embody so much of what makes holiday beer drinking so exciting: Deliciousness, creativity, and, often, a sense of humor.
Chanukah: Pass The Beer
Shmaltz Brewing Company He’Brew The Chosen Beer Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer
Made In: Clifton Park, New York
Alcohol: 8% alc.
It’s tough to think of a better-named beer than this one. Actually, hold on: Most of the brews from Shmaltz Brewing Company boast pretty fantastic names. (Jewbelation, any-one?) But this dark ale is just about perfect right now, as Jewish families everywhere gear up for the eight nights of the holiday: This dark ale is 8% alcohol, is brewed with 8 different types of hops, and 8 different malts. With potato latkes or brisket, it’s a winner.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale
Made In: Cleveland, Ohio
Alcohol: 7.5% alc.
When you think of the holiday season, certain flavor profiles come to mind. And this seasonal ale, with its cinnamon, ginger, and honey components, fits into that paradign perfectly. Seek it out, buy a six, and enjoy.
Full Pint Brewing Company, Festivus
Made In: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Alcohol: 6% alc.
In the pantheon of great American holidays, few are as revered or as sarcastically ob-served as Festivus, the Seinfeld-born celebration of airing of grievances, feats of strength, and more. So of course if you’re celebrating Festivus this year—December 23rd—you should ring it in with this vanilla, cinnamon, and mace spiced ale.
Bell's Christmas Ale
Bell’s Christmas Ale
Made In: Comstock, Michigan
Alcohol: 5.5% alc.
A departure from the norm: Bell’s doesn’t spice up their Christmas ale. Rather, they fo-cus on the Michigan -grown and -malted barley for a toffee character that brings to mind the time of year without playing in the same sandbox as so many of their competitors. A bold move from a truly great brewery.
8 Malty Nights
Lompoc Brewing Company 8 Malty Nights
Made In: Portland, Oregon
Alcohol: 6.5% alc.
Ring in the festival of lights with the first Hanukkah seasonal beer from Portland, a chocolate-rye beauty that would be excellent at the table or on its own.