Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shaun's Favorite Christmas Ales

It's Christmas time! And that means Christmas Ales, Holiday Ales, Winter Ales and Lagers. I've put together a list of a few of my favorites. One thing that surprises me is the relative affordability of Christmas Ales. I don't know if it's just that brewers are in the giving spirit but a few of my favorites are a relative steal!

What I like in a Christmas beer after the break

It's Christmas Time! Christmas Time! I find there's no better way to bring some holiday cheer to the party then a good Christmas Beer.

I like mine malty and dark with some spices but not overly sweet or syrupy. They should be strong and have backbone to warm you in the cold winter nights. They should bring to mind joyus smells and tastes, like smoky wood burning fireplaces, or fresh pine trees, mulling spices and roasted nuts.

They should fit with the holiday and compliment the sights, smells and tastes. Here are some I think fit the bill perfectly.

This is a great example of all of those things. It's malty with a strong alcohol backbone with spices and some hop pineyness. And the best thing about this beer, you can pick up a Magnum for ~$15! Not a 22, a 1.5Liter Magnum! Awesome in a giant shareable bottle. What is not to love. You bring this to your buddies Christmas party and it is an instant hit.
This goes back to my college days as one of my first Christmas Ales that got the balance right. Most, at the time, were overly sweet and spicy. This one has tons of great cinnamon, clove, and orange peel flavors without being too sweet.

This is a local Seattle beer which is somewhere between a winter ale and pale ale. The best part about this beer is during the season they release so many different versions and they are all great. From the Double Pale Ale Bye Bye Frost to the Jack Daniels barrel aged Jack Frost there is even a winter beer festival 

How can you say no to a bottle that has Santa throwing the devil horns and the '80's hair band font! A little lighter in body but plenty of malt and alcohol. Deceivingly drinkable.

Deschutes every year releases their Jubeale. It's a mix of IPA and winter ale. So it's hoppy, malty, strong, and bitter. It's not for the faint of heart and not full of sugar and spice. It's a serious Christmas Ale. There is nothing funny or whimsical about this one. I recommend drinking this in a beer bar with beer buddies. Not a party ale.

Strong, sweet, full bodied, Swiss, badass. Once the strongest beer in the world it is a 14% ABV but drinkable LAGER is amazing. Now brewed by Austrian brewer Eggenberg under license. Yay!

Go forth, drink beer and be merry!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

MJS said...

Good post. A mix of an IPA and a winter ale sounds delish! I wish more winter beers were hoppy.