Best Christmas Beers
Christmas is nearly upon us and while we implore you to get your presents shopping done as soon as is physically possible, make sure you don’t waste time in getting stocked up for all the booze-filled festivities!
While the thought of specially brewed Christmas beer might strike fear into casual drinkers with thoughts of dark pints of heavily spiced meals in a glass, there are plenty of concoctions out there for connoisseurs and average Joes alike. With that in mind, below are our favourite Christmas-inspired beers that should provide a merry Christmas for one and all indeed!
Woods Christmas Cracker
The first beer on our list is a UK classic – Woods Christmas Cracker is as festive as a brew can get and is exactly what you need to get you in the mood. At 6%, this Woods Brewery annual regular won’t be the most session-able on our list but it’s perfect for cold winter evenings with a multi-layered strong ale that has an almost wine-like character with a dark ruby red colour and malty flavours. Strong and dark, Woods Christmas Cracker is perfect for those who like to sit by an open fire while falling asleep to the Dr Who Christmas Special!
Samuel Adams Merry Maker
The first Stateside brew on our list comes from Boston in the form of Samuel Adams’ Merry Maker. This old school American holiday classic is a thick milk stout beer which balances coffee flavours with the rather distinct taste of gingerbread and chocolate. The creamy consistency means this beer is actually better served warm and at 9%, you won’t be starting your Christmas Eve night with Merry Maker anyway! But a bottle of the stuff is perfect for a taste of the festive just before the Queen’s speech.
Blue Mountain Blitzen
Another American on our list is an interpretation of Belgian Biere de Noel and comes in the form of Blitzen by Blue Mountain Brewery. This is another Christmasy dark ruby ale which has been fermented with Rochefort Trappist Brewery’s signature yeast. Blitzen boasts light notes of dark stone fruits as well as some more subtle notes of festive spice. Another fairly bold beer at 7%, this brew is perfect for Christmas and it also usually comes in a bigger 750ml bottle!
Cotleigh Red Nose Reinbeer
Back to the UK and something a little more drinkable at 5%, Red Nose Reinbeer from the Cotleigh Brewery is a festive treat with a rich copper colour. Brewed with a blend of pale, crystal and chocolate malts along with a selection of hops, this complex beer gives a smooth finish with hits of nut, chocolate and toffee. Ideal for winter drinking!
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
If you’re looking to go with the craft trend and opt for something hoppier, then look no further than Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. This IPA still gives you bold citrusy and floral hops but gives you more body with a more pronounced malt character than usual IPAs. Celebration Ale is alternative for a winter beer and therefore might not be to everyone’s taste but if you’re looking for something truly different then we can’t recommend it enough.
Hardknott Figgy Pudding
Figgy Pudding is a Christmas beer which does basically what is says on the tin. If you like your Christmas beer unapologetically festive, then this sweet dark ale from HardKnott is perfect. It’s the brewery’s first ever Christmas ale and comes infused with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, as well as figs, which gives this 7% treat a sweeter taste. Our advice: skip dessert and grab a HardKnott Figgy Pudding instead!
Huyghe Delirium Noel Winter Ale
We couldn’t have a beer list without heading to Belgium, could we? So say hello to the Delirium Noel Winter Ale! The famed pink elephant dons his Santa hat this time of year with a bold Belgian beer that packs a malt and yeast punch. With the sweet flavours of banana and candy coming through, as well as Huyghe’s notoriously zesty citrus blasts, Delirium Noel isn’t for the faint hearted!
Lagunitas Brown Shugga
Lagunitas provides one of our favourite IPA’s around at the moment and we’re pleased to report they’ve also got an offering for the festive season. Brown Shugga was actually a happy accident for Lagunitas when brown sugar was accidentally fused into their Olde Gnarleywine brew. The result is strong ale with hints of the season and is perfect for Christmas drinking!
Anchor Christmas Ale
All the way from San Francisco, the last Christmas beer on our list is also probably the most established. So much so, the 2015 brew of Anchor Christmas Ale marks 40 years of the West Coast classic. Brewed to a different recipe every year and only available from November to January, this year’s Christmas Ale is subtly spiced and possesses fruity notes as well as a festive pine aroma. Finished off with a smooth and rich taste, Christmas Ale could be more perfect. Merry Christmas!