Top Brewers Recommend the 12 Best Seasonal Beers for Winter

Christmas— that most wonderful time of the entire year sandwiched in between Thanksgiving’ s tryptophan-induced slumber and New Year’ s  marathon. While mulled wine plus punches might be the most traditional alcohol addiction go-to for the holiday season, you might want to test something a little more idiosyncratic this year: the cold beer.

Here is what a few of the country’ s top craft machines will be drinking by the fire plus during their own holiday festivities,   selected both from their own excellent portfolios and personal favorites from other producers’ lineups.


Philip Schofield and Matthew Mills associated with Barreled Souls Brewing Co. (Saco, Maine) 


Barreled Souls Bourbon Barrel-Aged Honey Pot
“ Around the holidays we love to get into the cellar and pull out a vintage bottle of something big plus barrel-aged. One of our favorites is usually Honey Container aged in Hill Rock bourbon barrels . Each batch of the wheatwine [ akin to a barleywine , although brewed with wheat] is made with ten pounds of honey, lending sweetness  and caramel flavors that mix perfectly with the vanilla and nutmeg character brought on  by the barrel or clip.   And at 14. 2 percent  ABV, its enough  to hot you up on a cool December night time. ”


Firestone Walker XXI
“ One of the annual releases we the majority of look forward to  is Firestone Walker’ s Anniversary Blend.   This unique, commemorative  blend from different barrel-aged beers always seems to be really near perfect in its richness and it is the type of decadent, warming brew  we like to open during the holiday season. Clocking within at 11. 8 percent  ABV, the  blend in this  year’ s version, XXI ,   was chosen simply by Jordan Fiorentini, head winemaker with Epoch Estate Wines, a Firestone Walker neighbor in Paso Robles, Calif.,   and one of Matt’ s favorite California wineries. ”


Tony Pellino of OEC Making (Oxford, Conn. )

OEC Brunneis Peat Smoked cigarettes
“ Although not the winter warmer beer   per se, Brunneis Peat Smoked cigarettes will certainly do the job  this winter season.   We put a new spin on our Flanders-style Oud Bruin this year with a healthy addition of peat-smoked malt. The beer starts wealthy, with a subtle earthy and smokey sweetness [that] rapidly gives way to a dry, tannic, and acidic finish. You could consume it all day …   if this weren’ t 9. 8 percent  ABV. ”


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Einbecker  Winter-Bock
“ We wait for this particular seasonal Einbecker with all the highest anticipation level every year. The particular epitome of a fantastic bock [an eclectic old German style of lager with a signature malt-forwardness], it starts with a brilliant however balanced caramel character right up front side, has medium body with beautiful ruby highlights throughout the liquid, plus finishes  on a soft, slightly hot and spicy hop note. Unbelievably smooth for  its  7. 5 percent  ABV. ”


Henok Fentie of Omnipollo (Sweden)

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Omnipollo Noa Pecan Mud Cake
“ We are obsessively into stouts at Omnipollo, and even though we drink them all year, this particular style lends itself particularly nicely to seasonal sipping. Noa seeks to bring back childhood memories; it’ s big (11 percent  ABV), yet soft and  comfortingly dessert-y, evocative of chocolate pecan dirt pies— a  great pre- or even post-dinner ‘ snack’   with the tree. ”


Evil Twin Pappy' s A lot more Jesus
“ 2 brewers are making the best stouts on earth right now:   Cycle Brewing within Florida  and gypsy brewer Wicked Twin, primarily based in New York. This particular incredibly bold (12 percent  ABV) and toasty imperial stout from Evil Dual (made at Westbrook in South Carolina) is curved off perfectly by maturing within the best whiskey barrels available: Pappy Van Winkle’ s. You could sit down and smell it for an hr by the Christmas fire before consuming it. ”


Brian Strumke associated with Stillwater Artisanal Ales (Baltimore)

Stillwater Spaced + The Cloud
“ During this year’ t ‘ holidaze, ’   I’ m getting into well-balanced, hop-driven beers . Things can drink with or without a meal. From your archives, particularly, I will be sipping upon Spaced and the Cloud. Spaced (a low-gravity IPA brewed with spelt and wheat; 3. 8 percent  ABV) is a great anytime-beverage that nevertheless satisfies the hop-driven palate. Believe: pregaming-before-your-family-comes-over kind of vibes. The Impair takes it up a notch within texture, flavor, and ABV in order to 7 percent— this one is brewed with oats and lactose. It’ s soft and fluffy, the same as Santa’ s beard. ”


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“ During the holidays  you’ lmost all find me depleting the Orval inventory in any number of venues all over the world. It’ s perpetually in style  and fairly easy to hunt down anyplace you may be traveling. I love Orval with regard to it’ s  unique and classic character.   When freshly bottled, it is among the OG hoppy Belgian beers — dry and crisp along with floral dry hop aroma plus 6. 2 percent  ABV. Following a few months to a year of cellaring, the hops fade and the candida develops an earthy and somewhat tart, Champagne-like character. Truly first class. ”


Zach Coleman of TRVE Brewing Co. (Denver)

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“ I’ ll be crushing Cold,   this Christmas because it is Denver’ h ‘ trvely’  [sic] premium pilsner (4. 9 percent  ABV).   Brewed in the kellerpils  style — an easy-drinking traditional German pilsner that’ s unclarified, unfiltered, plus unpasteurized— with Troubadour Pevec malt  creates  a slight  fruitiness in order to its otherwise classic profile. Pevec is a two-row barley sourced through Colorado, just outside Fort Collins, and malted by Troubadour Maltings, so , with Cold, we are able to display our focus on and support designed for local ingredients. ”


De La Senne Taras Boulba
“ I’ ll also be crushing Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne because it’ s one of my personal favorite beers, and I’ m at all times crushing it (#ouroborocrush). Its  fruity and spicy notes from the Belgian yeast fermentation are accentuated with a balanced addition of hops. It’ s also a dry and has the ABV (4. 5 percent), therefore , basically, all the makings for a sessionable  beer— but it is the subtle difficulty that keeps me coming back into it.

Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing (Portland, Ore. )

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Upright Saison Bruges
“ Our main winter season brew is a dark saison with cacao nibs — a fun departure from the sweeter, hop-forward seasonals normally seen earnings season. I' ve always had a smooth spot for beers that have complex, split profiles (orange, blackberry, earthy chocolate) and that also drink easily, where one can pick it apart slowly within a snifter or enjoy it somewhat blindly in a straight-sided glass. The Spielzeit Bruges (6. 75 percent  ABV) is exactly that kind of beer. ”


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Deschutes Jubelale
“ In a area with so many new breweries, it’ h easy for a beer enthusiast in order to neglect old standbys, but many from the breweries that paved the way for the rest years ago are cranking out beverage that tastes better than ever. Jubelale is an excellent example. This particular year’ s brew   (6. 7 percent  ABV) includes a wonderful profile with attractive cacao notes and an appetizing aggression, and as always showcases its  characterful yeast strain. ”