I present to you the
12 8 beers of Christmas. For the beer lovers on your list, here is a list of some brews that you can pick up for last-minute gifts. These beers will certainly keep everyone warm while it snows (certainly better than shoveling the snow, right?). Many of these beers can also be found in large single bottles, which are great for sharing. Some of these beers have a shelf-life of a year (higher alcohol beers last longer).
Left Hand Fade to Black Vol. 4
The fourth annual installment of Left Hand’s Fade to Black series doesn’t disappoint. It’s an American black ale. There’s a slight citrus flavor and strong hops. The variety of malts includes dark chocolate, which adds to the bitterness. This is a limited release beer, so pick up a six-pack soon or wait for next year’s recipe, which will be different.
Ballast Point Victory at Sea
My friend and I agree that this is definitely one of our top 5 beers–it has a rating of 96/100 on Beer Advocate. This is a coffee vanilla imperial porter from the San Diego brewery. It’s very smooth and well balanced. Let this one warm up a bit before sipping slowly, then enjoy the victory.
Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog
I’ve written about this beer before. It’s still one of my top 10 beers, and the best brown ale I’ve had.
Tröegs ¿Impending Descent?
I just tried this beer at Barcade in Jersey City on Friday night–funny that it was brewed to celebrate the end of Mayan calendar. This is a limited edition beer, and it is amazing. It is the strongest beer on this list at 10.9% abv, so be careful with this one. This imperial Russian stout has a complex flavor–there’s a lot of hops and six types of malt, including chocolate and pilsner. There are hints of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla in this bold beer. Drink a few of these and you’ll forget that New Year’s is approaching.
This is great selection for a Christmas beer in a big bottle, and it’s the only import on this list. It’s not overly spiced like many others, but has a strong yeast flavor to balance the spices. This might make watching the yule log interesting.
Anchor Christmas Ale
From one of the oldest micro-breweries in the US comes my stand-by seasonal beer. Anchor Brewing changes the recipe for this beer every year, but it’s always a solid brew. This year’s beer is dark spiced ale with 5.5% abv. It’s definitely a lighter selection for Christmas beers.
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout
How can you go wrong with a dark beer from Dogfish Head? This is a lighter stout with a strong chicory flavor. This is a beer that I could drink for a whole night.
Great Divide Hades
Might not be the best named beer for Christmas, but it’s still another wonderful brew from Great Divide. This is an Belgian-style ale. It has a strong hoppy flavor balanced by the Belgian yeast. It’s a crisp golden ale, but looks can be deceiving–it still packs a nice punch at 7.8%.