This year’s holiday stressers range from picking out the perfect present for your picky sister, to avoiding Aunt Pam’s permanent bleu cheese stench. However, fear not little holiday lover, here is a list that will only serve to make your holidays especially merry, and bright. Here is a list of the seven very best winter seasonal ales that will warm your heart and make all your family’s jokes a whole lot funnier.
21st Amendment Brewery’s Fireside Chat
Maybe it’s the image of FDR sitting by the fire with a large decadent goblet chatting with an elf that makes this beer so epic, or maybe it is just the beer. A true winter warmer this beer has an ABV of 7.9% and the malty, nutty notes of exactly what you want to be drinking by the fire. It is warming, delicious and has all the spices that accompany winter. Best enjoyed while eating pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and when you are just trying to get through that horribly awkward talk with Uncle Al.
Odell’s Lugene tastes exactly like milk and cookies, and not in the imitation way where you also still want milk and cookies but in the way where you will now want your milk and cookies to taste like beer. This 8.5% ABV beer is actually brewed with milk sugar and milk chocolate, which makes it a creamy and delicious winter treat. It is not obnoxiously sweet like your in-laws or overpoweringly dark like your cousin’s metal band, it is just the beer to get you through the winter.
Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale
This American style IPA is fresh hopped full of citrus, pine and, refreshing notes. This IPA is aptly named, and truly the perfect beer for all celebrations. It’s light, flavorful and refreshing. The citrus flavors in the beer are perfect for the lull of the winter months and will spice up each and every occasion. This 6.8% ABV beer is the perfect pairing with your turkey this year, as it is refreshing and satisfying.
New Belgium’s Frambozen
This beer comes every year around Thanksgiving, after New Belgium has procured enough raspberries from the Pacific Northwest. This is a big beer with a velvet malty beginning taste and then a delightfully sour and dry finish; It is slightly reminiscent of those raspberry sour candies that come in a tin. It is a unique yet widely pleasing beer that has a tendency to gather fans from a wide variety of beer drinkers. Also, this beer has a fairly low ABV of 6.5% which means it is the perfect beer to drink at the family gathering without becoming the lush that your Uncle Sal is.
Full Sail’s Wassail Winter Ale
A deep mahogany color, this beer is Ron Burgundy’s answer to those days scotch just doesn’t cut it. A unique beer, the Wassail Winter Ale is a blend of four different types of malts with an addition of Pacific Northwest hops, which makes it a favorite of IPA and malty-beer lovers alike.
Deschutes’ The Abyss
This Imperial Stout is a rich and smooth beer that is brewed with licorice and molasses. In addition it is aged in French oak barrels and bourbon barrels, which gives it a mysterious and dark finish. At 11% ABV it is the perfect after-dinner beer to drink while beating your whole family at cards against humanity. It is dark, rich and complex, basically everything you want in a wintertime lover.
3 Floyd’s Behemoth Barleywine
This beer features complex caramel flavors, a boldly sweet body and a dangerously awesome high ABV of 12%. It is the excellent choice for the cheese and cracker pairing before dinner starts, or even as your dessert. It denotes flavors of honey, figs, dates and sweet caramel. It is decadent and luxurious, and thus is not for the fainthearted. Personally, I would take this beer and the brie and have my own party, sans everyone related to me.