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Quintessential Holiday Beers: Our Picks

With the holiday season now in full swing, many of us find ourselves surrounded by friends and family wanting to take a few moments to relax, catch up, and delight in the joy of sharing a few of our favorite brews together.  While our staff writers are busy preparing for trips back home, Christmas shopping, making gifts, or baking, a few of us wanted to be sure to take a few moments to share our go-to beers for the holiday season, or simply selections that we’d be delighted to find under our tree come Christmas morning.

 

Garrett Miller: Tröegs Brewing Company – Mad Elf Ale

Tröegs Mad Elf

Tröegs Mad Elf

Choosing this almost felt like cheating – the reasons for this selection are obvious.  I’ve taken a look at this beer in a previous post, and expounded upon the special significance this beer has to me.  Immediately upon pouring it, the cherry, honey, and other aromas instantly conjure up those holiday memories – for me, walking down a snowy, illuminated College Avenue back at Penn State.  To make things better, this beer ages incredibly well, with the big alcohol character mellowing out considerably after you let it sit for a year or so, allowing you to relive those memories of Christmases past.

Runner-up: Coors Light. Yes, I know. But this is the preferred holiday drink of my grandfather, and dang it if I’m not going to crack one open with him.  I almost never reach for a Bud/Miller/Coors light unless I’m with family, so this one definitely brings up memories of home – and the people there I care about most.

 

Russ Beck: Pennsylvania Brewing Company – St. Nikolaus Bock Bier – Brewer’s Reserve

Penn St. Nickolaus Bock

Penn St. Nickolaus Bock

Pennsylvania Brewing Company St. Nikolaus Bock Bier — Brewer’s Reserve is a gift I would be excited to find beneath my Christmas tree. The great thing is, you wouldn’t even have to wrap it! The bottle is sold in a very classy red bag, and the beer that’s sold inside lives up to the expectation one has with such a nice presentation. This beer just keeps getting better because it runs for about $4 and is readily available in PA. So, get out and brave the frigid weather, grab a bottle of St. Nikolaus Brewer’s Reserve and turn in for the evening next to your Christmas tree. They could probably make a movie about that.

 

Paige Deckert: Southern Tier Brewing Company – 2XMAS

Southern Tier 2XMAS

Southern Tier 2XMAS

I have something I need to admit: I don’t really like Christmas/Holiday beers. I generally avoid them all season, minus maybe one Corsendonk Christmas. I saw this year, however, that Southern Tier came out with a new holiday beer, 2XMAS. I’m a fan of their other 2x beers, and so when I saw it on tap I decided to give it a shot. Apparently, it’s brewed in the tradition of a Swedish glogg. I have no idea what that is, but this one has figs, orange peels, cardamom, cloves and ginger. This beer was highly drinkable, even though it clocks in at 8.00%, and tastes like gingerbread cookies. I definitely recommend you check it out, especially if you want a unique approach to holiday brews.

 

Greg Bruce: Brouwerij Huyghe – Delirium Noël

Delirium Noël

Delirium Noël

When I think of Christmas beers, the first one I always think of is the festive pink elephants of Delirium Noel. This isn’t necessarily my favorite holiday beer, but I always seem to buy a few bottles around winter because Delirium Tremens was the one beer to really draw me into craft beer. When dealing with friends and family that aren’t familiar with the joys of craft, the unique bottle and label serve as a great springboard to learning more about the craft movement, and a great flavor doesn’t hurt either. So this Christmas season, raise a toast to loved ones and friends and hopefully these cute pachyderms can instill the spirit of craft beer to another like it did for me!

 

Kenton Martin: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Celebration Ale

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

My go-to holiday beer has to be Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. The flavor of this holiday IPA satisfies my hop-craving palate, and always reminds me of the holiday season.

Kenton is a man of few words.  What beers come to your mind when you think of the holiday season? Let us know!

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Written by Garrett Miller, Russ Beck, Paige Deckert, Greg Bruce and Kenton Martin

Garrett brings a somewhat different perspective on beer to the table. While always thrilled to try any new, exotic brew that finds itself his way, Garrett finds that he's often quite satisfied with reliable, common craft choices. As such, Garrett is a fan of trying and reviewing these (admittedly less expensive) beers, and using them to introduce the exciting, flavorful world of craft beer to those not-yet-acquainted. Garrett’s favorite styles are IPAs and bourbon stouts, but won’t turn his nose up at anything. Find Garrett Miller on Google Plus

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