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8 Christmas Ales Worth Drinking This Holiday Season

The holiday season is referred to as the most wonderful time of the year. But is it that great without beer?

8 Christmas Ales Worth Drinking This Holiday Season

Sure, the parties, gatherings, social engagements, and massive feasts are great. But they’re even better when you bring a six-pack of malty, sweet, festive Christmas beer to share with your friends and family. How else are you going to wash down all those peppermint fudge brownies and frosted sugar cookies?

Lucky for you, there are myriad Christmas beers on the market. The only problem is that since there are so many, it’s hard to know which beers are worth your time and which ones land like a stocking full of coal. Stock your fridge now and you’re sure to have yourself a boozy little Christmas.

Delirium Christmas

Delirium Christmas

Also known as Delirium Noel, this popular Belgian dark strong ale is only brewed for a limited time. Specifically for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and then that’s it. It begins with a nose of candied orange peel, caramelized sugar, and dried fruits and moves into a palate of dried cherries, more orange peel, bready malts, toffee, and light spices. The finish is creamy, sweet, and gently spiced. This is a classic Christmas beer that deserves a spot in your fridge this holiday season.

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Shiner Holiday Cheer

Shiner Holiday Cheer

Shiner is well-known for its iconic Bock beer. But if that’s as far as you delve into this brand, you’re missing out. Especially when it comes to its holiday seasonal Holiday Cheer. It begins as a dunkelweizen that’s flavored with Texas-grown peaches and roasted pecans. The result is a unique, flavorful beer with a nose of ripe peaches, toffee, and candied pecans. Sipping it reveals notes of nutty pecans, apricots, caramel, and bready malts. It’s sweet and bold enough to be a borderline dessert beer.

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Troegs Mad Elf

Troegs Mad Elf

With a name like Mad Elf, you should have a pretty idea you’re in for something wild when you crack open one of these beers. This Belgian-style strong ale is brewed with chocolate, pilsner, and Munich malts as well as spicy Belgian yeast. But it gets its holiday flavor from the addition of Bing, Lambert, Van, Royal Ann, and Montmorency cherries. It’s a complex, warming beer loaded with flavors of cherries, honey, caramel, and spices.

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Southern Tier 2XMas Ale

Southern Tier 2XMas Ale

To say that this holiday beer is complex and flavorful is a major understatement. It’s a spiced double ale flavored with orange peels, fig paste, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger root, and cloves. Based on Swedish popular holiday spiced Glögg, Southern Tier 2Xmas Ale has a balanced flavor profile of caramel malts, orange peels, various spices, and lightly bitter hops at the finish. Sweet, spiced, and lightly bitter. What’s not to love when it comes to holiday beers?

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Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve

The best thing about Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve is the fact that it’s different every year. Last year the release was a tahini, tangerine, and chocolate-flavored stout. This year’s version is a smooth, mellow, rich toffee chocolate stout. It’s indulgent, creamy, and loaded with caramel malt, toffee, dark chocolate, dried fruit, and light spices. Drink half and leave the other half along with some cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.

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Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

One of the most popular Christmas ales ever brewed, Great Lakes Christmas Ale is a seasonal ale brewed with 2-row base malt, Crystal 45 malt, wheat, special roast malt, and roasted barley. It’s hopped with Mt. Hood and cascade hops and gets its seasonal flavor from the addition of honey, ginger, and cinnamon. The result is a warming, malty beer filled with sweet honey, cinnamon candy, dried fruits, and spices.

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Avery Old Jubilation

Avery Old Jubilation

Avery Old Jubilation is a very popular seasonal beer. It’s an 8.3 percent ABV English-style strong ale brewed with bullion hops, black malts, chocolate malts, Bonlander Munich malts, gambrinus honey malts, and 2-row malts. It has a bold nose of caramel malts, dried fruits, and wintry spices. Drinking it brings forth notes of hazelnuts, caramelized sugar, dried fruits spices, and spicy, floral hops at the finish. It’s a sweet, spicy, winter warmer for the holiday season.

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St Bernardus Christmas Ale

St Bernardus Christmas Ale

This popular quadruple is a Christmas favorite year after year. If you only try one beer on this list, make this one. It’s as close to a spiced fruitcake in beer form as you’re likely to find. It begins with a nose of raisins, figs, dried cherries, and baking spices. The palate is a symphony of sweet malts, toffee candy, figs, dried cherries, raisins, apricots, cinnamon, and other wintry spices. It’s a great example of a beer that bridges the gap between sweet and spicy perfectly.

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