Ahh December, a month we all look forward to… with the shortest day just around the corner and the nights still closing in, its often the thought and the reality of a seasonal beer that keeps us going in the run up to the festive period.
And this year we are spoilt by an even greater choice as a growing number of breweries around the world tempt our palettes with a sense of spice, occasion, cheekiness and with most a heavy hit of alcohol.
So, once again, with our mouse in hand and screens switched to Google, we searched far and wide for those festive ales, beers and stouts that will potentially tantalise the taste buds.
And the results of our survey are in, some of the best traditional – and not so traditional – Christmas beers for you to try this year. Enjoy!
St Peters Christmas Ale (7%)
A copper coloured, smooth, fruity, and full-bodied ale. Aromas of toffee and caramel leading to rich and smooth flavours of Christmas fruits and spices – St Peters Christmas Ale is the perfect companion for Christmas savouries, sweets, and snacks. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
To Øl 1 Ton Of…Christmas (8.1%)
When you cannot get enough of Christmas, you take a ton of the best, classic Danish Christmas ingredients and brew a Berliner Weisse! An 8.1% Berliner Weisse to be clear, brewed with Cherries, Redcurrant and Prunes – all in a can decorated with festive Gnomes. Merry Christmas!
Leffe Winter Ale (6.6%)
Leffe Christmas has a beautiful golden hue, a thick foaming head, and is replete with notes of clove, caramel and coffee. A mild smokiness balances out the beer making this 6.6% brew very drinkable and well-matched with seasonal dishes. To really elevate this beer to be guest of honour at the Christmas dinner table, serve it in a chalice!
Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper (10%)
The Danish brewer’s latest take on a Belgian Christmas ale has all the booziness you’d expect of a strong Belgian beer, without being too sweet. Glowing golden amber in the glass, it smells like warmed fruit and berries, and tastes like caramel, with a hint of astringency that could come from the coriander seeds it’s brewed with. Yum!
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (10%)
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic ‘Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. Its hefty 10% greets each drinker with the signature aroma of the St. Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!) together with a spicy, mint-like flavour profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, liquorice and marzipan. The perfect companion to enjoy on a cold winter evening, with or without company!
Cervisiam Chocolate Salty Christmas Balls (10%)… ahem
And for those on the darker side of Christmas, well what can we say on this one… an unusual approach to say the least! With references to both Gremlins and South Park we can only sit back and let the blurb on the cheeky Norwegian brewer’s website do the talking…
“First of all, keep the can out of the light, he hates bright light, especially sunlight, it’ll kill him. Second, don’t give him any imperial stout, not even to drink. But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never drink him after midnight.”
And with that here ends our Christmas beer round up – Joyeux Noël and festive cheers to you all!