Twelve or more beers of Christmas from Mon
During the holiday season, let’s take a look at some of the beers brewed for Christmas or winter time enjoyment.
Now that we’ve passed the pumpkin beer phase that runs from Halloween through Thanksgiving, we find there are two types of beer that are suited for drinking during Yuletide:
Winter Warmers: This is the name originally applied to English ales brewed with extra malt, with a slightly higher alcohol content as a result. Some of them started out as “Old Ales,” “Stock Ales,” or even “Stale Ales,” meant to be stored at the brewhouse for blending with younger beers. Too strong for day to day consumption, these beers became most popular in the dark winter months, to enjoy with one’s feet by the fire to chase the winter chill away. Some extra fermentables may be added in the form of molasses or sugars. Hops are not as important, since their character can fade as a beer ages. The Beer Judge Certification Program lists the expected alcohol content for winter warmers as 6 to 9% by volume. Any stronger,walking dead bobble head, and they’s be considered barley wines. Beers in this style that might be found locally include Goose Island Christmas Ale, Great Divide Hibernation Ale,darth vader bobble head 5180
Personalized Bobbleheads, Theakston Old Peculier, Harviestoun Old Engine Oil, Founders Curmudgeon, Black Sheep Riggwelter, Samuel Adams LongShot Old Ale, and Arcadia Big Dick’s Olde Ale.
Christmas Beers: These beers can start out in almost any style, but are given a festive touch with the addition of spices or other flavorings associated with the holidays. The best early American example of this style is Anchor Brewing of San Francisco’s Our Special Ale, produced since 1975, each year with a different blend of spices and a label with a different hand drawn tree. Bert Grant, one of the earliest brewpub operators in Washington, had a Spiced Ale whose reputation has outlived Bert’s brewery and Bert himself. Spices and adjunct can include those found in a Christmas feast,bobblehead for car 0728
Personalized Bobbleheads, like cinnamon, ginger, figs, molasses,walking dead bobble head, treacle or raisins,walking dead bobble head, or other holiday fixtures like chocolate or peppermint. The alcohol content does not need to be too high; Anchor’s beer rarely goes above 5.5%, yet its spices help preserve the beer. The Chicago Beer Society has put on “vertical” tastings of this brew; where once I was able to enjoy sips going back to the 1990 vintage. Other Christmas beer might have seasonal fixing like Finnish sahti, brew with spruce tips. One might think that the folks behind the HeBrew line of Kosher beers would have a Hanukkah specialty beer by now, but not yet. If there are still some days left when you read this, the Slashfood site has a nice article about beer pairings for Hanukkah.
None of these descriptions are hard and fast however. In the days running up to Christmas, I hope to review several beers that choose to identify themselves as Christmas beers or Winter Warmers, or simply have an appropriate winter theme on the label. All of these are available by the bottle, and sometimes on draft, in the Chicago area. Many Belgian brewers have produced their own Christmas beers, with quite a few of them making it to the Chicago area. If you’re at any of the German Kristkindlmarkts in the area, find yourself a hearty German bock and call it a day.
Christmas beers and Winter Warmers list:
Bell’s Christmas Ale
Avery Old Jubilation Ale
Left Hand Snow Bound Winter AleInnstadt d Wintersud
Anchor Our Special (Christmas) Ale
Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome 2009 2010
Southern Tier Krampus Imperial Helles
Goose Island Christmas Ale
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