As we stroll through the (sigh), mall or spend hours upon hours sifting through online stores (gag) looking for holiday gifts that don’t suck, we take solace in craft beer. Not only is it necessary to drink beer around all holiday events (you know why) craft beer also makes the perfect gift.
More fun than recycling that old bottle of wine, bringing craft beer to your friend’s annual soiree livens things up a bit. We know that the plethora of holiday beers on the shelf can be at once overwhelming and titillating, so we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite holiday brews. Each makes a perfect gift for the holiday party or for simply sipping while sitting by the fire:
St. Bernardus Christmas - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV, Watou, Belgium: Notes of fig, clove, licorice and pumpernickel bread. Every sip brings a new layer of fruit and spice, with a fairly dry finish for a high alcohol holiday ale that will warm your soul.
Anchor Christmas - Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA: We look forward to the release of this beer every year. With a different tree on the label each year (this one’s a Ginkgo Biloba) the bottle becomes a collector’s item itself, especially if you buy the Magnum. Similar to a porter, but with holiday spices, notes of chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Scaldis Noel - Brasserie Dubuisson, Pipaix, Belgium: A little bottle that packs a lot of alcohol, Scaldis Noel can be a dangerous winter delight, so drink slowly and sparingly. Delicious notes of raisins, dates, figs, and rum, with notes of spice.
Nutcracker Ale – Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, Missouri: A nice winter warmer with notes of molasses and caramel, with a balance of spicy, piney Chinook hops.
Affligem Noel - Brouwerij Affligem, Opwijk, Belgium: Dark fruit with a peppery spiciness. Nice rich, vinous tones and brown sugar in the background.