8 Holiday Ales to Drink This Winter Slideshow
Boulder, Colo.’s Twisted Pine Brewing takes on the Trappist style and brewed its first Tripel — the Noel Tripel. Thanks to spicy German hops, Belgian yeast, and Pilsner malt, the beer's body is light and smooth and the flavor full of intricate layers of malt, fruity yeast, and hops. It’s a heavy drinker at 9 percent ABV, but it still finishes dry and easy. Bonus point: the Noel Tripel features Denver artist Rich Dotson’s painting, "The Longest Night," as part of the ongoing Artisan Ale Project that features local artists on labels of small-batch brews.
Courtesy of Twisted Pine Brewing Company
From Boise, Idaho, Payettes seasonal brew has everyone buzzing (and not just because the tapping of the beer gave a sizable donation to a local charity). The amber-colored ale, made with Summit and Cascade hops and several malts, brings out a hop flavor when paired with spicy food.
The No-Li Brewhouse from Spokane, Wash., has already made waves with its Silent Treatment pale ale, Jet Star Imperial IPA, and Born & Raised IPA. Now, its seasonal winter ale is gaining the same recognition. The "ruby" red ale is made with locally grown Inland Northwest hops and barley, which leaves behind a malty body with a spicy hop finish.
Courtesy of No-Li
As our friends at The Drink Nation shared, the ale is a nice contrast to the big, heady winter ales on the market. Trading in sugar for chocolate malts, the winter ale is well-rounded with hints of chestnut, molasses, and even coffee.
The Drink Nation
We won’t tell if you’d rather leave out beer for Santa instead of milk. Santa’s Secret beer has a mix of orange, coriander, and cinnamon, and allspice — making it more like a spiced cider than your average brew. Thanks to six different malts and its blend of spices, it’s a creamy beer that’s still rich in flavor.
Facebook/ Carolina Brewery
The fruitcake you love to hate is no longer the dreaded guest at the dinner table: Karl Strauss has released a holiday fruitcake ale, part of its 12 Days of Christmas series, to make you forget just how despised fruitcake actually is. The Mouette Trois (meaning "Three Seagulls") holiday ale is brewed with fresh apricots, cherries, and a blend of spices for a beer that tastes fruity and sweet. The Belgium Dubbel has rich flavors of candied fruit, plus vanilla notes from its time aging in brandy-cured French oak. Seriously, can you say delicious?
Courtesy of Karl Strauss
The name may not be appetizing, but the beer sure is. The golden (get it?), hoppy India Pale Ale from Oregon has a medium body and some bitterness, for those looking to avoid the sappy-sweet holiday ales on the market.
The Florida brewery takes its Belgian-style wheat beer and adds its own twist for a seasonal. With fresh ginger, cranberries, coriander, and Florida orange honey blossom, the Hoe Hoe Hoe seasonal is refermented to give it a slightly tart, spicy finish.
Swamp Head Brewery