Winter brings colder weather, holidays, and an unspoken understanding that food and drink should be heavy, spiced, and comforting. As the seasons change, some of the best craft breweries in America release their winter offerings, some only vaguely evocative of the season and some outright holiday-themed.
Brewed with spruce tips (because it’s Alaska, so why not?) the final product is a unique brew with fresh piney flavor. This mild English-style ale is complex and flavorful enough to be enjoyed on its own, but also holds up nicely with game meats and holiday treats.
Every year since 1975, Anchor has released a Christmas Ale; though the recipe and label varies from year to year, one thing remains the same: Drinking it is always a good idea.
Located in Kansas City, Boulevard has quite the cult following with locals and Midwestern transplants alike. The brewery’s winter offering is a full-bodied, bitter ale that features molasses and a special spiciness that comes from Chinook hops.
Straight out of Brooklyn, but influenced by Scotland, this ale features rich Scottish malts that bring bready flavors to offset with a hint of sweetness.
Pear is the star of this Czech-style pilsner, which derives its flavor from both pear juice and white pear tea; coupled with the spice of the hops, that makes this pale lager seasonal and refreshing.
Hailing from Colorado, this malty caramel brew is the classic example of winter ale with spices to warm you up, but not too much sweetness. This beer is best served while indoors during a snowstorm.
There’s something magical about this beer. This blonde ale features a little caramel and candy sweetness that can serve as any beer lover’s dessert course. It’s also gnome-approved.
You may not be able to catch the Gingerbread Man, but Shipyard somehow managed to bottle him! Touted as having “a cookie in every bottle,” this brew is, quite literally, a drinkable gingerbread man cookie with flavors such as molasses, brown sugar, and hints of ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
This is a seasonal brew for people who hate seasonal brews; in fact, Stone Brewery Co. doesn’t even call it seasonal! It’s smoky, it’s rich, it’s flavored with chocolate and oranges, and it’s the perfect sort of beer for this time of year.
Ho, ho, ho! Santa loves his craft beers, don’t you know? And this is his favorite red ale, which is roasted, and malted.