If you’re looking for a cold one to get you into the holiday spirit, Total Wine & More has rounded up a dozen of our favorite Christmas beers. Today, we’re sharing the first six.
Anchor Brewing Co. has been producing its Christmas Ale, a perennial favorite, since 1975. The top-secret recipe changes every year, as does the tree on the label. For 2015, this spicy dark brown ale offers richness and complexity that exemplify the best qualities of a winter warmer. This beer always stands out on our shelves thanks to the hand-drawn label, which for this release features the Deodar Cedar, or California Christmas Tree, a fitting choice given Anchor’s San Francisco home.
From Turbodog to Purple Haze, Abita has been crafting great beers for years. Like Anchor’s, Abita’s Christmas Ale recipe changes from year to year. However, you can always count on this special dark ale to offer a level of malt-driven spiciness that pairs well with holiday staples like gingerbread.
Although there may not be snow on the ground, a white Christmas is in reach thanks to Samuel Adams’ White Christmas, a refreshing Belgian-style white ale that offers notes of fruit and coriander.
If you’re looking for something a little hoppier, you won’t be disappointed with Santa’s Private Reserve from Rogue Ales. Boasting an 89-point rating from Beer Advocate, this double-hopped Red Ale has a lovely roasted malt flavor that’s perfect for the season.
We couldn’t discuss winter beers without mentioning Belgian breweries, which routinely produce some of the very best. World-renowned Huyghe Brewery, which is most closely associated with its flagship beer Delirium Tremens, offers up a fantastic Belgian Strong Dark Ale in the form of Delirium Noël. A smooth and creamy beer, it has delightful flavors of caramel, dark fruit and spice ideal for evenings spent in front of a roaring fire.
Our sixth beer needs no introduction for many beer lovers, thanks to its outstanding reputation. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, which hails from Watou, Belgium, is the quintessential Belgian Strong Dark Ale with delicious flavors of molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan. It would be the perfect stocking stuffer for any hopivore.