Best holiday beers that bring the flavors of the season

Elysian Bifrost, photo provided by Elysian Brewing
Elysian Bifrost, photo provided by Elysian Brewing /

Put on that sweater and pop open some of the best holiday beers of the season.

When the winter chill takes over, the best holiday beers are here. From warm spices to robust flavors, many favorite breweries have special limited edition winter beers that must be enjoyed before the New Year. While this best holiday beers list might be long, there is plenty of time to enjoy each and every one.

Here are FoodSided’s picks for best holiday beers.

Anchor Christmas Ale

With decades of holiday tradition behind this beer, the Anchor Christmas Ale is back. Since each season’s beer is slightly different, this year’s offering is a big, bold ale. With a higher ABV and rich coffee notes, this holiday beer is perfect by the fire.

best holiday beers
Anchor Brewing 2020 Christmas Ale, photo provided by Anchor Brewing /

Elysian Brewing Bifrost

Taking a bold approach without being dark, the Elysian Bifrost has layers of flavor. From the orange zest to the hint of spice to the sweetness of apple, this beer evolves with each sip. Try pairing it with various foods to discover all the flavors.

Guinness Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout Aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

While Joe Montana might love a classic Guinness, the limited-edition Guinness Imperial Gingerbread Spices Stout in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels is a quite bold offering. While there is a nod to holiday nostalgia, the winter stout is definitely a sipping beer.

With an 11% ABV, the holiday stout is a slow sipper. Whether paired with a crown roast of pork or served with a sweet crème brulee, this Guinness beer needs to be appreciated slowly.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

For this year’s Samuel Adams Winter Lager, the brewmaster has boosted the citrus and clove flavors. The vibrant brown beer balances seasonal spices with the bright orange. While there is a touch of bitterness, the caramel malty flavor brings you back for another sip. Similar to this year, it seems to encompass all the aspects of this holiday season.

Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter

Now available in bottles, the Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter is a surprising winter beer. The combination of the porter with the chocolate makes the darker beer more approachable for the non-dark beer drinker. Whether enjoyed on its own or mixed into a beer cocktail, the Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter deserves a spot in the refrigerator.

Stella Artois Midnight Lager

Back for a second year, the Stella Artois Midnight Lager is a nuanced beer. From a touch of smoke to the bitterness from coffee and the richness from chocolate, this beer is almost sessionable. The balance of flavors makes it quite enjoyable.

Leinenkugel Toasted Bock

Like a Wisconsin winter, some of the best holiday beers need to be hearty. The Leinenkugel Toasted Block has all those holiday flavors without being heavy. From sweet toffees to rich malty flavors, this winter beer will keep you ready to head out for some snow-filled fun.

Devils Backbone Brewing Co

While many people love the Devils Backbone Brewing Co Vienna Lager, the Coffee Vienna Lager blends a locally sourced coffee with the original lager recipe. For the coffee lover, this winter beer is a must try.

Rogue Ales & Spirits

Never afraid to push the beer envelope, Rogue Ales & Spirits partnered with Santa Claus to create this year’s Santa’s Private Reserve. The Peppermint Bark Milk Stout might be the most intriguing of the best holiday beers.

According to Rogue Brewmaster, Joel Shields said, “Santa’s vision for this year’s Private Reserve came to him in the candy cane forest where he was busy harvesting peppermint bark to make one of his favorite treats.” Even Santa commented, “This year’s Peppermint Bark Milk Stout is a real treat that pairs perfectly with my favorite sugar cookies.” It seems that Santa might want a beer on Christmas Eve this year.

These best holiday beers deserve a sip before the calendar turns to another year. Whether you enjoy one beer, two or a six pack, there are many enjoyable options on the shelf.

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Do you enjoy holiday beers or do you drink the same beer all year round?