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8 best holiday beers released in December 2021

It’s December now and the release of craft beer has sunk into that vibe. Warm winter, spiced beer, bold IPA, dark ales, pine-y laggards, black fatand everything that is old will be combined this month and we are here for it all.

There are so many great things types of beer on the shelf right now that it’s hard to narrow it down to just eight. However, we’ve managed to highlight some of the much-loved and over-promoted options as the holidays arrive and the year ends.

Hope that eight beers We are giving love this month that will ignite your interest and inspire you to discover interesting beers produced near you or sold at a bottling store or brewery near you. Best. The selections below are regional craft beers from breweries we endorse along with seasonal bottles we look forward to tasting again.

PACIFIC NORTH DROP: Elysian Skålrok

Elysian Skålrok
Elysian Brewing

ABV: 4.9%

Average price: Available at the brewery

Beer:

Skålrok is a Nordic pale ale that feels like a winter dream in a can. The base of the beer is Two Row, Honey Malt, Flaked Rice and Golden Naked Oats mixed with local water and Kveik yeast from Scandinavia. The beer is then brewed with local Cashmere, Sabro and Chinook hops, giving the final beer a bit of a Pacific Northwest feel with that Nordic establishment.

Note through:

Light notes of orange oil hit the nose with a hint of sweet but slightly fun malt. The palate follows that flavor profile while adding a hint of sweetness to the malt with an almost creamy margin (thanks to those oats) along with a slight nutty taste. The hops emerge like twisted fresh mandarins spewing their essential oils all over the beer.

Conclude:

This is bright but not crowded with excellent malt balance. It is also very easy to drink thanks to its low ABVs.

SOUTHWEST DROP: Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas Ale
Anchor Brewing

ABV: 7%

Average price: $13, six pack

Beer:

Every year for the past 47 years, San Francisco’s Anchor Steam has released a winter warmth special, Christmas Ale. This year’s release is a subtle winter warmer lager paired with holiday seasonings in the beer. Each year the recipe is a little different and is represented by a different Christmas tree on the label. This year’s tree represents the high desert of California with the Joshua Tree.

Note through:

The beer leans towards fresh espresso with a dark chocolate bitterness. Those notes point to the creamy nature akin to that choco-eggnog latte with the spice and depth of that brown ale. There’s a hint of graham cracker under it all with a subtle sweetness to contrast the coffee/chocolate bitterness.

Conclude:

This has been a highlight of craft beer season, and this year was no different. Beer is the perfect accompaniment to any winter day (warm or cold).

ROCKY MOUNTAIN DROP: New Belgian Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale

Oakspire
New Belgium

ABV: 9%

Average price: $15, six pack

Beer:

This strong ale is made with Pale, Munich, Caramel 80, rye, and barley malts and is lightly mixed with Nugget and Sabro hops. The beer is then aged with oak spiers from Four Roses Bourbon casks.

Note through:

Those oak spiers help pull the dry and deep fruit flavors from the beer and bring out a hint of aged vanilla and egg custard. The flavor kicks up those notes when a caramel malt base is added with hints of plums, dates, and maybe even dark berries. The finish is wonderfully spiced with sweet malts and mostly dried fruit.

Conclude:

Naturally, this is a great pairing beer if you’re looking for something to go with your glass of Four Roses. It’s also very “cold” on the nose and palate and is really suitable for sipping after a big holiday meal.

SOUTH DROP: Saint Arnold Christmas Ale

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale
Saint Arnold

ABV: 7.7%

Average price: $9, six pack

Beer:

Texas’ Saint Arnold offers quality seasonal beers that culminate with their Christmas Celebration. The malt provides great depth in the beer but the nuance here is in the Pacific Northwest hops used to season the beer.

Note through:

This really hits those “winter ale” notes on the top. There is a sweet caramel maltiness due to the alcohol that provides a solid foundation for the light and bitter floral notes. Those hops have a small bite as a subtle spice around the background.

Conclude:

This is a truly drinkable pour. It’s refreshing but still filling. It’s nuanced but full of flavor. If you’re in Texas, this is the winter beer to drink right now.

MIDWEST DROP: Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Christmas Eve
Great Lakes Brewing

ABV: 7.5%

Average price: $14, six pack

Beer:

Great Lakes Christmas Ale is another seasonal classic hitting shelves right now. This award-winning beer manages just the right note of seasonal happiness, with enough nuances to keep you entertained all season long. Be warned, this is a really easy beer to drink and high ABVs will catch up with you.

Note through:

The fatness of this beer leans more towards the sweetness of the honey and the spices add to the freshness of the grated ginger. There is a wide range of Christmas spices that suit all the properties of malt honey – creating a balanced, lush feeling in this drinker.

Conclude:

If you have a beer stocked in your fridge this month, this is probably the beer. It is the epitome of the now and will always be in the right place in emotion and taste.

NORTH DROP: Allagash Nocturna

Allagash Nocturnea
Allagash Brewing

ABV: 9.5%

Average price: $20, Four Packs

Beer:

This stout from Maine is aged in bourbon casks with vanilla pods right in the beer. That aging process retains the beer’s deep and bold reds while creating a very crowded and bourbon-y flavor that suits this time of year.

Note through:

The malts – Allagash blend of 2-row malt, dark malt, oat, chocolate malt and roasted barley – shine from top to bottom with both deep roasted and sweet caramel notes. The opening is sweeter with rich toffee topped with ground almonds. That results in a dark chocolate powder that tastes bitter to an almost oily espresso bean. The bourbon comes through with a hint of oak as a woody spice combined with sweet toffee and bitter chocolate at the end.

Conclude:

If you’re looking for the perfect winter stout, this could be it. It’s delightfully dark and deep while still being welcoming and quite warm with those high ABVs.

WILD CARD DROP: Alaskan Freeride

Alaska Freeride
Alaskan Brewing

ABV: 5.3%

Average price: $9, six pack

Beer:

We have sizable Alaska Brewers goals around these divisions, and Freeride – their winter pale ale – is a prime example of why. The beer is a combination of famous Alaskan glacial water with Pacific Northwest hops and malt. The ABVs are in the middle of the street, making this an easy after-work getaway to start through all of November.

Note through:

The tropical fruits are floral but not mild, with a layer of caramel malt underneath. Those fruits and hops really boost the flavor with a good dose of dry texture and a balance of slightly sweet malt character. One sip is refreshing, engaging and light enough to keep you coming back for more.

Conclude:

We’ve talked about a lot of big and heavy beers on this list. This is the opposite of that. It’s light, refreshing, but still feels cold. Your fridge should have six of these in it for the rest of the season.

INT’L PICK OF THE MONTH: Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux

Brasserie Dupont

ABV: 9.5%

Average price: $12, 750ml bottle

Beer:

Brasserie Dupont is one of the most heralded Belgian Brewery, Dots. Their Saison Dupont is loved by beer aficionados all over the world. This expression is a special holiday release that was previously only available to family and friends of the brewery. It leaked to the public and became so popular that it was widely released and is now considered one of the best holiday beers there.

Note through:

The beer has a strong aroma from the moment it nears your nose with hints of cloves, green bananas, black pepper and lemon curd. The malts are bold, sweet and creamy as the tart nature of the lemon blends with the spicy and far-reaching fruit flavors. One sip ends dry while still feeling energized and very silky.

Conclude:

This is the ultimate beer for winter celebrations. Pop that corkscrew at the next holiday party, Christmas gathering, or NYE party and enjoy one of the best beers ever made.

Source link 8 best holiday beers released in December 2021

JOE HERNANDEZ

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