We collected and tasted some standout winter craft beers, and had to share! At our own holiday party everyone in the office received bottles of our Lock, Stock, and Barrel Stout, so we felt that smooth beauty deserved a spot on our list as well.
If you’re thinking that Lock, Stock, and Barrel Stout sounds delicious, grab some from our store and start brewing now. This beer takes 6-12 months to condition so if you get it going now it’ll be perfect for next Christmas.
Coronado Brewing Co.
IBU 50 | ABV 6.0%
Snowy Plover pours a warm, copper color with a creamy, diminishing head. Piney, herbal hops are balanced by sweet, caramel malts. This IPA’s smooth, medium body boasts a long, hoppy finish.
Our team said: “sweet malts, somewhat overwhelmed by long bitter hop finish,” “similar to an English IPA – very malty with caramel notes, but the herbal hops still make their presence known – very good beer,” “well balanced, copper appearance,” and “very smooth.”
Root beer-colored with a creamy, lasting head, Anchor’s Christmas Ale provides spice, sweetness, and smooth texture all in one. The aroma is full of nutty, caramel malts, esters, and herbal hops. At first sip the malts show more chocolate/nut character, while the hops become spicier and more bitter. This ale’s body is medium-to-full with a long, creamy finish.
Overall Tasting Notes from the office are: “smooth and spicy, mild,” “noticeable buttery diacetyl, but it works well in this beer. This beer is like candy. Sweet, but not too sweet. Very pleasant,” “creamy mouthfeel – cloves are well balanced with malts,” “not too bitter” “chocolate and vanilla without the sweetness. A joy to behold.”
IBU 65 | ABV 6.7%
With lasting head and a rich, amber color, Jubelale delivers traditional winter flavors with roasted, estery spice. Smells like nutty, biscuit malts, esters, and earthy, spicy hops. The malt profile carries roasty, cocoa, dried fruit flavors while the hops bring a warm spice. This medium-bodied ale goes down with a long, flavorful finish.
The verdict from Mr. Beer is: “estery and roasty, well balanced,” “nice roasty flavors with moderate hops and a warm bitterness. It’s a good year for this brew,” and “earthy backbone. Spicy afternotes. A light bodied Christmas Ale.”
IBU 61 | ABV 9.5%
This imperial bourbon barrel stout has a beautiful ebony color with a dark, lasting head. The woody, oaky notes imparted by the oak chips compliment the aromas and flavors of chocolate, toffee, and roasted barley. A bourbon finish rounds out this big stout with a subtle alcohol heat that will warm you on the coldest of nights.
[Intended to be brewed 6-12 months in advance of consumption, this beer will age very well with vanilla notes emerging after at least 6 months.]