5 Christmas Beers I Love

Monday, December 17, 2018

You guys.

I've told you before about how I'm still newish to not-just-PBR beers, which means that, with each new holiday season, I get a little bit more adventurous - & find at least a couple new beers I enjoy.

And this has been a banner year, thanks in part to my recent visit to Der Braumeister's 12 Beers of Christmas event, which I attended just before Thanksgiving. Since then, I've gotten a little bit more adventurous than ever when it comes to holiday beers - & I've found a few new faves. Here are five beers I'm loving this holiday season.

Shiner Holiday Cheer (Spoetzl Brewery)

If you're from the north like me, you probably didn't realize there were Shiner beers beyond the standard Shiner Bock. Enter Shiner Cheer, a roasted-pecan-&-peach-flavored Dunkelweisen available only in winter. I first tried this one at the Der Brau event & am now a biiiiig fan - though it's made in Texas, & it's surprisingly tough to find in the CLE! It doesn't sound like it should be a Christmas beer, but it's surprisingly cozy - & honestly, I would drink it year-round, if it were offered.

Esther (Platform Beer Co.)

Oh, hello, this beer is very boozy. This Belgian Strong Dark Christmas Ale clocks in at a whopping 9.5% ABV, which explains why a six-pack is a whopping $13. It's described as "aromatic & complex, with notes of honey, dark cherry, & a touch of toffee as the glass warms." I, uh, don't know if I taste any of those, but I don't hate whatever it is that I'm tasting. This beer is surprisingly dark for my liking, but I do indeed like it - & it only takes about one & a half of them to get me feelin' toasty for the holidays.

Christmas Ale (Great Lakes Brewing Co.)

If you're from the CLE, you know from Christmas Ale - but this is my first year as a fan. For whatever reason, this year it finally just clicked - & it tasted good to me, after a few years of taking small sips of Mike's & making an involuntary blech-face upon doing so. A heady combo of spices & honey, apparently the brew tastes a little different every year (or so say friends; the brewery denies it), & perhaps this year's version just did it for me. GLBC's website says it pairs well with "Roast duck, spiced desserts, and ugly Christmas sweaters" - & as Meatloaf once sang, two outta three ain't bad.

Holiday Donut Cookie (Platform Beer Co.) 

As I started writing this post, I didn't realize that I was including not one but two Platform beers. Guess it's confirmed at my favorite CLE brewery! I bought this one on a whim because the can reads, simply, "Cookie. Spice. Donut." which kind of sums it up, though the beer is much less sweet than I'd expect it to be, given that description. It's somehow reminiscent of all three of those things without tasting like it'll also give you a cavity. At 7% ABV, it's solidly boozy but not overly so - & mostly, it just makes me wish I had a fireplace.

Imperial Cinnamon Roll Ale (Southern Tier Brewing Co.)

There's a new Southern Tier open in downtown Cleveland, & Mike's office's holiday party is taking place there - which means I've got some Cinnamon Roll Ale to drink this weekend! STBC's website describes it like this: "Akin to the morning’s first brewed batch of perfectly roasted coffee, the aromas envelope you and cause the corners of your lips to curl into the slightest unconscious." Who writes this dramatic stuff? I would just say of it, "It tastes a lot like if a cinnamon roll became a beer." Because it's true. Mission accomplished, STBC.

Are you a beer drinker? What's your favorite holiday brew?

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