Could there be a better time of year for beer? (And please don’t say, “what about October?”) These next few months offer big, bold brews channeling familiar seasonal flavors that go beyond your standard Christmas Belgian. Here’s what you should cheers with this winter.
The “original” Gingerbread Stout courtesy of this Richmond, Virginia, brewery takes advantage of wildflower honey and baby ginger sourced from nearby farms. The sweet and spicy combo perfectly complements the beer’s luscious milk stout base. Over the years, this gingerbread family has grown with versions aged in rye, apple brandy, and rum barrels. We especially like Christmas Morning—Gingerbread Stout brewed with locally roasted Mexican coffee beans.
A worthy substitute to the real thing. This sweet and creamy, one-of-a-kind beer has one whole egg yolk per pint—and yes, the eggs are pasteurized. Fresh ground nutmeg and cinnamon round everything out.
Relive that epic Thanksgiving feast throughout the holiday season with this cranberry sauce-inspired beer. The healthy serving of cranberry juice along with cinnamon and clove are fairly pronounced, in a good way. Thankfully in this can you won’t be confronted by that all-too-familiar congealed crimson glob that your mother keeps insisting on serving.
Inspired by the centuries-old classic dessert from across the pond, Figgy Pudding stays true to its roots utilizing an English-style old ale. The base beer spends some time in brandy barrels which it shares with blackstrap molasses. Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and of course, figs provide the finishing touch. The result is sweet and boozy, oozing with dark fruits and holiday spices.
Florida isn’t exactly the picture-perfect embodiment of a winter wonderland, but this peppermint milk chocolate porter from Sarasota-based brewery JDub’s will transport you to the North Pole, or at least some place where the average high in December is below 72 degrees. Think rich chocolate goodness with a cool mint kick, reminiscent of a slab of peppermint bark.
This bold take on Mexican hot chocolate will make you want to sit down by the fireplace and do nothing but drink another. Cacao nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and ancho peppers add a subtle yet distinct heat on the finish. If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for a beer lover, seek out the otherworldly rye barrel-aged version of Abraxas—released in small quantities just once a year.
If you enjoy your beers extra piney, find this sublime I.P.A. which earned gold at the 2018 World Beer Cup. The combo of Citra, Chinook, and Denali hops packs a citrusy punch while the addition of Sitka spruce tips, sourced from the Alaskan town of Gustavus, located at the mouth of Glacier Bay National Park, lends a Christmas tree aroma. Sadly, the next batch of Spruce I.P.A. won’t be released until January, but it’s the perfect beer to help keep the holiday spirit alive in 2019.
Related Video: 10 New High-Alcohol Beers to Warm Your Bones This Fall and Winter
All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop.
Header image by Chowhound.