It’s the most wonderful time to drink beer! These next few months offer big, bold brews that will warm your body and soul as the weather gets frosty. They’re perfectly suited for Christmas gifting and below we’ve rounded up some seasonal standouts that will bring joy to both casual beer drinkers and major enthusiasts. Along with the typical fall and winter heavy hitters we’ve also included some lighter options too so nobody is left out in the cold.
Related Reading: Chowhound Gift Guide 2019: The Best Gifts for Wine-Lovers
Craft beer fans are obsessed with this sweet and subtly spicy stout brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and ancho peppers. It’s essentially a boozy take on Mexican hot chocolate and makes an ideal sipper when sitting by the fireplace. If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for a beer lover and happen to find yourself near St. Louis, seek out the otherworldly rye barrel-aged version of Abraxas—released in small quantities at the brewery just once a year.Buy Now
The annual Black Friday release of Goose Island’s Bourbon County series has beer lovers frantically scavenging liquor stores on the prowl for bottles. While the flagship barrel-aged stout remains a must-buy, consider its more elusive Wheatwine cousin which returns after a successful launch last year. Aged in Larceny wheated bourbon casks which adds to the beer’s dynamic flavor profile that straddles butterscotch and toffee, it’s bound to be a hit with your beer geek friend or family member. Buy Now
This easy-drinking porter from cheeky Danish brewery Mikkeller has holiday gift written all over it—literally. Not only is it brewed with a quartet of seasonal spices—star anise, clove, coriander, and cinnamon—but as the beer’s name suggests, the label doubles as a card so there’s no need to go the Hallmark route.Buy Now
Here’s another Danish offering, this time from frequent Mikkeller collaborator To Øl which sought to buck the trend of massive holiday beers. Instead, Snowball Saison keeps things light and sparkling with a mild hop finish, muted sour notes (thanks to the addition of brettanomyces), and a particularly effervescent mouthfeel. If you’re considering Champagne as a gift but want to shake things up and keep costs down, this is an ideal alternative. Buy Now
A tradition since 1975, Anchor Christmas Ale has become as dependable during the holidays as a Lifetime holiday movie marathon. Though the label has stayed the same, the recipe is tweaked each year and the 2019 vintage of the spiced winter warmer skews a little darker with more pronounced notes of caramel and coffee. You can opt for a six-pack but if you really want to make a statement, buy a magnum (just be sure you have enough wrapping paper). Buy Now
Bomb! Is an in-your-face stout brewed with a harmonious blend of vanilla, coffee, cacao nibs, and chile peppers that lives up to its exclamation point. This Christmas variant provides an even bigger flavor explosion with the addition of cinnamon. Who needs holiday spirits when you have beers like this to provide plenty of cheer?Buy Now
Even casual beer drinkers are familiar with Delirium Tremens, the celebrated Belgian strong ale with the pink elephant label. This holiday version is a touch sweeter and stronger with the ABV reaching double digits. It’s a great beer, but the bottle, emblazoned with a skiing, Santa hat-capped elephant and a group of fellow pachyderms guiding St. Nick’s sleigh, is absolutely legendary. Buy Now
There’s no better beer to bring to a Chanukah (or Hanukkah) celebration than this cocoa-spiked golden ale from Shmaltz. Brewed with 8 malts, 8 hops, and at an ABV of 8 percent (notice a theme here?), it will pair nicely with Bubbe’s brisket—forget the Manischewitz. Buy a four-pack, or better yet, get two. Buy Now
If you’re in need of an extravagant gift for a discerning boozehound, Utopias certainly fits the bill. It’s unlike any other beer ever produced, a mad scientist’s blend of multiple barrel-aged brews that are up to 16 years old. That crazy alchemy creates a smooth sipper with zero carbonation that’s reminiscent of a sherry-cognac hybrid. Though it comes with a sky high price tag, the beer won’t go bad even after it’s opened so it can be savored for years to come. Take note: Utopias staggering 28 percent ABV prevents it from being sold in 15 states. Buy Now
See our other gourmet food and drink gift guides.
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