It’s the best time of the year for beer. Well, for me anyway.
When most people ask me “what’s your favorite beer” (which that question itself couldn’t be more loaded), my usual response is “the next one.” I say that because it’s just too hard to nail down one style or one brand that I could give the gold medal to. However, I suppose in a pinch, I could with a certain amount of honesty and enthusiasm, say “Holiday Beers.”
The truth is, Holiday Beers, or Christmas Beers, or Winter Beers, don’t really fall into a certain style category. Most of the time, with a few exceptions, they’re comprised of one or the other: Winter Warmers or Belgian Strong Dark Ales. Traditionally these beers date back pretty far, when the monks would brew a special beer around the holidays to celebrate the birth of Christ. And as you would expect, they save many special ingredients just for this particular batch. It depends on what you’re drinking, but spices, as well as fruit are two of the big ones that’ll go into these. Spices that will show up in these glorious beers could be licorice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and clove, and some fruits that rear their heads are figs, dates, cherries, plums, raisins, and even strawberries. They’re very special beers guys and gals, and what better time to share these with family and friends?
Enjoying these beers during the harsh upstate New York winter months could possibly be my favorite pastime. Up until now, I’ve listed my “Top 5” favorites in a certain category, but this being what it is, and in keeping with the holiday season, I’m going to recommend my top 10, because it’s just too hard for me to whittle it down to 5, and you know, that whole “giving” thing. So, keep drinking the good stuff, and happy holidays to you and yours!
[techtags:CHRISTMAS BEERS, TOP 10 CHRISTMAS BEERS, CHRISTMAS BEER, HOLIDAY BEERS, WINTER ALE, CHRISTMAS ALE]