Top Christmas Beers You Need to Try This Season

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

< Shutterstock

The winter holidays are an extra special time of year for beer lovers. It's the time of year when brewers around the world pull out all the hops, creating special brews that circulate for a limited time only.

Some are spicy, some are fruity, some are sweet — but all are fleeting and will be gone once the weather gets warm.

UnderTheLabel compiled a list of the must-try beers of the season. For some beers, we list the ABV — that's alcohol by volume. In other cases, we look at IBU — that's International Bitterness Units, which is used to gauge the level of bitterness in a given beer.

#21. Hopslam Ale

Intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma define Hopslam IPA, a double India pale ale with an ABV of 10 percent. Drink this bold, amber colored American ale out of a snifter.

#20. Blackout Stout

With an IBU of 85, Blackout Stout is bitter for an American-style imperial stout. Its 9 percent ABV is in the middle of the road for this style of beers. Drink it out of a 12-ounce tulip.

#19. Mephistopheles'

Intense and bitter for its style, Mephistopheles' by the Avery Brewing Company has big, 15.1 percent ABV. Drink it out of a snifter and look for hints of roasted coffee, caramel and chocolate.

#18. Berry Merry Holiday Ale

Berry Merry Holiday Ale by Cape Cod Beer is a fruit beer with 5 percent ABV, which is on the lower end for its style. Its average, 30 IBU isn't bitter enough to overpower the beer's holiday fruit essence.

#17. The Czar


The Czar by Avery Brewing Company is meant to be sipped from a 22-ounce tulip. This dark black, American-style imperial stout packs a strong 11.03 percent ABV.

#16. Bell's Java Stout

Java Stout by Bell's Brewing Company is a deep black, American-style stout. Its 7.5 percent ABV is typical for its style, as is its bitterness level of 43 IBU.

#15. Jubelale

Deschutes Brewery uses five different kinds of hops when brewing Jubelale, a British origin American ale. It packs a 6.7 percent ABV and has a bitterness level that is about average for the strong ale style.

#14. Celebration Ale

This fresh hop ale boasts an IBU of 65, which means it's more bitter than most similar style ales. It's made with Centennial, Cascade and Chinook hops, and has an ABV of 6.8 percent.

#13. Christmas Ale (Great Lakes Brewing Company)

Christmas Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery Company has everything the herb and spice beer category requires. It's got a 7.5 percent ABV and an IBU of 40, which is in the style's tradition of modest bitterness. Drink it from a 12-ounce tulip.

#12. Christmas Ale (Goose Island Beer Company)

The Goose Island Beer Company's Christmas Ale has an ABV of 6.2 percent, which is high for an American-style brown ale. It has an impressive UnderTheLabel Smart Rating of 89.

#11. Isolation Ale

Isolation Ale from the Odell Brewing Company has a lower hop bitterness than most beers in the herb and spice beer style. Drink it out of a 12-ounce pint glass.

#10. 4 Elf Winter Warmer

The Dark Horse Brewing Company brings 4 Elf Winter Warmer to the holiday season. This hybrid/mixed herb and spice style beer packs a 9 percent ABV.

#9. Full Sail Wassail

Full Sail is made by the Wassail Brewery in the old ale style with a traditionally minimal bitterness level of 56 IBU. Look for sweet, malty caramel flavors and scents.

#8. Brrr Seasonal Ale

Widmer Brothers Brewing released Brrr Seasonal Ale just in time for winter. This speciality beer includes unusual fermentation to achieve its 7.2 percent ABV.

#7. Sweetwater Festive Ale

This herb and spice style beer has a punchy 8.5 percent ABV. Drink this seasonal brew out of a 12-ounce pint glass.

#6. Old Fezziwig Ale


The Boston Beer Company is offering Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale, a dark brown ale with mild bitterness. It has a modest 5.8 percent ABV and contains 16 grams of carbohydrates.

#5. Winter Welcome

Winter Welcome comes from the Samuel Smith Old Brewery. It contains 6 percent ABV and is crafted in the tradition of British origin ales.

#4. Nutcracker Ale

Although it's made in the United States, Nutcracker Ale is an English ale. This herb and spice beer is minimally hopped so the seasonal flavor can stand up over any bitterness. It has an ABV of 5.8 percent.

#3. Prelude Special Ale

Prelude Special Ale by Shipyard Brewing brings a powerful 9.5 percent ABV to the holidays. This British origin ale is brewed in the old ale style.

#2. 12 Dogs of Christmas

Seasonal symbolism was not lost on the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company when they introduced 12 Dogs of Christmas, a modestly bitter herb and spice beer. It brings an ABV of 8.3 percent to the party.

#1. Christmas Ale (Anchor Brewing Company)

The aptly named Christmas Ale is a hybrid specialty beer. Created by the Anchor Brewing Company, the holiday brew brings a modest 5.5 percent ABV.

Research More Beer on UnderTheLabel

Haute Tease

  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review – Fun, Fast, A Four Star Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, from Paramount Studios, Skydance and Bad Robot Productions, presents a fast action, roller coaster speed ride, full of fresh snappy dialogue, high tech gadgetry, thrills and chills, all in just over two, explosive packed, hours.

     
  • World News: Emmanuel Macron and .... the Others

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In the absence of a credible political opposition, Macronism, always indefinite, stands out as the dominant ideology because it is the only one in the running. And if this domination is not political substance, it is enough.

     
  • Three Defendants Plead Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Participating in $57.3 Million Fraud on Victims of Nazi Persecution

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that GENRIKH KOLONTYRSKIY, MOYSEY KUCHER, and DORA KUCHER pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to conspiring to defraud programs administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. (the Claims Conference), established to aid the survivors of Nazi persecution, out of more than $57 million.

     
  • Peppermint Review - Jennifer Garner is One Badass Avenger in this Solid Vigilante Action Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Peppermint, from STX Entertainment and Huayi Brothers, presents the story of justice and the paths many travel to right the wrongs, to avenge the senseless, to expose the corrupt and well-hidden, and to ensure their story is heard.

     
  • Snatched Review - Raucous, Bawdy, Hilarious Fun

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Snatched, from Chernin Entertainment, and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, presents a girl’s gone wild night out that becomes a cat and mouse race as our girls lean on ingenuity, necessity, and each other as they escape foreign kidnappers.

     
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: A Sony Pictures Animation Christopher Miller/Phil Lord Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the animated version of the classic children’s book previewed recently for select media and followed with a press junket at the world famous Dylan’s Candy Store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

     
  • HL France: Provence Emotional Escapes Introduces Three New Gorgeous Luxury Villas

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Vive Le France! The beauty, the romance, the delicious delicacies, France is a dreamer’s escape, from the North to the South, ancient cities beckon, countryside welcome with winding roads through the most enchanting country in the world.

     
  • XOXO Review - A Psychedelic, Heartwarming, Trip

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    XOXO, a Netflix original film, presents a modern romance against the backdrop of a SoCal mega Rave festival filled with near misses, close encounters of the Coachella kind, vibrant, fluorescent winter gardens and the magic of music.

     
  • Awe-Inspiring Groom’s Gifts From the William Henry ‘Embrace’ Collection

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When considering what to get a budding bride, the options are seemingly endless. However, buying a memorable and meaningful gift for the would-be groom—and also the wedding party of the male persuasion—can prove far more challenging.

     
  • WALT DISNEY Releases Two New Trailers from its 2013 Slate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise, and Walt DISNEY comes their newest collaboration THE LONE RANGER starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. WALT DISNEY/ PIXAR also released a new trailer for the summer 2013 release of the hilarious MONSTERS UNIVERSITY sequel to MONSTERS INC., in theaters this December.

     
  • Safe Solutions for Six Common Beach Body Concerns

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Summertime and the living is easy! Warm weather gives way to bare skin, sandals, beach days and cool nights, and for most summertime also reveals, and in our eyes glaring, beauty imperfections; skin blotches, stubborn cellulite and stretch marks.

     
  • UPDATED: 16 Dead in Mt. Everest Avalanche Kills; Climbing Season Halted

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A deadly avalanche on Mt. Everest claimed the lives of sixteen Sherpa’s in what has become the deadliest day in the history of mountain climbing expeditions, and the annual trekking season has not officially started.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Addresses Davos Attendees; The Perv and The Pedophile: Wynn Resigns; US Gymnast Doc Sentenced; Challenger

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump, after a turbulent and shocking freshman year, will give his first State of the Union address this week expected to be a continuation of his themes of making America great again, promised and delivered.

     
  • Japanese Death Toll Rises; Ecuador Hit With 7.8 Temblor; Burma Recovering

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Japanese people are still reeling from aftershocks following Tuesday’s massive 6.2 earthquake that struck almost exactly five years after the deadly 9.0 2011 quake that triggered a Tsunami and massive meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor.

     
  • London's Alteria Arts Hosts Dynamic New Musical Artwork in a Live Event

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Back in 2015 we introduced Alteria Art as part of The Clash legend Mick Jones and his Rock & Roll Public Library launch, and now we’re again working with founders Lauren Jones and Alix Alix Janta-Polczynski to introduce Photismograms.