12 Yuletide brews bring you foam for the holidays

Only six more drinking days until Christmas. That means you’ll have to double up on Joe Sixpack’s annual 12 Beers of Christmas.

Cooked up by happy brewers as a gift to beer fans, these holiday beers typically contain added malt and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

Each is a satisfying alternative to eggnog and hot toddies, perfect for a cozy evening in front of the fireplace or ‘neath the mistletoe. Hurry to your local specialty beer store or tavern, because most will be gone by next month.

  1. Anchor Our Special Ale (California).
  2. Sierra Nevada Celebration (California).
  3. Pyramid Snowcap (Washington).
  4. Humboldt Holiday Nectar (California).
  5. Independence William’s Winter Warmer (Philadelphia).
  6. Snow Goose (Maryland).
  7. Dogfish Head Immort Ale (Delaware).
  8. Still Nacht (Belgium).
  9. Affligem Noel (Belgium).
  10. Affligem Pater’s Vat (Belgium).
  11. Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome (England)
  12. Samichlaus (Switzerland).

Of the dozen, Samichlaus (Swiss for St. Nick) is the strongest, with a 15 percent alcohol content that’ll knock the whiskers off your chinny-chin-chin.

This world-famous double-bock is brewed just one day a year, on St. Nicholas Day, Dec, 6. Then it’s stored for a year to allow it to ferment properly.

Among the domestic micros, Immort Ale from Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach, Del., is the strongest – around 12 percent. Though it’s not a true Christmas beer, this ale’s vanilla and maple aroma is comfortable and warming enough to take the chill out of a snowy night.


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