Guides and Facts, Celebrations

Five Beers To Try This Christmas

Traditionally, brewers made their beers to the rhythms of crops to help with the difficulties of preservation. Come October, brewers in Northern Europe would use up their old barley and hop reserves to make a beer to be consumed at the end of the year.

These Christmas beers, also known as winter warmers, benefit from the cooler autumn temperatures and can be aged for several weeks or months. Aging typically takes place in oak barrels with the tannins from the oak adding further to the flavour profile. They reach full maturity around Christmas time, becoming an ale type beer, strong and dense and pairing perfectly with season’s festive dishes.

Christmas beers are usually quite distinctive, often a dark amber or brown in colour with a fine, dense foamy head, an extremely aromatic nose and rich flavour. The alcohol content is often slightly higher than a ‘normal’ beer.  Blended with the finest malts; pale malts for strength and roasted malts for colour and flavour, they are well rounded and full bodied. Brewers often use them as a chance to indulge their creativity, adding an individual touch through spices and other ingredients, making them more flavourful.

Here’s our pick of 5 Christmas beers we think you should try this Christmas:

Anchor Christmas Ale

Each year since 1975, Anchor Brewing creates a distinctive Christmas Ale, available from early November to mid-January. A rich, dark spiced ale, the secret recipe is different every year – as is the tree on the label – but the intent remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of like. Since ancient times, trees have symbolised the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.

Each year Anchor Christmas Ale gets a unique label and a unique recipe. Although our recipes must remain a secret, many save a few bottles from year to year. Properly refrigerated, the beer remains intriguing and drinkable for years. Different nuances emerge as the flavour mellows slightly, much like the memories of great holiday seasons past.

Corsendonk Christmas

Corsendonk Christmas is a dark and rich beer brewed to celebrate the holiday season. Silky smooth with a chocolate malt and spicy aroma. Predominantly malty with smoky, spicy and citrusy notes followed by a long, lingering malty tart finish.

Gordon’s Christmas Beer

Gordon’s Christmas Beer is strong, dark and malty with a deep roasted flavour.  It was originally brewed in the First World Way for British serviceman and the Belgians gained a taste for it.

Moon Gazer Winter Porter

Moon Gazer Winter Porter is a collaborative brew between The Norfolk Brewery and Ramsgate Brewery. It is a smooth, dark ale with a blend of 5 malts, including an oak smoked Wheat malt, which adds complexity and a hint of smokiness. Specialist de-husked Black and Chocolate malts add the dark colour and helps to reduce the astringency and harshness with the backbone being Maris Otter. A hint of orange adds a fruity bitterness whilst coriander adds a touch of citrus and spice on the aftertaste.

Monchshof Weihnachstbier

Monchshof Weihnachstbier is a deep golden in colour with a perfect hop note and a fine malt aroma.

Browse our full selection of Christmas beers in our Christmas Shop.