6 Best Christmas Beers to Celebrate the Holidays

With the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter, it’s the perfect time to find some Christmas cheer with Christmas beers. Seasonal Depression? Who’s she? 

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite holiday brews that encapsulate the holiday spirit. With notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cranberries, and citrus, these “Christmas beers” are rich, often dark ales that bring the warmth and joy of Christmas to your palate. Check out these six holiday brews, each offering a unique taste of the season.

Sierra Nevada – Celebration Fresh Hop IPA

Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Fresh Hop IPA is a harmonious blend of hops that strikes a perfect balance between bitterness and fruity undertones. It’s neither too bitter, earthy, nor overly fruity, presenting a balanced exploration of hops. Slightly grassy and floral, the beer has a robust undercurrent of pine that adds depth. On the palate, the flavors are intense and vibrant, with dominant notes of apple and mango creating a lush, silky texture. A subtle lick of sweetness and a hint of lemon peel bring a refreshing and cleansing finish to this beer. With an ABV of 6.8% and 65 IBUs, it’s a fresh hop beer, best enjoyed as fresh as possible, embodying the spirit of the holiday season in every sip.

Great Lakes Brewing – Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Brewing’s Christmas Ale is a holiday staple, fully adorned with the festive flavors of fresh ginger, cinnamon, and sweet honey. This beer brings a sense of warmth and comfort, reminiscent of holiday traditions. The ginger adds a spicy kick, perfectly balanced by the warmth of cinnamon and the natural sweetness of honey. This combination creates an inviting brew that’s ideal for festive gatherings or cozy nights by the fire. It embodies the spirit of Christmas, offering a taste that is both nostalgic and delightful, making it a popular choice for those who cherish the flavors of the holiday season.

Tröegs Brewing – Mad Elf Ale

Tröegs Brewing’s Mad Elf Ale is a unique, Belgian-style strong ale that stands out with its vibrant red hue and rich flavor profile. Brewed with a blend of four types of cherries, honey, and spices, it offers a deep ruby color and a sweet, malty flavor. Despite its cherry components, the ale doesn’t overpower with fruitiness; instead, it provides a well-balanced malty backbone. The addition of chocolate malt adds depth, complemented by notes of cinnamon, clove, and allspice. At 11% ABV, this ale is a hearty choice for the holiday season, providing a cheerful and indulgent experience that captures the essence of Christmas in every glass.

Bell’s Brewery – Christmas Scotch Ale

Bell’s Brewery presents a traditional Scotch Ale, rich and full-bodied, perfect for the colder months. This ale stands out with its deep malt character and notes of caramel, offering a warm and satisfying finish. The richness of the brew is a nod to Scotland’s classic brewing styles, making it an ideal choice for those who appreciate a more traditional ale. At an impressive ABV, it’s a substantial beer that’s great for sipping slowly by a warm fireplace, reflecting on the joy and nostalgia of the holiday season. This Scotch Ale is a testament to Bell’s Brewery’s commitment to crafting beers that are both flavorful and memorable.

Thirsty Dog – 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale

Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. offers the 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale, a strong ale steeped in Ohio’s regional style. This Christmas Ale is a delightful blend of ginger, cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, and a secret recipe that Santa himself might envy. The combination of these spices creates a unique flavor profile that is both bold and inviting. This ale is perfect for those who enjoy a beer that captures the full spectrum of holiday spices, delivering a taste that is both festive and comforting. The beer’s spiced character is ideal for holiday celebrations, bringing a touch of warmth and cheer to any gathering. It’s a wonderful representation of how traditional holiday flavors can be creatively incorporated into a modern craft beer.

Revolution Brewing – Fistmas

Revolution Brewing’s Fistmas is a Holiday Red Ale that stands out with its infusion of ginger root and orange peel. This beer features a complex flavor profile with notes of fresh-baked bread, caramel, and stone fruit, all wrapped in the warmth of holiday cheer. The ginger adds a spicy zest, while the orange peel provides a subtle citrusy brightness. This combination, along with the ale’s rich malty base, results in a beer that is both festive and satisfying. Fistmas is an excellent choice for those looking to enjoy the flavors of the holiday season in a beer that is both traditional and innovative.

Pro Tip: Try a Cinnamon Sugar Rim

For a delightful twist, use a cinnamon sugar rim for Christmas Ales with sweeter flavors. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Mix equal parts of ground cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish.
  2. Wet the rim of your beer glass with water or a slice of orange.
  3. Dip the rim of the glass into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating it well.
  4. Pour the beer and enjoy a festive touch to your holiday brew!


These six Christmas beers offer a delightful journey through the flavors and aromas of the holiday season. Whether you prefer the rich and malty, the sweet and spicy, or the bright and citrusy, there’s a Christmas beer on this list for every taste. So, raise a glass and toast to the festive season with one (or more) of these exceptional brews.

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