THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

Beer Gift Guide: 8 Winter Beers for the Characters in Your Life

by Dan Imdieke on Dec 6, 2012 in Beer
Beer Gift Guide: 8 Winter Beers for the Characters in Your Life

Winter is one of the best times of year to be a beer lover. Breweries all over the world celebrate the season with special releases, most of which are loaded with flavor and strong enough to curl your toes. Looking to give a special brew to friends or family? Follow this Winter Beer Guide to find some of the best seasonal beers around, along with who to share them with.

The Significant Other: Straffe Hendrik Vintage Ale Quadrupel (Belgium, 11% ABV)

The special man or woman in your life is typically the first and most important person on your list, so they deserve something special. The regular Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel is one of the best beers in the world with fantastic flavors of date, plum, caramel, and spiced brandy. The Vintage Ale, only available once a year around November, is aged in oak barrels, which add vanilla, wood, and vinous notes to the already considerable complexity. Drink it now to celebrate together or age it for up to five years and then cheers to improving with age.

The Traditional Mom and Dad: Anchor Christmas Ale (San Francisco, CA, ABV Varies)

Say your father‘s a straight arrow who knows what he likes and likes what he knows. He doesn’t want anything fancy from a far off country either, making Anchor Christmas Ale the perfect choice. Made right here in the good old U.S. of A., the secret recipe changes every year, with some vintages being very malt forward and spicy and others piney and hoppy. The guessing will bring (possibly much-needed) spontaneity to your mom and dad’s structured life while the 6-7% ABV will make sure they can still unwrap their presents.

The In-Laws: Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti (Denver, CO, 9.5% ABV)

In-laws are one of the joys of any holiday dinner, right? By the time you get around to dessert, you’re ready for them to mellow out on criticizing your cooking and life choices. Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti has irresistible dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors with a hint of cayenne pepper, and pairs exceptionally well with a host of holiday treats. The strength makes it a sipping beer, but you don’t have to tell them that. By the end of the bottle, they’ll say they always knew you were awesome, and tell you how much they love having you in the family.

The Creepy Uncle: Firestone Wookey Jack (Paso Robles, CA 8.3% ABV)

There’s something about that uncle you’re just not sure of.... like there’s a chance he might dress up as Chewbacca when no one’s around. Now he can have a beer to accompany his oddness — Firestone’s deliciously complex black IPA.  Wookey Jack has a roasted, burnt coffee flavor (think wet asphalt, in a good way) a hint of spice from rye malt and a perfect piney and earthy hop bitterness all balanced to perfection. Great for getting ready to take on the Death Star.

The Demanding Boss: St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (Belgium, 10% ABV)

If your boss always expects the impossible from you, display your own lofty expectations with a brew that has been micromanaged to perfection for generations. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is perhaps the best Belgian holiday beer around and features flavors of dark caramelized fruit and a mix of holiday spices like nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. A fantastic beer to celebrate that huge Christmas bonus you’ll be receiving... right? 

The Meathead College Roommate: Samichlaus Doppelbock (Austria, 14% ABV)

Everyone’s got that friend who always goes to the extreme and feels the need to prove their manhood at every turn. Throw down the gauntlet by offering the strongest bottom-fermented lager beer in the world. Samichlaus is only brewed once a year, on December 6, and has flavors of rum, sweet caramel, toffee, and plums and a surprising drinkability. Plus, you won’t have to hear your ‘ol pal go on about his fantasy team stats because he’ll be asleep by halftime. Touchdown, Austria!

The Party Guests: Anderson Valley Winter Solstice (Boonville, CA, 6.9% ABV)

It’s hard to make everyone happy at a party with a beer that’s drinkable, yet strong and complex enough to satisfy the beer lovers. Anderson Valley Winter Solstice is not a traditional English style winter warmer; it’s unique. It has flavors of vanilla, burnt brown sugar, oatmeal cookie, roasted bitterness and a silky mouthfeel that lends itself to having more than one. Bring a few extra for yourself or you’ll be stuck with everyone else’s leftover Corona as the Winter Solstice disappears mysteriously from the fridge.

The Hipster Cousin: Unibroue Quelque Chose (Canada, 8% ABV)

Ahhh your cousin, the king of cool. He’s got big sunglasses, a mustache, a vest and skinny jeans. What do you get someone who is king of the scene? How about a beer meant to be enjoyed both cold and hot? Quelque Chose is a mix of a Belgian style cherry beer and a strong brown ale. Throw in some spices and you’ve got the perfect holiday treat that can be served cold or warmed like mulled wine or holiday cider. The complexity changes depending on how it’s served, which will make your cuz the talk of the speakeasy. You may have to hunt this one down due to limited availability, but it’s uniqueness makes it worth it.

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Behind the Bar: Camille Ralph Vidal, Global Brand Ambassador for St. Germain

Behind the Bar: Camille Ralph Vidal, Global Brand Ambassador for St. Germain

In this installment of Behind the Bar, we were lucky enough to interview Madame St. Germain herself, Camille V...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 23, 2017
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

If you're the kind of alcoholic who needs to have booze on your person at all times, Groupon has just the product for you: prosecco-flavored nail poli...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Mar 22, 2017
The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

A recent IndieGoGo campaign has resulted in a coffee table with everything you could want: the Sobro Refrigera...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 22, 2017
SPONSORED
Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Soon, you'll be able to enjoy cold brew coffee with the alcohol percentage of a strong beer with Bad Larry's Cold Hard Coffee. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 17, 2017
Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

In what is undoubtedly the company's latest publicity stunt, Budweiser announced Saturday, March 11 at SXSW in Austin, Texas that they are looking int...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 16, 2017
BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

The publicly owned Scottish brewery announced their plans to crowdfund a craft beer hotel, called the "Dog House" via Indiegogo less than week ago. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 8, 2017
Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate, the Jamaican rum label, is celebrating 20 years with its master distiller Joy Spence this year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 7, 2017
Guinness is Releasing Its Own Irish Whiskey

Guinness is Releasing Its Own Irish Whiskey

Guinness is getting into the Irish whiskey gave with Roe & Co, a blended Irish whiskey....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Feb 28, 2017
Channing Tatum is Starting His Own Line of Vodka

Channing Tatum is Starting His Own Line of Vodka

As if watching Magic Mike over and over again wasn't already good enough, Channing Tatum is gracing the world yet again, this time with his own line o...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Feb 28, 2017
Zima is Coming Back, and it's Zomething We Didn't Miss

Zima is Coming Back, and it's Zomething We Didn't Miss

Miller-Coors announced that Zima - which was originally discontinued in 2008 - will be buddying up (probably briefly) with its lineup of Henry's Hard ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Feb 28, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close