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

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
Home Bar Project Below Features

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:
 
Just Three Months After Elysian Brewing Was Acquired by AB-InBev, Co-founder Dick Cantwell Resigns

Just Three Months After Elysian Brewing Was Acquired by AB-InBev, Co-founder Dick Cantwell Resigns

AB-InBev purchased Elysian for an undisclosed sum in January. Three months later, Cantwell resigned. "Working ...read more ›

by Hannah Howard Apr 22, 2015
Chart Shows How Badly Major League Baseball Stadiums Are Ripping Us off for Beer

Chart Shows How Badly Major League Baseball Stadiums Are Ripping Us off for Beer

It's beginning to smell a lot like summer, and for America, that implies one very important thing: baseball se...read more ›

by Talia Aroshas Apr 22, 2015
Ben and Jerry's / New Belgium Brewing Collaboration Beer Coming Fall 2015

Ben and Jerry's / New Belgium Brewing Collaboration Beer Coming Fall 2015

If you've ever wondered what beer you should sip with your ice cream, the answer you've been waiting for is fi...read more ›

by Emily Lee Apr 22, 2015
SPONSORED
Perennial Funding - rectangle
Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›

by Jenny An Sep 3, 2013
New Kickstarter Makes It Easier to Lose Your Bottle Opener

New Kickstarter Makes It Easier to Lose Your Bottle Opener

This bottle opener might be the easier one to lose yet. ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Apr 21, 2015
Hendrick's Gin To Debut Flying Cucumber Airship

Hendrick's Gin To Debut Flying Cucumber Airship

Want to take a ride in a giant flying cucumber? This could be your chance!...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Apr 17, 2015
A Chat With House of Mandela's Tukwini Mandela About Wine, Fair Trade and Her Grandfather

A Chat With House of Mandela's Tukwini Mandela About Wine, Fair Trade and Her Grandfather

We had the opportunity to speak with Tukwini Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, about the House of Mand...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Apr 16, 2015
Neil Patrick Harris Is New Spokesperson for Heineken Light in Money Back Guarantee Campaign

Neil Patrick Harris Is New Spokesperson for Heineken Light in Money Back Guarantee Campaign

Heineken Light just made a new, impressive-sounding promise: If you don't think its beer is the best-tasting l...read more ›

by Hannah Howard Apr 15, 2015
The Best Places to Drink in Disney World

The Best Places to Drink in Disney World

It's easy to imagine, if you've never been, that Disney World is just for kids, but it's so much more....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Apr 15, 2015
Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gimlet

Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gimlet

Have you ever dreamed of having an amazing home bar, filled with bottles you actually use and the tools you need to execute a finely crafted cocktail?...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 14, 2015
SPONSORED
Read The Drink Nation Anywhere You Are
View all Articles

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

Close