Ballantine Beer Leaderboard
THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
2 Gingers Header

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
"Mad Men" Creator Admits to Actors Drinking on the Job
Beer Review: BridgePort Brewing Company's Trilogy Series
Fireball Pulled From European Shelves Over Propylene Glycol Levels
2 Gingers Below Features
From Around The Web

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:
 
Fireball Pulled From European Shelves Over Propylene Glycol Levels

Fireball Pulled From European Shelves Over Propylene Glycol Levels

Fireball has been pulled from European shelves for containing "excessive levels of propylene glycol."...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Oct 28, 2014
Building A Better Home Bar with Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Building A Better Home Bar with Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Jeffrey Morgenthaler shares tips on setting up a simple, effective home bar. ...read more ›

by Seanan Forbes Oct 28, 2014
Review: Store-Bought Jel Shots, Shooters, and...BuzzBallz?

Review: Store-Bought Jel Shots, Shooters, and...BuzzBallz?

Have you ever been tempted to pick up those bright, boozy 'jel shots' by the register at the liquor store? You might want to read this first. ...read more ›

by Jessica Klein Oct 27, 2014
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
Frightful Brew: 8 Spooky Beers for Halloween

Frightful Brew: 8 Spooky Beers for Halloween

Terrifying names and frightening labels make these brews perfect for setting the scene at your Halloween party....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Oct 27, 2014
Get Your Drink On with These Beer Themed Halloween Costumes
by The Drink Nation Oct 22, 2014
Beer Review: Valar Morghulis, the Latest 'Game of Thrones' Inspired Release from Brewery Ommegang

Beer Review: Valar Morghulis, the Latest 'Game of Thrones' Inspired Release from Brewery Ommegang

The Belgian Dubbel is a little more straightforward than Ommegang's previous beers inspired by the HBO hit fan...read more ›

by Collin Keefe Oct 21, 2014
BARTRENDr App Causes Quite a Stir with Marketing Campaign

BARTRENDr App Causes Quite a Stir with Marketing Campaign

There's a new app making waves in the booze world, and not necessarily for its functionality. ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Oct 20, 2014
5 Spooky Cocktails for Your Halloween Party

5 Spooky Cocktails for Your Halloween Party

These devilish drinks are to die for. ...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Oct 17, 2014
Exploring The Bitter World Of Aperitifs and Digestifs

Exploring The Bitter World Of Aperitifs and Digestifs

The bitter world of aperitifs and digestifs is one rich with history, but one without much tradition in the U.S....read more ›

by Seanan Forbes Oct 14, 2014
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