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Beer Review: Breckenridge Brewery's Christmas Ale

by Nathan Solheim on Dec 22, 2014 in Beer
Beer Review: Breckenridge Brewery's Christmas Ale

For beer drinkers, Christmas usually means a healthy selection of special celebratory brews—and brewers usually deliver like St. Nicholas himself. Most brewers gift the world with spice beers, but Breckenridge Brewery’s Christmas Ale is a malty Old Ale that bucks the seasonal trend. Beer lovers looking for the season’s seasonings in this ale will instead get a lump of coal.

Served in a shaker glass at Breckenridge’s Alehouse at Amato’s location in Denver, Christmas Ale is more a workman-like elf than a rosy-cheeked big guy in red with a sleigh that travels the speed of light. In the glass, it’s a fairly unremarkable brown color with shades of light ruby. I could see no carbonation in my glass, and the head is like Santa Claus. That is, it doesn’t exist.

Christmas Ale is a sweet beer backed up by a malt bill that manages to mask a hearty alcohol by volume of 7.4%. Therefore any heat generated from this brew isn’t exactly going to leave Frosty’s corn-cob pipe and two eyes made out of coal lying in a pool of melted snowman. Christmas Ale’s flavors aren’t complex or plentiful. Beer snobs would be tempted to add a few extra flavors to their Christmas wish list—especially if they’ve sampled any number of any other holiday beers. However, folks who haven’t acquired a taste for craft beer should find this brew fairly accessible. In fact, the hops are kept as tame as a stop-motion TV special narrated by Burl Ives. Christmas Ale is fairly easy drinking—it’s not as heavy as, say, Santa’s sack of presents, and the aftertaste dissipates faster than your taste for fruitcake.

Breckenridge suggests a few food pairings for this beer, but I see myself drinking one of these with some nice, relaxing Christmas music after a day of crass commercialism and even more crass shoppers. Breckenridge’s beers are available throughout most of the nation, however drinkers in Pacific-time-zone states won’t be able to fill their stockings with this not naughty, but nice beer.

Photo via Breckenridge Brewery


Tags: Beer, Holiday
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