Thursday, 20 November 2008

Tis the Season for Holiday Beers

My local Sun-Sentinel ran an AP story on seasonal beers this morning, which notes that seasonals are a growth category for brewers:
About a year ago, seasonals passed pale ales as the No. 1 growth in craft beers, says Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, a trade association in Boulder, Colo.

"'What can I try that I haven't tried before?' is really driving a lot of the sales in the category," Gatza says.
So now that the holidays are just around the corner, what seasonals are hitting the shelves, to be snapped up by variety-craving craft beer consumers?
Winter: Anchor Steam's Christmas Ale and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale are good bets. From across the pond, Samuel Smith's Winter Warmer is a stellar example.

From Belgium, try Corsendonk's Christmas beer, one of Russell's favorites. And if you can get it, Troeg's the Mad Elf, Russell's favorite Christmas beer, a potent offering brewed with cherries and balanced with spicy yeast.
Personally, I am not a fan of Anchor's Christmas offering, and I view Celebration as a year-round beer. De Ranke's Père Noël is a nice one, though I can't recall seeing it available in the U.S.

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