This brewery is typically known for their super light and airy beers and most famous for their shandies. That being said, it’s interesting to see a porter come from Leinenkugel. But, we take this seriously, so no putting the cart before the horse. Or beer. From the website: “Drift into winter with Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, back by popular demand as our Winter standalone. A fuller-bodied brew with hints of cocoa, coffee and caramel brought out by roasted malts and aged on real vanilla, our Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is smooth and creamy, making it perfect for warming up winter.”
Based in Cincinnati, Rhinegeist has quickly become one of the most popular breweries in Ohio. They have a very extensive catalog of canned beers and have recently started churning out a lot of bombers (22 oz bottles) as well. If you like any sort of beer at all, Rhinegeist probably has something for you. Per their website: “This hoppy red ale balances crisp hops with juicy malts like a well worn flannel embraces the cold early dark days of winter. Notes of citrus and cherry life saver.”
This is one we always like to see on our list because it’s from one of our favorite breweries, and it’s not a traditional dark, spiced ale. From their website: “An alternative to dark and heavy winter warmers and stouts, Winter White is a stylish and refreshing Wheat Ale. Fermented with a Belgian ale yeast, this blend of barley and wheat malts yields a mixture of clove and fruity aromas, all without the use of any spices.”
And we welcome another new beer to the calendar! It’s also from a new Cleveland brewery, a Christmas miracle! From the can: “Twas two months before X-mas and all through the land, all the brewers were brewing using only two hands. Our friend Nic had a more ingenious scheme, brew with four hands for a batch that’s a dream. Red and delicious with a hint of cinnamon spice. Great if you’re naughty, even better if you’re nice.”
Ahhhhh, Sierra Nevada, easily one of the best craft breweries in the country in terms of quality and consistency. This is a staple we purchase every year. The label design also happens to be one of our favorites. From the website: “First brewed in 1981, Celebration Ale is one of the earliest examples of an American-style IPA and one of the few hop-forward holiday beers. Famous for its intense citrus and pine aromas, Celebration is bold and intense, featuring Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops—honoring everything we have at Sierra Nevada.” They definitely chose the hoppy route, in typical Sierra Nevada style, over a traditional holiday spiced ale. But these tend to be a great way to break up what would otherwise be a string of 24 spiced beers. Let’s see how it stacks up this year!
We didn’t remember seeing this around in years past, but we’re huge fans of Avery so we snagged this right when we saw it. The scene on this can is something right out of a holiday Hummel village. It definitely makes us want to open it on Christmas morning. From their website: “Our winter strong ale has a gorgeous mahogany hue, a hint of hazelnuts, and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. No spices, just a perfect blend of five specialty malts.”
For four days straight we were going strong with “Christmas” ales. We decided to switch it up for day five and go with a “Winter” ale. Ok, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but this one does also use spruce tips just like yesterday’s. Let’s see how they compare! From their website: “Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.” It definitely still sounds like a cold weather beer.
Oh how we love puns! Sleigh All Day is a holiday red IPA brewed with spruce tips. The “spruce tips possess many of the same aromas and flavors as hops, but also have a unique citrusy pine note. We used a blend of spruce tips and hops in this seasonal beer to yield balance between tropical hop goodness and piney dankness.” It definitely does not sound like a traditional holiday ale, and we’re always excited to add a new Cleveland brewery to the list!
Day 3: Rusty Rail Brewing Company Snow Flyer Porter
This is another new one on our list for this year. We don’t know a lot about this brewery other than they’re based out of Pennsylvania and we think they’re fairly new to Ohio. We haven’ tried any of their other beer but we’re always excited to try a new brewery. Their website doesn’t provide a detailed description but from Brewbound it’s described as “a rich and full-bodied porter brewed with natural hazelnut and cacao.”
We are all so excited about this beer because honestly, the can is awesome. It might be the best holiday can out there. Royal Docks is a fairly new beer around here, but it’s in Canton so still local. We haven’t had too many of their beers but from what we’ve tried they’ve has been good. From their website Yuletide is ” our holiday seasonal is a big, sweet, spiced ale with a pleasant spicy flavour and aroma that is at once present but not overwhelming. The deep copper hue and fluffy white head is perfectly presented garnished with a spring of freshly cut rosemary, which imbues the nose with a fleeting whiff of pine before the richness of the beer reaches your palate.”