‘Tis the season for family, friends, and giving. ‘Tis the season for cooler weather, light displays, and decorated trees.
And ’tis the season for some of the best beer of the year.
It took a lot of dedicated research — and I mean a lot — to find beers that not only fit the holiday season but are available in the Frisco area. It was a difficult job that ultimately required a few Uber rides…but I accomplished my goal. All for the good of the people, right?
Add a little extra flavor to your holiday season with these seasonal beers.
Bells: Christmas Ale
Now I might be biased on this one since Bells Brewery is from Michigan, but this is a beer that I look forward to every year. A one-time Michigan-only beer is now available in Texas!
This Scotch Ale is rich and malty with caramel throughout. It comes across a little boozy, but it’s just enough to warm you up.
Find it on draft and in bottles through the DFW area.
Sierra Nevada: Celebration
This beer is a nice change from your typical winter or Christmas beers. If you’re someone like me who’s looking for a nice hop-forward beer, this might be it. The aroma of its Cascade and Centennial hops hits you like a snowball thrown by Iron Man.
The copper color screams malt but it’s surprisingly fresh with just the right amount of bitterness.
Find it at Market Street and evening Target. It’s available on draft and in bottles.
Samuel Smith: Winter Welcome Ale
Samuel Smith is a brewery with a long history of great beer. The Winter Welcome Ale, in particular, is highly sought after because of its limited release in the area. The honey amber color matches its light and sweet taste followed by a hint of spice. The beer is sure to warm you up on a cold night.
Find it at Total Wine in bottles and act fast because this one will sell out. (If you find somewhere on draft, get one while you can because the DFE only received 10 kegs!)
Hop & Sting: Christmas Cookie
The name alone should make your mouth water — and may entice Santa to come down your chimney faster. Beyond the fun name, I can tell you that the taste is amazing. I’m pretty tough on your typical “cookie beer” — they tend to be either too sweet or artificial in taste. That is not the case with this English-style ale.
Christmas Cookie is light in color and low in abv (alcohol by volume) however the scent of fresh-baked Christmas cookies is right there from the start. The vanilla and caramel flavors add to the hint of spice that lingers throughout and the flavors are not overpowering.
Find it on draft at The Brass Tap in Prosper.
St. Bernardus: Christmas Ale
Brewed as a Quadrupel, this Belgian ale pours deep and rich with a huge, frothy and light brown head, mostly lasting with excellent lacing. The aroma and flavor is heavy bread, cookie and caramel malt with notes of plum, baked apples, and brown sugar.
With a full-bodied, creamy and fizzy texture, it has a slightly spicy and bitter finish. If that doesn’t sound like Christmas, I don’t know what does.
Prairie: Christmas Bomb!
This is Prairie’s seasonal stout, spiced with cinnamon, and has become a serious beer for the holidays. It pours black with a medium, creamy tan head. The aroma is heavy chocolate, roast and coffee malt, earthy hops, prunes, and figs. The flavor is sweet dark malt and chocolate, dark fruits, medium hops and bitterness with a sweet finish. It’s perfect for a cold night sitting by the fire.
TUPPS: Full Grown Nick
Tupps is known for its DDH Series (Double Dry Hopped) but the Christmas variation of their Full Grown Man series of beers is right up there as well. The Full Grown Nick takes the famous stout and brews it with loads of holiday cheer.
This holiday spiced imperial stout comes in at a big 12.1% ABV with a slight sweetness and a full body of spice.
Nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon all hit your nose as you pour the can or smell the draft.
Find it at Market Street in Frisco (but it goes quickly).
Victory Brewing: Winter Cheers
When you think of traditional winter or holiday beer styles, hefeweizen probably isn’t one that comes to mind. However, Winter Cheers Hazy Wheat Ale stans out.
The beer is slightly stronger than many hefeweizens at 6.7% ABV and has a balance of fruity and spicy notes, making it an excellent pairing for holiday dinners.
It even has a nice kick of Citra hops to give it an American twist.
Anchor Brewing: Christmas Ale
Having made its debt in 1975, this is one of the most sought-after Christmas beers. For 45 years, this beer has been at the top. This beer is packed with flavor, boasting roasted malt, cocoa, and just enough sweetness to really make you feel like Christmas.
Find it on tap at The Brass Tap in Prosper, or at Goody Goody and Total Wine.
Avery: Old Jubilation Ale (English Style)
Avery has been one of my favorite Colorado breweries for a long time. They put out amazing beers and it’s such a nice beautiful view when you go there. The Old Jubilation Ale screams Christmas and makes me think of being in England hanging out with Scrooge (post-Jacob Marley visit) on a cold Christmas night.
Hazelnut, Mocha, and toffee give it the malt flavor you love without the holiday spice. This is a great beer that I wish was around all winter long, however just like the holidays — it’s gone before you know it.
Breckenridge Brewery: Christmas Ale
While we’re on the subject of Colorado, we might as well talk about Breckenridge and their 7.1% Christmas Ale. The caramel and chocolate cover up the alcohol which is both a good and bad thing. This beer is currently available in bottles and mini-kegs which you can buy for yourself. Just imagine 1.32 gallons of great beer on Christmas morning…
Saint Arnold Brewery: Christmas Ale
Our friends in Houston, Texas have been doing beer for a long time and this easy-to-drink Christmas Ale is becoming a staple around Texas. Very little spice but a ton of flavor makes this not only easy to drink but a nice addition to the holiday.
Find it at Kroger, Target and Market Street.
Frisco, I could go on and on, but I don’t think I can drink anymore. If you like these beers, I would love to hear from you or if you have another favorite, let me know.
Whatever you do, please be safe and drink responsibly this holiday season.