Holiday Beers

Like most people, this is my favorite time of year. Even though it's 75 in San Diego, it still FEELS like the holidays around here. Even though I ran with my shirt off at the track last night - there's that winter air smell and feel that you only get during the holiday season. I'm not afraid to admit it - I have Christmas music on 24/7, Christmas candles burning, Christmas lights hanging, decorations everywhere and traditions we are passing on to our kids. It's a lot of fun and I don't think I'll ever grow out of it. Especially since this is also the time of year where some of my favorite beers come out.

There's no doubt that I love to consume plenty of holiday beers. What better way to make something even better? Beer makes everything better! I also love to take this time to share my favorite beers with my friends and family. This year I thought I'd share my shopping list with those I can't buy a drink or share one with. Here's my top 5 Holiday Beers.  Feel free to light that candle, turn on some Christmas music and pour yourself a Christmas ale - no better way to wind down after a day of hard work and training.

My Go-To Christmas Beer

[caption id="attachment_2512" align="aligncenter" width="300"]sierra-nevada-2009-celebration-ale Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale[/caption]

I absolutely love this beer and it's always in my fridge during the holiday season. I would actually buy this year round if I could. It's easily accessible in just about any grocery store. It has the perfect malt-to-hop ratio in my opinion. Rich dark color, hoppy flavor with sweet undertones. A must have!

Favorite "Spiced" Ale

[caption id="attachment_2513" align="aligncenter" width="176"]imagesQ29HJHQK Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale[/caption]

Anchor Brewing is one of the few breweries that survived prohibition by selling root beer at the brewery while some speculate; still selling on the black market to stay afloat. What you get is a very old brewery that knows how to brew the old school way. The cool thing about this beer is it changes every single year. Same "style" of beer - think Thanksgiving/Christmas spices with a dark/rich color and flavor. Perfect pairing with Christmas dinner.

Favorite Winter Warmer

[caption id="attachment_2514" align="aligncenter" width="300"]339197_300350166662843_205756879455506_991978_428337210_o Avery Old Jubilation Ale[/caption]

If you can get your hands on this, snatch it up right away. I fell in love with this beer when we lived in Boulder for a short stint. Even though it only gets down to about 40 degrees at night out here for us, after a few of these you'll warm right up. I'm fascinated with the copper color, toffee flavor and how smooth this beer is.

Winter Warmer Part II

[caption id="attachment_2516" align="aligncenter" width="300"]12172012-best-winter-ales-anderson-valley-winter-solstice Anderson Valley Winter Solstice[/caption]

Anderson Valley always has good beers but this one is slowly becoming one of my favorite holiday beers. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV, just think Carmel apple flavors that are really thick and warms you up instantly. Bonus - it comes in cans!

Strongest Winter Ale

[caption id="attachment_2517" align="aligncenter" width="300"]sam-adams-utopia-xl Sam Adams Utopia[/caption]

Advertised as the strongest beer in the world weighing in at 27%ABV - what better way to warm up during the holiday season?? I've been lucky enough to try it - as it's not easy to find in some areas. It's not carbonated like your typical beer. It tastes a lot like a fine cognac - sweet/strong but with a ton of flavor. It's the holiday season, dish out that $150/bottle and share it with your family - it will truly be something everyone will remember!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. Drink good beer, have a lot cheer. Be Safe. Love you all!


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