It is that time of year where we rush the aisles to find the gifts we want for ourselves and others. A lot of it is seasonal and only here for us to grab with little to no time. The one gift that keeps on giving is beer.
Yes. There are seasonal beers just like there are seasonal Hallmark movies or Starbucks drinks. And there is nothing that I look forward to after a long day than a seasonal cold one that I can savor only once a year.
So, here are a couple of my recommendations to UCCS students who are 21 and up. I am only sharing three breweries despite there being hundreds that release winter beers.
All beers on this list are around $10 for a six-pack. Remember to drink responsibly.
The Breckenridge Brewery Christmas Ale
This is a Breckenridge Brewery Classic. I have purchased this beer the moment it reached liquor store fridges for the past three years. Just looking at the green mountain design on the bottles with the word “Christmas” makes me thirsty.
It is a strong beer with a 7.10% ABV, dark and malty with extra flavor and a whole taste. According to Breckenridge Brewing’s website, the beer is flavored with roasted malts and notes of caramel and chocolate. Chinook and Mt. Hood hops are added to help create a spicy quality to ensure a clean balanced finish.
This is the kind of beer I would recommend to drink after a healthy meal, not during. It is filling and strong, so do not drink on an empty stomach. Instead, consume when your stomach is moderately filled, and then let the beer do the rest.
The Samuel Adams Winter Lager and Holiday White Ale
Samuel Adams releases two beers for the winter holiday, making them the most impressive brewery on this list. Their website even has a video describing what goes into the making of one of these beers.
A mixture of cocoa and orange notes is what makes this ruby brown beer — the Winter Lager — a great one. Rich Ferrell, the Samuel Adams brewer in their video, said that the beer was made to provide the warm, nostalgic and comfortable feeling that comes with winter.
Honestly, it makes sense. Every time I drink this one, I am watching a movie or reading a book, wishing my fireplace worked. It is a great beer to have just as you are winding down after a long day of school.
For UCCS students, I would recommend drinking this one right when the semester is over. Open the beer, curl up and then reflect on the hard work you did. You deserve it.
The Winter Lager’s ABV is at 5.6%, .2% lower than the Holiday White Ale which is at 5.8%.
Despite not having a video to go with it, the white ale deserves its flowers (there should be two videos to help with how much I enjoy this one).
The Samuel Adams website recommends this beer with a meal. They are not lying. It is bold and crisp and goes well with food. If you have guests over sometime in the next month, purchase the Holiday White Ale; it will not disappoint for beer lovers.
Shiner Holiday Cheer
The first time I drank this beer was one of the last days I lived in Texas four years ago. I even remember the date: Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. I went to a bar right next to my apartment for the final time.
I had become accustomed to Shiner as many Texas bars sold the beer at a discount. You know, because Texans believe Texas is the best thing since Texas. I ordered Shiner as a goodbye to the state, but the waitress recommended I try their holiday cheer instead. And I did, despite being nervous.
After one sip, I blurted out, “This tastes like Christmas,” to my roommate. And it does. The first thing that hits you are the notes of peach, pecan and the caramelized malts that give it a deep dark color. It has an ABV of 5.4% yet is full and complex.
I recommend drinking it in the morning, day and night on Christmas. Just don’t drive if you do.
This is by far my favorite on this list because I save best for last, and this is the beer you want to drink on Christmas. So, hold onto your $10 until then.
Have a great holiday and have fun trying these beers. Once again: be responsible.