Some might prefer a hot cocktail or mulled wine in winter, but for beer drinkers, it’s the time of year to reach for drinks that warm you from the inside out. For this reason, dark, malty, high-alcohol styles take over the taps during the winter months, and many offer festive flavors to add to the holiday spirit.
Here are eight Colorado-made beers to add to your vacation bucket list.
Hammond’s Chocolate Peppermint Candy Cane Imperial Porter by River North Brewery
Hammond’s candies are a classic holiday treat, which is why Denver’s River North Brewery used more than 40 pounds of the company’s crushed candy canes to brew this Imperial Porter with Chocolate Peppermint (10.4% ABV). Expect roasted and minty flavors that intensify as it warms.
Now available at both of River North Brewery’s Denver locations (6021 N. Washington St. and 3400 Blake St.) and to-go in 12 ounce bombers.
Provided by Breckenridge Brewery
Breckenridge Brewery has been brewing their Christmas Ale since 1993. This year the company is partnering with the Colorado Saint Bernard Rescue to offer Denver residents a chance to win a mini keg made by Saint Beer-Nards, racing through the snow is delivered to their homes.
Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
First brewed in 1993, Christmas Ale has become a staple seasonal release from Breckenridge Brewery. The malt-forward strong ale (7.1% ABV) features rich caramel and chocolate flavors with spicy hop notes. And why settle for a six pack when this beer comes in mini kegs? This year, the brewery is partnering with Colorado Saint Bernard Rescue to offer Denver residents a chance to win a mini keg to be delivered to their homes by Saint Beer-Nards racing through the snow. (Entry by Dec. 12; Deliveries will be made on Dec. 16)
Now available in keg, six-pack and 12-pack 12-ounce bottles and mini kegs.
Joshua Tree by New Terrain Brewing Co.
Looking for something bitter to pair with the cold? Gold-based New Terrain Brewing Co. recently launched Joshua Tree, an India Pale Ale infused with spruce tips and a blend of hops that add piney and resinous notes to the flavor profile. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Chill Foundation, which empowers underserved youth through board sports, in honor of a former employee.
Now available on draft from New Terrain Brewing Co. (16401 Table Mountain Pkwy., Golden) and on-the-go in four-pack 16-ounce cans.
Provided by WeldWerks Brewing
At Hotbier Fest on December 18th, WeldWerks Brewing will debut a winter warmer brewed with orange peel and spices and serve it with a hot poker.
Hot beers from Primitive Beer, Cohesion Brewing Co. and WeldWerks Brewing
Heated beer isn’t exactly traditional by modern standards, but three Colorado breweries are hoping to revive the pastime with original recipes that they’ll serve warm, much like mulled wine or wassail, at an event called Hot Beerfest on Dec. 18.
Longmont’s Primitive Beer introduces Willfully Obtuse, a blend of four spontaneously fermented beers, some aged on cherries and spent grape pomace. At the Hotbierf Fest, the beer is served warm from a carafe with honey, citrus fruits and spices.
Denver’s Cohesion serves vánoční speciální pivo, a garnet red lager with roasted malt flavors heated with a hot poker, adding caramelization and complexity to the sweetness. Finally, WeldWerks will debut from Greeley Barrel-Aged Wassail, a winter warmer brewed with orange peel and spices and aged in bourbon casks for more than a year. This is also heated by Hot Poker.
Hotbier Fest takes place on December 18 from 12pm to 8pm at Primitive Beer (2025 Ionosphere St., Longmont) and coincides with a holiday market. Participation in the event is free of charge and proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required. Some of the beers are expected to be available after the festival as well.
Provided by Finkel & Garf Brewing Co.
Finkel & Garf Brewing Co. Brewers Blend is a combination of three stouts guaranteed to warm you from the inside out. (Provided by Finkel & Garf Brewing Co.)
Brewers Blend by Finkel & Garf Brewing Co.
The brewers at Boulder’s Finkel & Garf combined three different beers — a cask-aged Imperial Milk Stout, a bourbon cask-aged Imperial Stout, and another Imperial Milk Stout — into a beer that promises to be a full-bodied glass with robust toasty aromas. At 10.3% ABV, expect some alcoholic notes as well.
Now on tap at Finkel & Garf Brewing Co. (5455 Spine Road, Boulder) and on-the-go in four-pack 12-ounce cans.
Olaf the other reindeer from New Image Brewing Co.
In an effort to capture the essence of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, Arvada’s New Image Brewing Co. created Olaf of the Other Reindeer, an Imperial Milk Stout with lactose, cocoa, coffee and peppermint. At 10.5% ABV, the result is a silky smooth and powerful drink that packs a punch.
Now available on draft from New Image Brewing Co. (5622 Yukon St, Arvada) and in four-pack 16-ounce cans for on-the-go.
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