Top 6 Holiday Beers That Need to be on Your Bar’s List

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Bring in the holiday cheer by serving up some holiday beers! The month of November is behind us, signaling the end of the Pumpkin Ales, wet-hopped IPAs, and Oktoberfest lagers that dominate the shelves of local craft beer stores. With the entrance of December comes a joyous, cheery season filled with chilly weather, warm attire, rosy cheeks, jingle bells and seasonal artisan craft beers of its own.

Many beers come spiced with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. There is an array of these seasonal libations that you can imbibe. Here are six holiday craft beer suggestions, in six different styles, that have become a trend amongst avid craft beer drinkers. Read on to learn how you can “tap” into the holiday spirit and satisfy your customers with these on-trend holiday beers!

1. IPA – Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (ABV: 6.8%)

An iconic wintertime IPA that is essential to many craft beer lovers’ seasonal lineup. Hailing from Chico, CA this West Coast IPA is perfect for people who “hate winter.” Its citrus twist makes for an original, refreshing holiday flavor that is popular all over the country. This beer will live up to its name at any holiday gathering or bar event!


2. Sour – Jolly Pumpkin’s Noel de Calabaza

For lovers of tart types of beer, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales has not forgotten you during a stout heavy season. Bless them because this one’s for you!

3. Imperial Stout – Anchor Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper

With the Christmas season comes rich, and full-bodied, stouts like Port’s immensely chocolatey “Santa’s Little Helper”. This imperial stout is a go-to for malt-bomb lovers.

Runner-up: Samuel Adams Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout (ABV: 9%)

A Boston favorite, this Imperial Stout features ginger as its key ingredient. It is also one of the best values for your bar, as it prices much lower on this list than the other craft beers.  Although the ginger comes through strong, there is also a smoky flavor.

4. Winter Warmer – Anchor Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (ABV: 5.5%)

Brewed in San Francisco, this beer is brewed with a mixture of pine, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s referred to as a “winter warmer,” due in part to its bold hops. Anchor has been making this Christmas Ale every year since 1975, and it keeps getting better.


5. Belgian Strong Ale – Delirium Noël

Your seasonal bottle list will shine with this one on the lineup. Caramel, dark fruit and spice notes hit you right up front.

6. Spiced Ale – Southern Tier 2XMAS (ABV: 8%)

Southern Tier, headquartered in Lakewood, NY, modeled this ale after Glögg, which is a Scandinavian hot mulled wine. Figs are the key ingredient in this delightful spiced ale. Complex notes of orange, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger root and clove add even more spice.

Runner-up: SweetWater Festive Ale

Cinnamon is the main ingredient in this malt bomb, though SweetWater Brewing has managed to create a non-overpowering flavor.

Bar patrons love to see seasonal libations like these all-star beers on your drink menu. For the Christmas, and craft-beer-loving community, a little Celebration Ale goes a long way. Consistent delivery of the taps and bottles your customers want helps build bar loyalty. A great way to keep track of what your customers demand is through marketing tools that track which beers are driving traffic through your doors.


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