The holidays are here in Coastal Virginia, and craft breweries have loaded their taps with wintry libations.
We’ve rounded up six holiday beers from local craft breweries for you to enjoy by your firepit, alongside your holiday feast or simply in a taproom during your next night out. It is, after all, the most wonderful time for a beer.
Sweater Weather Belgian Wit
The brewmasters at O’Connor say this seasonal wit is fit for a king, so hopefully it will please the in-laws this season too. Sweater Weather is a pale witbier boasting earthy and spicy tones from Saison and Abbey yeasts. Subdued floral notes also arise from the beer’s subtle layer of Cluster hops.
As if its name wasn’t cozy enough, Sweater Weather pairs well with winter comfort foods like steamed mussels, salmon and meaty brunch sides like bacon and sausage.
Fun, Old-Fashioned Family Christmas Ale
This limited release screams Christmas with its holiday sweater label. The family-inspired ale serves a beautiful chestnut pour loaded with flavors of Christmas past, present and future. Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla bean, ginger, orange peel and allspice linger on the nose and tongue. Alewerks’ Fun, Old-Fashioned ale goes down smooth and strong with an ever-so-slightly sweet finish.
Clockwork Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout
The holidays just got boozier with Commonwealth’s newest limited release, Clockwork. Just in time for the season, the limited yield brew is a blend of milk sugar, orange and coffee from Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Company in Richmond.
Its pour is deep in color and texture and is crowned with a thin layer of dark tan foam.
Holiday Helper Red IPA
Norfolk and Virginia Beach
Many holiday brews hone in on one seasonal flavor, but not Smartmouth’s Holiday Helper—this red IPA weaves together a plethora of winter savors for the ultimate holiday beer.
Holiday Helper is extensively dry hopped and brewed with malts of chocolate and caramel. The combination of spice and decadence leads the ale to breathe crisp, sweet and zesty aromas. Flavors of Centennial and rye create smoothness throughout, but are juxtaposed by the beer’s characteristic bitterness on the finish.
Enjoy Holiday Helper with a hearty bowl of grandma’s chili or seafood jambalaya.
Good Ole Days
Imagine standing next to an open fire and biting into a warm, caramel apple coated with a touch of sea salt. Now bottle it and you’ve got Oozlefinch’s Good Ole Days.
The offbeat gose is an ideal beverage for cider and sour drinkers alike and is unique from any other holiday beer in the Coastal Virginia market. The salted caramel apple gose is a boozy concoction of brown sugar, sea salt and McIntosh apples with the perfect balance of acidity and tartness.
Truce in the Forest
Young Veterans’ Truce in the Forest encourages us to set our differences aside and simply have fun in good company, and with good beer. Peace, love and joy are the heart of the holiday season after all.
This imperial white IPA is an exclusive December release that's a hazy pour topped with a foamy white head. Truce harnesses the earthy and citrus aromas of a winter forest paired with a lingering hoppy finish, hence its name.