It's that time of year. Everyone is decorating their homes and inviting friends over to celebrate the season. Whether it's Christmas, Hanakkah, Festivus, or something else entirely, December is a time for celebrating!
Now, let's assume you have friends who are hosting a holiday shindig, and you know they like beer. You don't want to show up with a bottle of wine (though, if you do, we've got you covered). You want to bring a beer that will knock their socks off.
The Glass Jug to the rescue!
We've compiled a short list of the 5 best beers to bring to your holiday parties this year. These beers all have a few things in common:
- They taste wonderful and will have a wide appeal
- They are gorgeously designed packages that make a great first impression
- They're seasonally appropriate and are not available year-round
- They won't break your wallet. They're all reasonably-priced for how wonderful they are.
- We love them!
So, without further ado, here's our list (in no particular order):
1. Unibroue, Grand Reserve 17
This is one of the most highly-decorated beers in Unibroue's impressive catalog of beer. It has won a Platinum Medal at the World Beer Championships in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and it was named "World's Best Dark Ale" at the 2010 World Beer Awards in London.
This strong (10% ABV) dark Belgian ale has been brewed once a year since 2007 by Unibroue at their Chambly, Quebec brewery. It is a highly complex beer, but is very approachable. It is loved by beer enthusiasts and wine lovers, alike for it's smooth, subtly spiced flavor that is aged for just the right amount of time in french oak then bottle conditioned for excellent carbonation.
This beer is currently available in 750ml corked bottles at The Glass Jug Beer Lab for only $12.19!
2. Deschutes, The Dissident: 2017 Reserve
The Dissident is the most unique beer in Deschutes portfolio, and it will make the perfect gift for fans of complex sour beers this holiday season.
The Dissident is a Flanders Red-style ale, which is a Belgian style ale that is dosed with various yeast and bacteria that create an appealing and complex sourness as the beer ages. This particular beer is aged for 22 months in oak on cherries. The cherries add a balanced sweet and tart flavor and some beautiful color to this incredibly complex beer.
This is another highly-decorated beer, having been named "World's Best Oud Bruin" at the World Beer Awards in 2017, 2012, and 2009, in addition to several other gold medals from 2009 to 2017.
22 oz wax-dipped bottles are in stock at The Glass Jug Beer Lab for $16.69 each.
3. Ommegang, Game of Thrones: Winter Is Here
This is a must-buy for all of your Game of Thrones-watching party hosts. Not only will the label grab their attention, but this beer was just released this winter by Ommegang, the producer of some of the world's best Belgian-style beers.
Winter Is Here is a Belgian-style double white (walker) ale, clocking in at 8.3% ABV.
The beer is brewed as a classic Belgian-style wit beer, then spiced with white pepper, sea salt, coriander and sweet orange peel to add some wonderful complexity. Aromas of banana, clove, and pronounced peppery phenols lead, and the flavor is slightly sweet malt, subtly balanced by hints of sea salt.
750 ml corked bottles were just delivered to The Glass Jug Beer Lab and priced at $9.45 each
4. Mikkeller, Holiday Ale (To-From-Via)
First, we have to agree that this beer is marketing genius. The label is simply a gift tag for you to fill out. It's made specifically for giving as a gift, so how could we not include it in this list!?
The beer is a spiced porter with big malt background and subtle hop aroma. The dark beer is spiced with star anise, clove, cinnamon and coriander seeds, giving it the perfect blend of holiday spice for the season.
Additionally, the beer is brewed by Mikkeller at the De Proef Brewery in Belgium, which brings a solid pedigree of brewing expertise, so you know it's going to be delicious!
A limited amount of 750 ml bottles remain at The Glass Jug Beer Lab for $14.99 each!
5. Anchor, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
If you want to show up to the party like a boss, pick up one of these 1.5L magnum bottles of Anchor's Christmas Ale, but don't let out the secret that these beers are a steal of a deal!
Every year since 1974, the brewers at Anchor have been brewing up a new rendition of this winter warmer. The Ale's recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent behind the beer remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.
Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. With a heavily guarded, secret recipe, Christmas Ale is a highly anticipated seasonal delight, complex and full in flavor with a velvety texture and alluring, yet subtle, spiced aroma.
The 2017 Christmas Ale has a strong malt profile that is enhanced with wintry spices. The beer pours a deep, mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head. It has flavors of creamy bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and toasted nuts, with a rich, smooth, velvety mouthfeel. The combination of malts, spices, and hops add layers of complexity to the beer and bring this year’s ale to a new level.
This year’s tree is the Santa Lucia fir. Extremely rare, it is native and limited to California’s Santa Lucia Range along the central coast of California. The tree on this year’s label was hand-drawn by Bay Area artist James Stitt, who has been creating Anchor’s Christmas Ale labels since 1975.
Available at The Glass Jug Beer Lab in 1.5L bottles for only $15.99 each!