Making Merry In Cleveland This Winter: 6 Local, Seasonal Beers To Try
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Making Merry In Cleveland This Winter: 6 Local, Seasonal Beers To Try

They aren't wassails, but these beers from Cleveland-area breweries will keep you warm in the winter months.

Making Merry In Cleveland This Winter: 6 Local, Seasonal Beers To Try
The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: Leisy Brewing Co.

For better or worse, as a society we have agreed that the holiday season begins as soon as Halloween has ended, with festive displays being erected in many stores next to bins of discounted candy and the first carols beginning to emerge, groundhog-like, from the speakers of pharmacies and grocery stores. Of course, that also means for many breweries it’s time to put the seasonal holiday brews on tap.

If you’re interested in sampling some Cleveland-brewed beer this season, or you just want to kill the brain cells that remember how the World Series ended, below is a list of four local tipples to try, with descriptions of each from the respective brewers' websites, as well as links to their homepages if you’d like to learn more. Each will be available very soon, if they aren’t on tap already, and if you have a favorite which I've neglected feel free to mention it in the comments for others to discover. This list, alphabetized by brewery, only scratches the surface of the delicious selection available exclusively at this time of year.

1. Christmas Ale, Great Lakes Brewery

“Do not open ‘til Christmas? Whoever coined that phrase obviously hasn’t tasted Christmas Ale’s fresh honey, cinnamon, and ginger flavors…A Yuletide’s worth of holiday spices and sweet honey to keep you a-wassailing all season long…6-Time Medal Winner [at the World Beer Championships] Since 1999.

2. Holly Jolly Christmas Ale, Fat Head’s Brewery

“Once upon a frozen evening way up north, a sweet local honey named Holly inspired our Jolly Fat Man (as only Holly can) to create this festive spiced holiday ale. We think you will enjoy his holiday creation with its aromas and flavors of Christmas day. Sweet malt, ginger, honey and cinnamon spice. Sip this by the fire with your significant other. Who knows, maybe it will lead to a little inspiration of your own. From our Jolly Fat Man to yours…”

3. Festivus Holiday Ale, Market Garden Brewery

"Smooth, spicy and wholesomely malty with an elegant finish thanks to caramelized wort and a bit of brown sugar, nutmeg and ginger. This beer is sure to make all those Airing of Grievances worth hearing about!"

4. Ice Cutter Winter Warmer, Portside Distillery

“The icebreakers of the Great Lakes, called "cutters," have allowed for advances in shipping commerce for decades. Inspired by their valiant spirit in the face of adversity, we've designed our Ice Cutter Winter Warmer. Crafted for winter strength, when the daylight is short, but the work day is long. Our hefty ale deftly combines a low level of exotic spices, rich malt, and jammy plums.”

5. Santa's Little Helper, Rocky River Brewing Co.

"Santa’s Little Helper is a spiced amber ale featuring cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, coriander, orange peel and honey...The beer, sold in four-packs, will be available on a limited basis at the brewpub and some local retailers. The plan is to produce only 100 cases." Get yours early, because supplies will be limited.

6. Belgian Strong Ale, Sibling Revelry

"A sneak peek of our winter seasonal. This Belgian Strong Ale is dark with sweet raisin and plum flavors, but finishes very dry with a little warming alcohol. This beer will make its big brewery debut later this fall."

I'm sure there are many more of which I'm not yet aware, but this is by no means intended to serve as a comprehensive list; rather, it should be seen as a starting point, from which someone with little experience sampling seasonal spirits could begin to explore. Happy Holidays to all: with a glass of one of these, you just might survive them!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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