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The 12 BC Beers Of Christmas

BC Beer Awards And Beer Festival 2013

I’ve been really into seasonal beers this year, and winter ales/christmas micro brews/spiced porters/anything christmas-y are really top notch.

I’ve put together this list of amazing seasonal beers for you below, all of which can be found at liquor stores in the Vancouver area/bars and pubs around town.

1. Granville Island Lions Winter Ale – Let’s start off nice and easy with this caramelly vanilla sweet & spicy treat. Moderately hoppy and easy drinking, you can’t miss with this local favorite.

AC: 5.5%
PAIR WITH: Something sweet and creamy, like clam chowder.

2. Vancouver Island Brewery Dough Head Gingerbread Ale – Polish off this 650ml seasonal beast in front of the fire this December, as you dream of sugarplum, molasses, malt and ginger fairies.

AC: 5.5%
PAIR WITH: A big ol’ plate of gingerbread cookies.

3. Russel Brewing Naughty & Spiced Porter – Cinnamon, all-spice, and nutmeg OH MY! This beer punches you with an oak-y clove taste and a mildly intimidating dark colour. Don’t be afraid, though, this isn’t a typical porter. Friendly vanilla and an easy-drinking consistency goes down smooth as Santa down the chimney.

AC: 6.5%
PAIR WITH: Pumpkin Pie…because it sort of smells like pumpkin pie in a strange way.

4. Phillips Brewery Ginger Beer – Bursting with ginger goodness, this less-complicated brew is a favorite all year round. Full of flavor & mirth, it’s a holiday must-try.

AC: 5%
PAIR WITH: Sushi. Seriously.

5. Dead Frog Brewery WInter Beeracle – It’s a Christmas miracle that this beeracle boasts rich mahogany, vanilla, and a dry citrus finish! A hearty winter hello in a big 650ml single bottle!

AC: 6.5%
PAIR WITH: Leatherbound books and an apartment smelling of rich mahogany.

6. Howe Sound Brewing Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout – this is not your momma’s stout. Put the kids to bed and break out this saucy stout with 7 different barley malts, blackstrap molasses, licorice root and star anise. It comes in a huge pot-stopper bottle, in case you need to take a break and chop some wood in between.

AC: 10%!!!!
PAIR WITH: A big juicy steak

7. Hoyne Brewing Co. Gratitude Winter Warmer – This subtle, yet spicy and strong winter ale is dark on colour and light on hops. Hoyne refers to the beer as a luscious flaminco dancer that sneaks up and overpowers you. You know, that old chestnut.

AC: 9%
PAIR WITH: A snowy day. Just kidding, pair it with meatloaf or something.

8. Whistler Brewing Company Winter Dunkel – A toffee, bitter orange, and chocolate explosion. Whistler says this beer is to be ‘sipped and enjoyed’ – like a special treat. It’s also hard to find – so when you see it on the shelf, snatch it up like a hoarder on Boxing Day and keep it for yourself.

AC: 5%
PAIR WITH: A Christmas Pudding

9. Steamworks Brewery Blitzen – This strong golden ale is an homage to Belgian Triple. Apple, Citrus and toasted malt wrapped in candy sugar make this a beer to long for on a cold winter’s night.

AC: 9%
PAIR WITH: A snazzy meat and cheese plate

10. Tree Brewing Vertical Winter Ale – A nutty, caramel ale with a dash of vanilla. Medium bodied – a less spicy version of the Lions Winter Ale.

AC: 5%
PAIR WITH: Fruitcake (makes the indistinguishable candied fruit go down easier)

11. Coal Harbour Brewing Smoke and Mirrors Imperial Ale – This beer actually tastes like smoke from a roaring fire, which is something I can’t say about any other drink out there. This is a result of the German and Scottish peated malts + chocolate and crystal malts. It’s a heavy, thick, dark monster of a beer that will put some hair on your chest.

AC: 8.5%
PAIR WITH: A full rack of ribs

12. Parallel 49 Old Boy – Caramel, Toffee, and chocolate swirl together in this ode to traditional English pub beer. They call it a pale ale but it’s more like a brown, nut ale.

AC: 5%
PAIR WITH: A Terry’s Chocolate Orange on Christmas morning. Because you deserve it.

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