As those of us who live here know well, Boulder is a center of excellent microbrews and craft beers of all kinds. Naturally, such a beer-happy town will boast a plethora of winter- and holiday-style beers once December rolls around. Pretty much every brewery in town has a wintry offering happening right now, so you can’t go wrong wherever you enjoy your brews, but here are some of the holiday beers of Boulder that stand out this season.
Asher: Superfly Oatmeal Stout
All-organic brewery Asher’s current seasonal selection is a roasty-dark stout with coffee and chocolate notes, to warm you up on a snowy day. Asher is unique in its dedication to using organic ingredients only, and so this seasonal selection is a relatively healthy one, as well as a tasty.
Avery: Old Jubilation
This mahogany-colored Winter Strong Ale is a seasonal tradition in my personal quaffing circles. Not technically holiday spiced per se (though there is a touch of the hazelnut there in its flavor profile), it still is a rich and delicious fireside beer for the colder months. Now that Avery has its brand-spanking new tap house, enjoying an Old Jubilation there might have to be a new addition to my tradition.
Fate: Yule Log
Fate is known throughout Boulder beer circles for its bold flavor combinations (that actually work very well! A coffee IPA? Crazy, but tasty), and its Yule Log ale is no exception. It’s an English old ale, packed with spices and brewed with dried cherries. It’s a flavorful beer that tastes like what fruitcake should be.
Speaking of a darn good fruitcake,
Mountain Sun: Naughty Noël
Naughty Noël is a spiced, Belgian style holiday ale that is lightly drinkable despite its 8.9% ABV. It tastes like the best fruitcake you’ve never had, because fruitcake never tastes this good, though it should. A spicily warming brew for Pearl Street people-watching through Mountain Sun’s big windows.
Sanitas is offering another holiday-spiced beer this year: the Stocking ale. It’s more lightly spiced than other holiday-spiced beers, which keeps it from becoming too overpowering after a whole pint. A lightly flavorful, comforting beer to wind down with after a day of gift shopping.
Upslope: Wild Christmas Ale
Now, Upslope delivers every holiday season with its incredibly flavorful, festive Christmas Ale. A rich, warming, heavily-spiced confection, the Christmas Ale is always a good choice for winter cheer.
This year, however, Upslope has unveiled the Wild Christmas ale, a wilder version of its namesake. What makes it wild? It’s been aged in Leopold Brothers rye whiskey barrels, and dashed with a dose of candied orange in its flavor profile. The Wild Christmas ale is a strong one, so 4 large-sized cans purchased per person is the taproom’s limit.
Walnut Brewery: Barley Wine, (Sub Zero)
Walnut Brewery tapped their barley wine earlier this month, and it’s an unusual thing to find in a local brewery, so I wouldn’t miss a taste. Barley wine is strong like a wine, but tastes rich and roasted or grainy like a beer (depending on the brewery). Amongst all the warming holiday beers, a barley wine is probably the most warming of all, so if you feel cold this holiday season, go have a warmer. (Their other winter themed beer, the Sub Zero, will be tapped in early January so stay tuned.)
And finally — be sure to grab your Winter Warmer before it’s too late! $20 keeps you in 2-for-1 drinks specials all winter long around Boulder.