I’m trying to focus on just a few XMAS-related beer events and specials, because: 1) there’s too damn many 2) there’s almost too much of a style range for holiday beer 3) you can only go to so many places in one night unless you’re superhuman.
Emporium Arcade’s Wicker Park location did all the dirty work with Christmas Beer Overkill. They’ve amassed a stunningly large and almost comprehensive list of Christmas and Holiday-related beers. Then they decided to tap them all for one event, no tickets or charge, just visit, sample, play video games, win at life. Simple really. I’ll be there after work for a few. There’s an ugly sweater contest, if you need a reason to stop by that isn’t awesome beer (what’s wrong with you…). The draft list is below, with notes by me.
– Abita Christmas Ale
– Anderson Valley Winter Solstice
– Bell’s Christmas Ale yum. been awhile since I’ve had this sessionable, yuletide treat.
– Boulder Slope Style NITRO excited to try this.
– Boulevard Nutcracker Another classic.
– Breckenridge Christmas Ale
– Dark Horse 4Elf Another one I’m excited to try, as everyone I know seems to be drinking it and then posting about it on the internet.
– Deschutes Jubelale Duh. I wrote about this when Deschutes first came to Chicago because it has that kind of reputation.
– Evil Twin Christmas Eve At A New York City Hotel Room An awfully specific name.
– Goose Island Festivity Ale Most PC beer?
– Great Lakes Christmas Ale A classic. Also, one to pair with holiday dinner.
– Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza Yes. Yes. Yes. I just opened a 2011. Drink some on Thursday, then buy a bottle to hold onto.
– Mikkeller Hoppy Loving Christmas
– New Belgium Accumulation
– North Coast Wintertime Ale Another I’ve never had and can’t wait to try.
– Ommegang Adoration
– Pipeworks Santa vs. Unicorn
– Port Santa’s Little Helper Another beer of legendary stature.
– Revolution Fistmas Chicago’s best local Xmas beer?
– Ridgeway Bad Elf Winter’s Ale Before the recent craft beer explosion, this was a must ever year. It still is.
– Sierra Nevada Celebration A classic. This might be one the first “Whales”, in that I Remember people always trying to track this beer down even a dozen years ago.
– Southern Tier 2Xmas I have only the memory of warmth and goodness left from the last time I over-indulged on this.
– The Bruery 7 Swans This is the reason for the season. Another I recommend trying now, and then buying a bottle for aging.
– Three Floyds Alpha Klaus The hoppy, spiced porter that invented the Black IPA before anyone cared to use that silly, marketing-derived name.
– To Øl Frost Bites Holiday IPA
– Two Brothers Peppermint Bark
– Victory Winter Cheer