Hair of the Dog Brewing
Doggie Claws $5/12 oz
This legendary barley wine tips the scales at 11.5 percent ABV and is most sensibly sipped from a tulip glass (or a thimble). Ideal for a holiday toast, Doggie Claws summons visions of brown sugar, honey, caramel, and fruitcake dancing across your tongue.
Vinter Varmer $4.75/22 oz
Substantial and malty, Vinter Varmer showcases typical holiday flavors—hazelnut, spices, bitter chocolate, coffee—but at a more mild-mannered 6.4 percent ABV, you can tip two or three without the risk of disapproving glances from prudish relatives.
Sleigh’r $8–9/6 pack
If you’re looking for a beer to cuddle with in front of the Yule log, Sleigh’r should do nicely. The smoky, dry-roasted malts crackle like chestnuts on an open fire, with meticulous balance to complement a hoppy bite at the back end.
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Kentucky Christmas $8/12 oz
It’s two brews in one! After Hopworks’ Abominable Winter Ale is aged for at least six months in bourbon barrels, the resultant brew is not only bold, it’s swimming in delicate shadings of vanilla, caramel, and toasty malts.
Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale $7–9/6 pack
This creamy, copper pale ale with a cunningly blended citrus profile is not designated a winter beer, and it’s only available from January thru May—but it was recently voted “World’s Best Beer” by the World Beer Award program. We think you should try it.