Halloween is next week, and the holiday season will soon be in full swing. If you take your cues from your grocery store's beer fridge, you've noticed that winter seasonals have arrived. If you're a homebrewer, this means it's time to start brewing your holiday homebrew! Now you need to figure out what to brew...
Fear not! I've assembled a few recipes for your consideration from Northern Brewer and High Gravity.
Saison de Noel: Deceptively dark and beguilingly complex, this holiday specialty is brewed in the tradition of Belgian farmhouse ales. A generous malt bill with highlights of butter toffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and bread tangles with the earthy, spicy funk of Wyeast’s French Saison strain and a single addition of bittering hops to strike an evolving balance. Extract or All-Grain.
Brickwarmer Holiday Red: This strong-ish American amber ale is built for the cold: a substantial gravity for snowy weather, but a fast turnaround so you can get some holiday cheer from fermenter to pint ASAP. Malty but not too sweet, just enough bitterness to balance, a definite but not overstated citrus hop profile (bolstered by real citrus!), this is far from your normal holiday ale. Extract or All-Grain.
- Christmas Ale for 2012 (inspired by Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale). Extract
- Christmas Ale for 2011 (based on Tulsa Brewing’s Old Pumpkin Head). Extract
- Christmas Ale for 2010 (based on Magic Hat’s Fest of Fools). Extract
- Christmas Ale for 2009 (based on Full Sail Wassail). Extract
- Christmas Ale for 2008 (based on Big Sky Powder Hound). Extract
- Christmas Ale for 2007 (based on Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale). Extract
Last but not least, please consider Charlie Papazian’s Holiday Cheer. Here’s the full recipe and my brew log. This is the second homebrew I made and it only improved with age!