We find ourselves now firmly entrenched in the holiday season, and along with rampant consumerism, an inundation of holiday music, and the looming specter of holiday travel, there is also a bevy of winter/holiday beers that will be leaving brewhouses across the area. Holiday beers run the gamut of styles, but they tend to run heavier and maltier to fend off winter’s chill. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your preferences), some area breweries are bucking that trend while others have stuck to it. Something for everyone! Below we check out the offerings we’ve heard about. This list will be updated as we hear about more beers, so check back often! Breweries: want to see your beer listed here? Send us an email at editor@dcbeer.com so we have the details!

Port City Brewing Company – Tidings – 7.8% – Imperial Witbier
What They Say: “Tidings Ale is a strong and spicy Belgian style blond ale brewed with local Maryland wildflower honey and Virginia wheat. These special ingredients store away the flavor and essence of summer, and later warm us during the cold winter months. It is gently spiced with coriander, cardamom, fresh ginger and grains of paradise.”

Tidings is my personal favorite holiday beer, anywhere. I really look forward to the release each year. The sharpness of the ginger helps to keep this from becoming too cloying, and the ABV is just right. I want a little bit of a punch in my holiday beers (to keep me in good cheer), but this is low enough that I can also have a few without falling into the tree.

Hellbender Brewing Company – Grampus – Smoked Nut Brown – 6.2% 
“Grampus is an English style nut brown ale that borders on a porter. Apple and cherry wood smoked malts from Copper Fox distillery (VA) add a subtle smoky aroma that blends beautifully with the British pale chocolate and brown malts, Grampus starts sweet on the palate, but finishes clean and dry.”

3 Stars Brewing – Nectar of the Bogs – Cranberry Saison – 5.0%
What They Say: “Bright and crisp with a subtle earthy tartness from the fresh cranberries. Clean dry finish with a lively mouthfeel. Designed with the Fall & Winter Holidays in mind, this pairs perfectly with oven roasted turkey, hams, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Also works great as a counterbalance to creamy and rich cheeses.”


Flying Dog Brewery

Atlas Brew Works

Mad Fox Brewing Company  

DC Brau Brewing Company


Lost Rhino Brewing Company – Woody Stout – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout – 6.8%

What They Say: “A bourbon-barrel aged stout, this brew has a blend of spicy chocolate, vanilla, and the toasty aroma of coffee. Tasting Notes: A smokey aroma complements the balanced flavors of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and dark chocolate

Malts: 2 Row, Munich, Crystal, Carapils, Chocolate, and Black
Hops:  Columbus
ABV: 6.8%
IBU: 30
SRM: 40”

Plenty of brews for the holidays! Any of these pique your particular interest? Let us know on Twitter!