Summer is well and truly here and as temperatures soar and the smell of barbecue wafts through the air, you might be thinking it’s time for a beer. With Christmas around the corner, Brewmasters across the country have been stepping outside of the box and delivering plenty of festive goodies this year. So, if you’re looking for something a little bit special for the big day, check out these 3 Christmas crackers.
The European tradition of brewing extra strength, spiced Christmas ales goes back centuries. With craft beer slowly taking over the world, that tradition has been revitalised where it had been all but forgotten, but has also been introduced to the new world. Australia may not have the cold climate you might prefer when sinking a few spiced winter warmers, but that’s not stopping local brewers from making some world classic Christmas beers.
Red Hill Christmas Ale
Perhaps one of the earliest Australian Christmas ales, Red Hill returns with their 13th edition, complete with a new look. Inspired by a festive trip to Bruges, Belgium, the guys made it their mission to replicate the magic they discovered within countless glasses of festive ale.
Largely untweaked since the first batch, this Australian Christmas classic brewed in the Mornington Peninsula, hits in at 8.3%. The Belgian style, strong abbey beer enjoys a long period of maturation, lending the beer a complex, malty sweetness, paired with a subtle spiciness from their own homegrown hops, and the Belgian yeast. Brewed annually, it’s worth seeking out older vintages if you can find them, as it ages beautifully.
Indian Ocean & The DTC & Ron Feruglio: Oaklore
Barley wine and Christmas are a British match made in heaven, and now you can enjoy this heavenly pairing right here in oz. This massive barley wine is the result of a 3 way collaboration between 3 former colleagues, and is the ideal post Christmas dinner beer. Aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, it’s certainly one to savour.
Malt forward, with smokey, boozy notes of plum pudding, chocolate, vanilla and toffee, it hits the spot and ticks all the right boxes. At 11.1%, it’ll set you up for the evening, but it’s best shared as the 750ml bottle suggests. Available from the brewery and selected stockists in WA.
Mountain Goat Barrel Breed: Christmas Ale 2018
Every Christmas, Mountain Goat offer something slightly different from their Barrel Breed program. From sumptuous quads, to delicate strong golden ales, Christmas provides a chance for the brewers to play around a bit. This year’s Christmas ale is an almighty wheatwine, barrel aged, naturally, for a month in a mixture of rye and Tennessee whisky barrels.
The result is a gorgeous, cakey sweet liquor like beer, that hides its 11.1% abv far too easily. Thick bodied and softly carbonated, this wonderfully smooth beer explodes with aromas of vanilla, toffee and marzipan. The taste is much the same, with a tempting toffee sweetness, washed down with a warming wave of booze. It's well worth getting your hands on a bottle or 2. Luckily, it’s available nationwide.