10 Festive Beers to try this Christmas

With the countdown to Christmas now on, there are plenty of festive tipples in the shops to get us into the holiday spirit. Warming mulled wine and fruity sloe gin may be most peoples first choice, whereas Christmas beers are usually pushed to the bottom of the festive booze cupboard. Belgian breweries however have been producing popular winter ales for centuries, and over the past few years craft breweries and supermarkets have also upped their game for Christmas! Full of warming ingredients, here are 10 amazing festive beers to enjoy around the fire this month.

1. Brouwerij Noordt Christmas Session Ale

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This Christmas Ale is from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Light coloured and very easy to drink, it has a lovely balance of slightly sweet malt and bitterness. Fruity with subtle hints of chestnut gets you in that festive mood from the first sip. 5.0% AVB, £2.69 each available at beerwulf.com

2. Anchor Christmas Ale

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From San Francisco, this years Anchor Christmas Ale has a strong malt profile that is enhanced with wintery spices. Anchor brewing describe it beautifully “the beer pours a deep, dark, mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head. It has flavours of creamy bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and toasted nuts, with a rich, smooth, velvety mouthfeel”. 5.5% ABV, £2.79 each available at beerhawk.co.uk

3. Greenwich Winter Spiced Porter

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A well balanced traditional London Porter with warming, aromatic cinnamon and allspice. Perfect to enjoy chilled with some cold meats, a cheeseboard or a rich fruity pudding. 5.5% AVB, £2.50 each from marksandspencer.com

4. Batemans Rosey Nosey

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This English pale is made at one of the country’s oldest breweries, in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire. Refreshingly rich and fruity, with sultanas and raisin flavour balanced by the nutty crunch of crystal and chocolate malts. Challenger hops produce a spicy aroma, perfect with a Christmas sarnie! 4.7% ABV, £2.89 each if buying one case, available at bateman.co.uk

5. Shepherd Neame Christmas Ale

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Made in Faversham, Kent, this ale is brewed using 100% natural ingredients. Drawing chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well deep below Shepherd Neame’s site, along with the finest malting barley and Kentish hops. For this Christmas Ale there are lots of warming notes of fruits and spices. Dried fruits come through in particular, like raisins and dates. This is a beer with a long lingering finish! 7.0% ABV, £2.50 each, available at shop.shepherdneame.co.uk

6. De Dole Stiller Nacht

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A Belgian strong Pale Ale style beer brewed by Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers in Esen, Belgium. Stille Nacht (Silent Night) was first brewed in 1982. It’s golden in colour, smooth and full of sugar and spice. this beer has the highest density of any Belgian beer (27°Pl), has been boiling for 5 hours, brewed with pale malt with white candi sugar in the kettle. It is delicious and a perfect treat for the holidays! 12% ABV, £4.55 each, available at beautifulbeers.co.uk

7. Hogs Back Advent Ale

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A deep, dark chestnut coloured ale, brewed with the finest English malted barley and local hops. Brewed in Farnham, Surrey, this festive ale is fruity, with a sweet liquorice and rich dark chocolate aftertaste. 4.4% ABV Approx £2.20 each when buying a case of 12, available at hogsback.co.uk

8. March of the Penguins

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Williams Bros. Brewing Co. is located in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. This Scottish stout is creamy and deep chocolate in colour. It has a nose of roast malts, coffee, liquorice & orange peel. The taste of orange will get you in the Christmas spirit, and it is sure to warm you up this month. 4.9% ABV, £1.74 each, available at shop.williamsbrosbrew.com

9. St Bernardus Christmas Ale

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The Belgians really know how to make an amazing Christmas beer! St Bernardus Christmas Ale pours thick and is a delicious dark ruby colour. The traditional Belgian yeast flavour comes through straight away, along with warming Christmas spices. It is also full of the sweetness you want from a strong Belgium beer! 10% ABV, £4.19 each, available at beerhawk.co.uk

10. To Øl Frost Bite

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To Øl is a Danish microbrewery making some of the world's most admired craft beer. They have really gone for it this year with their Christmas range. Frost Bite is their pale ale that has the addition of orange peel and pine needles. Could you get more Christmassy? 6% ABV, £3.49, beerhawk.co.uk

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