When it comes to Christmas, I’m generally a bit of a Grinch. If I had it my way, crimbo decorations would go up Christmas Eve and be down on Boxing Day. I realised that I haven’t written a Beer Blog in a while, and with the C word rapidly approaching, what better subject to base a beer blog on?
Here are 12 great tasting, somewhat festive beers that you can confidently order at the Portland while all the seasonal drinkers are taking forever to order.
It might sound something like this: “A pint of beer, a… 1, 2, 3… 4 pints of beer, a… Jackie what are you having? A glass of wine please, a J2O… what flavour? Ermmm… oh any is fine. Oh, and a Guinness”.
1: Stay Puft Marshmallow Porter, Tiny Rebel, 4.2%.
Before I started buying stock from different suppliers, I tried for so long to stock this porter. It’s such a fun beer; people buy it for the Ghostbusters reference, but more so because it’s a great dark beer that’s a little bit different. Don’t cross the streams!
2: A to the K, Oatmeal Pale, Alphabet Brewery, 5.6%.
This is one of my favourite beers in the whole craft beer fridge (my pride and joy). I can just about get away with calling this a festive brew as the oatmeal produces a nice biscuity taste from the start. Reminds me of those big tins of shortbread your Nan always has at this time of year.
3: Zombie Cake, Chocolate Praline Porter, Brewdog, 5%.
Who doesn’t have chocolate for breakfast on Christmas Day? Not much to do before lunch is there except play with your stocking. Brewdog made a great shout when they added this beer to their core range. Hey, who ate all the Guylian?
4: F*ck, the Christmas Tree is on Fire!, Orange and Coffee Oatmeal Stout, Het Uiltje, 10%.
This incredible stout from Dutch brewery Het Uiltje is a staple in the Portland fridge in December. Obviously at 10% it’s a night ender, not a night starter. Maybe one to share with a mate.
5: Pulping on Your Stereo, Orange-Infused IPA, Nene Valley Brewery, 4.5%.
Are you old enough to have received an orange in your stocking on Christmas morning? This zesty session IPA tastes like if Tango started brewing beer.
6: Abbot Reserve, Real Ale, Greene King, 6.5%.
You know it’s December when GK start rolling out this wonderful chestnut ale. Because Abbot Reserve is brewed so strong, it has a real sweetness to it, which is a taste I have definitely acquired. A throwback to the Abbot Ale of old.
7: Juice Springsteen, Tropical IPA, Alphabet Brewery, 4.5%.
Because us Scrooges always need a reminder that Summer is only a few months away. This juicy pale ale is always popular, particularly with fans of The Boss.
8: Orinoco Mocha Milk Stout, Drygate, 6%.
If you like going in to Starbucks to try their Christmassy offerings, this might be the beer for you. Heavy coffee flavours in this big tasting dark beer from the crew up in Glasgow.
9: Big Drop Stout, 0.5%.
This one is for the designated drivers, or indeed the heroes partaking in Dry January. This non-alcoholic milk chocolate stout is one of the best low-and-no products on the market.
10: Stay Puft Imperial Irish Cream Marshmallow Porter, Tiny Rebel, 9%.
Much like the original Stay Puft, but far stronger and much richer. With the addition of the Irish Cream, this is the perfect beer if you like a crafty Baileys after your Christmas dinner. At 9%, this is another beer you might wish to share.
11: Greedy Goose, “Honkingly Good Ale”, Hook Norton, 4.2%.
This Christmas-themed, malty amber ale is very sessionable. If I was headed down the pub on Christmas Day to get out of the way while Mother prepared lunch, I would definitely have a few pints of this.
12: “You’re so Vain, you Probably Think this Stout is About you”, Salted Caramel Imperial Stout, Kees/Alphabet Brewery, 11%.
Although the song title doesn’t scream “Christmas”, the beer style definitely does. This salted caramel stout perfectly rounds off the list with its rich flavour and smooth mouth-feel. Share it if you like; t’is the season of giving after-all.
There you have it: plenty of recommendations for y’all to try over the festive period. Do you have a favourite beer from the list? Should I be looking elsewhere for Christmas-themed beers? Come in and tell me about it! Alternatively, you can find us on social media @ThePortlandArms.