Well, Christmas is right around and what better way to impress the in-laws then have a fridge stock piled with delectable Michigan beers? I picked the creme-de-la-creme of Christmas craft brews from around the state to keep the family talking till next year. Cheers!
New Holland– Cabin Fever Brown Ale
There’s nothing like a solid brown ale in front of a roaring fire, with a little Barry Manilow playing softly in the background as snow falls outside. New Holland’s Cabin Fever is a prime example of taking a simple style of beer and perfecting it on all levels. Sometimes they are a little too sweet, sometimes they are somewhat bland with an overpowering malt complex, but Cabin fever is that euphoria of caramel, chocolate, coffee goodness that is balanced out by dark toasted malts. Even Mr. Wonka himself would want to climb into a glass of Cabin Fever, wallow around in its sugary heaven, until returning to his clan of Oompa Loompas, smelling like a sailor. Cabin Fever is that ideal teddy bear night cap on these blustery cold Michigan nights.
Bells – Christmas Ale
Bells is a staple for Michigan craft beer lovers, so it’s only right to have them around for the Holidays. Their Christmas ale is something unique to their line up, a scottish ale, but this is not like any other ordinary scottish ale. Using mostly Michigan grown malts and barley, this brew is more of a Michigander than Tim Allen. Extremely smooth for this style of ale, feel free to drink one with dinner, well probably more like four if you’re sitting next to Grandma Gene who won’t stop naggin’ you about your lifestyle choices.
Dark horse – 4 Elf
4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewery is defined as a “Winter Warmer” and the beer is just as peculiar as its style. It’s a spiced beer which is ideal for the winter season and has the perfect balance of sugar, spice and everything nice with out the need of three obnoxious young girls. Using toffee and carmel for the sweetness and bringing in nutmeg and clove for the spices, 4 Elf has everything you need to warm your soul. This beer is also an ideal gift for that beer snob friend of yours, the friend who drank craft beer before it was cool, judges people on their beverage in hand, and probably wears a lot of cardigan sweaters.
Great Lakes Brewery – Christmas Ale
DISCLAIMER: This beer is NOT brewed in Michigan, BUT due to it’s name and awesomeness, I’ll let it slide, just this once though. Great Lakes Christmas Ale is that perfect dessert beer, sweet to the lips, but has a nice malty finish. Brewed with honey and spiced with ginger and cinnamon, this Christmas ale is an ideal after-dinner beer that will complement your slice of cheesecake quite nicely. Even though it’s brewed in Ohio, this beer is perfect for family gatherings because even Aunt Claude, who drinks vodka on the regular, wouldn’t mind one or two of these during a game of euchre.