“Eat, drink, and be merry” wouldn’t be a phrase if not for the drinking part. And rightfully so. The holidays are both a time for relaxation, and a time in which the constant presence of family can make the thought of nice cold beer all the more appetizing.
To help ensure that you’ve selected the right beer for such a joyous time of year, we consulted our pal Gary Dzen, Associate Editor of Boston.com Sports and the man with brew in hand for The Boston Globe’s 99 Bottles beer column. Not only did Gary lend his expertise for the infographic below, but provided a bit of personal insight on these winter seasonal suds.
“There’s no strict definition of a holiday beer,” he says. “It’s more about the styles that encompass it. They tend to be heavier, incorporate more spices, and are higher in alcohol content. They range in style from winter warmers to fresh hop beers like Sierra Nevada’s Celebration to Belgians.”
Gary is the type of guy who loves a winter seasonal, but prefers when his beer isn’t too spicy, or like a “fruitcake in a glass,” as he refers to it. Still, he claims that of the four seasonal beers, winter brews are his favorite, citing a preference for the Belgian styles like triples and quads.
“Winter beers are probably my number one,” he says. “It’s when more of the interesting beers come out, and many breweries save their best stuff for this time of year. Barrel aged and anniversary offerings become available and there’s a lot to choose from.”