Christmas/Holiday Beers [General]

2011 Nov 25
Hi everyone,

A few years, I was in France in late November and had a Christmas beer for the first, and sadly, only time. The beer I had was sold only around Christmas time and also had a slight nutmeg flavour to it - sadly I can't remember the name. It is certainly not a beer I would drink on a regular basis but I thought it would be great to have some on hand over Christmas.

Anyway, I have done some googling and looked in the LCBO but I have never come across Christmas beers here, which I gather in Europe are not too difficult to find.

Does anyone know if Christmas beers are available in Ontario or Quebec and if so, any information would be appreciated.


2011 Nov 25
Yup, though they're not usually sold as Christmas beers, but as Winter Warmers, which is the name of the LCBO release. Here's this year's release:
No archetype for a "Christmas beer" really, just expect higher gravity, usually malt-heavy, and possibly spiced like the one you're describing.

For what you're interested in I'd try the English offerings: Samuel Smith, Bah Humbug, St. Peter's, Great Lakes Winter (and their Cranberry Chocolate) and Traquair Jacobite. Those will all have some sort of spicing to them, but the rest of those two releases are quality strong beers.

Specialty stores in Gatineau will have a bunch from Quebec I would imagine.

2011 Nov 25
I think Southern Tier's Crême Brulée stout is about to return; Toronto stores are showing large quantities and it may spread from there. It's only available in the holiday season. Not really "Holiday" as a flavour, but it warms up a winter night really well. :)

2011 Nov 25
mj, I picked up some Barley Days Brewery's Yuletide Cherry Porter today; I found last year's product enjoyable so I am looking forward to seeing how this year's batch stacks up: see

2011 Nov 29
Hi Andy, Niall and BrianMc!

Thanks very much for the tips. I picked up both the Barley Days Brewery's Yuletide Cherry Porter and the Bah Humbug! I will wait until we actually get into December, but I am really looking forward to having them to offer over the holidays.

I am going to keep an eye out for Southern Tier's Crême Brulée stout. I could serve them with the Crême Brulée Truffles from Truffle Treasures!

Cheers and Thanks so much!

2011 Dec 1
I tried the Ashton Pub Holiday Beer yesterday at Patty's Pub - its Cinnamon and Cranberry flavoured, but very lightly. I quite enjoyed it, but the SO HATED it, so I guess its a personal thing. I don't think they're in the LCBO yet though, so unless you want to hit up a pub, I guess it doesn't help much.

Also, I see that Beau's is releasing their Bog Water holiday edition shortly (mid Dec in LCBOs):

2011 Dec 1
Nice! While it's coming to the LCBO in mid-December, it's available at the brewery today, as well as at these pubs/restaurants:

2011 Dec 1
Andy, I picked up the cherry porter and like it a lot. Thanks! Only two Kanata LCBOs carry it, but I had to be there anyway. Took forever to find it as they were still in the back room... Turns out they really need to be cold to be enjoyable, too.

I liked Bog Water a few years ago, it's time I try it again, I'll keep an eye out!

The Crème Brulée is still mostly in Toronto and area ( but I keep an eye every few days for when it will expand.

2011 Dec 1
Niall, this year's Yuletide seems to me to have a little less cherry taste than last years (which wasn't very strong anyways) but it does add nice flavour depth and the beer itself is quite tasty - not huge flavours or body, but still satisfying. Cheers!

2011 Dec 2
Each degree increase in temperature releases more cherry. A friend who had it cool (10-12 degrees) found the cherries overstrong and cloying, while mine right off the fridge was subtle and "developing". It's still a very nice porter for me as it is, the addition of the cherries rounds it nicely.

2011 Dec 11
What could be more Christmasy than a beer named after Santa Claus -- Samichlaus. And at 14%, you'll be thinking you are Santa once you finish the bottle. Available at the SAQ:

To pique your interest, here's an article on Samichlaus by the late, great Michael Jackson. Yeah, that's right. :-)

2011 Dec 12
Are you saying the bearded one is dead? If so i hadn't heard. I know about the gloved one ...

2011 Dec 13
Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Sout. I suspect that might count?

2011 Dec 13
Boy am I out of it - looks like MJ (the bearded one) has been dead for 4 years. Now to get me some christmas beer to raise (a belated) toast.

2011 Dec 14
To the bearded one! *Clink*

I'm sure he would have approved of Jagash's choice. ;-)

2011 Dec 16
Downtown Diner - THANK YOU!

I will score big points by adding Samichlaus to my husbands stocking this year. I work in Hull so I will be going to buy this after work tonight.

Since it's not available at the LCBO, that means hubby has not already seen it on one of his holiday beer forays.

It's VERY hard to surprise him since he knows the whole inventory of LCBO and Beer store by heart :):)