Keith Flanagan

Winter means holidays, and holidays mean gifts. Gifts are always welcome — especially gifts of beer.

Well before visions of gingerbread cookies and sugar plums dance in our heads, breweries have the season’s flavors in mind. Brewers anticipate the season like a white Christmas; in Rhode Island, Newport Storm Brewery was busy fermenting for three months to craft its annual release — for the 17th year. In San Francisco, Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale, a new recipe each year, is officially the brewery’s 43rd Christmas beer on the wall.

To keep us warm, the season’s beers are traditionally strong, hearty, malty and toasty. And while serious, many are festive, and at the very least, fun; Sam Calagione, founder and CEO of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, says their latest winter release “smells like Paul Bunyan’s cologne and tastes like tongue-kissing Mother Nature.”

In sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oakland Park's Funky Buddha Brewery takes a culinary approach to its lineup. New to its seasonal selection is a Nib Smuggler Chocolate Milk Porter, crafted with two key flavors: Brazilian cacao nibs and Madagascar vanilla beans. With the slight aromatics of chocolate milk, be sure to leave this one for Santa to smuggle back up the chimney.

December 1st, 2017

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