Don Russell, better known as Joe Sixpack, which was also the name of his long-running Philadelphia Daily News column, loves holiday beers. In fact, one of the three beer books he’s written is about them exclusively. The title says it all, Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Beers. So when asked to recommend a kick ass holiday beer that gets overlooked, Russell didn’t hesitate for a second. His choice – Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale.
First brewed in 1995, Russell says this beer is a classic. In fact, it made his Christmas book’s “Top 50 Greatest Holiday Beers”. And, it’s not just the beer’s perfect holiday flavor that earned it that ranking. Russell is nostalgic by nature, and this beer oozes nostalgia right down to its very name. You see, Mr. Fezziwig is a character in Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol. He’s the antithesis of the main character Ebenezer Scrooge. “He’s kind, good-spirited and ethical – exactly what the Christmas season is all about,” Russell explains.
Old Fezziwig is one of Sam Adams’ earliest holiday offerings. It’s a spicy, bold, winter warmer, bursting with the classic holiday spices – ginger, cinnamon and orange peel. The rich malt character is a showcase for sweet toffee, caramel and roasty chocolate flavors. And, as is true of most winter favorites, the alcohol level is slightly higher to warm your insides.
“Everyone is looking for a new, great beer for the holidays,” Russell adds. “The problem with new ones is that it’s easy to forget the standard bearers. Sam Adams Old Fezziwig is one of my personal favorites. It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Old Fezziwig is available in the Sam Adams Winter Classics variety pack, which also includes Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Oatmeal Stout, Chocolate Bock and Amber Bock – the perfect collection to share with loved ones this holiday season.
Editor’s Note: Sadly, Russell’s Joe Sixpack column is no more, but that doesn’t mean he’s given up on beer. Russell still writes about beer, hosts tastings and runs festivals. He is currently developing a beer-focused TV show, so stay tuned…