Even award-winning brewers like to celebrate with someone else’s beer.
Brewers spend every waking hour with their beers and their breweries on the brain. They don’t have a ton of time to experience the brews created outside their own walls. It’s like the slogan on the side of each 2SP can… “Everything we can’t drink, we can!”
After reaching out to some of our favorite local brewers, we learned that each one is still a beer hunter at heart. They are eager to try all the new releases they can, to rack up those Untappd check-ins.
So with the holiday season upon us, we asked them which beers (other than their own) make their holidays merry and bright.
Cape May Brewing Co.
While Cape May Brewing may conjure up memories of enjoying a few bottles of refreshing Summer Catch down the shore, when the weather turns chilly, owner/brewer Ryan Krill reaches for something with more of a kick. “This time of year, Heavy Seas Siren Noire is always on the top of my list.” The chocolate stout clocks in at 9.5% ABV and uses almost 3 pounds of Belgian coco nibs per barrel. “Sipping a big, bold, chocolaty, boozy stout is my ideal beverage in front of a fire.”
2SP Brewing Co.
Even though 2SP is one of the Delaware Valley’s newest and hottest breweries, Mike Contreras’ favorite wintertime brew comes from a brewery almost 250 years-old. “Unlike a lot of people, the holidays are a great time for me, it’s the rest of the year that’s awful,” says Contreras. “Scaldis Noel is the bounty of enduring the year, and it rewards me with all the sweet cherry, fig, plum and caramel characters that a free spirit at the church of carbohydrates loves so much. I can’t recommend this beer enough.”
Evil Genius Beer Co.
Evil Genius knows a thing or two about what makes a great winter seasonal. Their own holiday Belgian-style ale Santa!! I Know Him! is deep and complex, designed to spice up those cold winter months. But when co-founder Trevor Hayward is looking for a little variety, where does he turn? “If I can’t drink an Evil Genius, one of my favorite Christmas beers is Great Lakes Christmas Ale. It’s well balanced, and is the epitome of Christmas in a glass.”
Sly Fox Brewery
For a brewery that is constantly innovating and adjusting the recipe for their Christmas Ale, Sly Fox Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly prefers a stalwart winter classic when he’s not enjoying a beer of his own. “One of the first holiday beers that really inspired me was Sierra Celebration. I still look forward to enjoying a few every year.”
Dock Street Brewery
Any fan of winter seasonals or beer history might have guessed that if there was just one beer on this list that was going to be repeated by more than one brewer, it would have to be Sierra Celebration. Dock Street’s Sasha Certo-Ware says, “When the weather gets colder, I start to crave Sierra Nevada’s Celebration IPA. I’ve always had tremendous respect for the brewery, and something about drinking a clean, fresh IPA around the holidays usually does it for me more than spiced ales or warmers.”