Published on December 6, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


12 Ales of Christmas

Cullercoats Brewery
Royal Sovereign Barley Wine (11% abv), vintage Feb15
All-English vintage barley wine. Rich plum and fruit flavours, treacley caramel warmth and masses of hop flavour from Challenger, East Kent Goldings and Bramling Cross. The beer is one to sip and savour, or lay down to mature further

Great North Eastern Brewing Co
Rudolph’s Ruin (4.4% abv)
Rudolph’s Ruby Ale is a deep ruby coloured ale with robust rich malts dominating this great Christmas ale with a sweet hop finish.

Brinkburn Street Brewery
Homage to Mesopotamia (5.2% abv) 
Homage to Mesopotamia is a luxuriant porter (available in 750ml ‘sharing’ bottles) with late additions of Shiraz grape juice and honey to balance the chocolate malt. Dedicated to the pioneers of beer making, The Women of Mesopotamia, the label shows an image of Ninkasi, the Sumerian Goddess of Fermentation. A perfect beer for a night in, on a cold winter’s night, with the beer lover in your life.

Allendale Brewery
Christmas Ale (7.0% abv)
A variety of  roasted malts give a sweet biscuity flavour with hints of cinder toffee. Generous amounts of English Goldings hops bring flavours of Seville orange marmalade and a floral aroma.

Keswick Brewery
Thirst Noel (6.0% abv)
Thirst Noel is a dark rich malty Christmas ale made using a combination of five malts and a blend of traditional and spicy hops.  Also available in bottles.

Muckle Brewery
Muckle Berry (4.5% abv)
A rich winter fireside red ale, brewed with Crystal malt and First Gold hops. Muckle Berry balances the dark fruit flavours of raisins and plums with hints of caramel and layers of bitter spiced oranges.

Hadrian Border Brewery
Mince Pie Christmas Beer (4.5% abv)
This dark amber festive-ale has a light touch of cinnamon and tickle of orange with a raisin finish. Mellow and malty Christmas cheer.

Firebrick Brewery
Fireglow (4.1% abv)
A sweet spiced dark ale – black cardamom, allspice berries and cinnamon bark join a complex malt mix in the mash. British, German and Czech Republic hops complement the spice in this winter seasonal from Firebrick’s Year in Beer Mystical range.

Durham Brewery
Imperious (12% abv)
A limited-edition whisky cask-aged imperial stout, this features a strong bourbon aroma with oily coffee, liquorice and dark chocolate flavours in the massive vanilla body. Matured for over nine months in whisky hogsheads, creating a long rich and warming finish with a hint of brown sugar. Available from usual stockists or direct from the brewery shop in Bowburn, North Ind Est, DH6 5PF. Gift boxes also available.

Theakston’s Brewery
Old Peculier (5.6% abv)
Brewed using a generous blend of finest pale, crystal and roasted barley malts along with the majestic Fuggle hop to create a wonderful, full-bodied flavour a distinctive banana, black-cherry aroma leading to a magnificent Christmas kaleidoscope of flavour. Rich, smooth and sweet.

Little Donkey (4.1% abv)
Little Donkey, a cask-only limited-edition beer is essentially Christmas cake in a pint glass. Raisins, cherries, orange peel and a hint of brandy are evident in this brown ale which has been brewed using a blend of Topaz, Admiral and Phoenix hops.

Rigg & Furrow
Ginger Bread Brown Ale (4.3% abv)

Brewed in partnership with mmm… and glug…’s delicious gingerbread spice mix, Gingerbread is a spiced brown ale perfect for the winter months. With aromas of ginger and cinnamon and a full bodied bready and malty finish, Gingerbread is a lightly spiced dark brown ale with a warming ginger undertone, made for cold nights spent by the fire.

About the Author

Alastair Gilmour

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