‘Tis the season to be jolly.
And while they lack the ABV to be considered spirits, these local brews can probably help you find that Christmas spirit.
While Christmas may feel more like a deadline than a holiday, winter seasonal beers generally stay available beyond Dec. 25. Which is great, because there are a lot of craft breweries in Pittsburgh.
In no way is this an exhaustive guide to the best ‘Burgh-brewed holiday drafts. It’s more of a sampling of local holiday beers that you can easily get your hands on.
Did we miss any of your local favorite winter warmers? Tweet recommendations for future, highly scientific research to @theinclinepgh. Cheers!
East End Brewing Company’s Snow Melt
Our first holiday beer recommendation comes with an endorsement from the highest (local) authority. Recently on tap at Mayor Bill Peduto’s holiday party, the #PeopleForPeduto toasted to his bid for re-election with East End Brewing Company’s winter offering, Snow Melt.
On East End Brewing Company’s site, they describe Snow Melt as a “rich malty, deep ruby-red, winter ale, best used for frost removal, holiday toasting, and guaranteed to clear the fog off your glasses.”
If you don’t have a time machine to head on back to the holiday party, you can grab a growler of Snow Melt at both at the East End Brewery Taphouse in the Strip and its brewpub near Bakery Square.
Penn Brewery St. Nikolaus Bock Bier
While you wouldn’t want to judge a book by it’s cover, you similarly wouldn’t want to judge a beer by its label. That said, the festive label on Penn Brewery’s St. Nikolaus Bock Bier rewards assumptions with a delicious Christmas beer.
While being a local favorite may be its own reward, the St. Nik won a silver medal in 2011 at the Great American Beer Festival.
The brewery reintroduced the St. Nik on Dec. 2 this year with its annual tapping party.
In 2007, the Alström Bros of BeerAdvocate reviewed the St. Nikolaus Bock. They described it as a “tasty treat and a great switch from the plethora of winter warmers. Not that there are many German-style Bocks imported into the US; this one stands out the most with a true-to-style flair. Give this one a go.”
While you can get it by the keg at Penn Brewery, the St. Nik is widely available at local beer stores.
Rivertowne Brewing’s Rudolph’s Red
If the St. Nik’s bottle gave you an overwhelming feeling of a fancy Christmas beer, Rivertowne’s canned beer with their mascot fish wearing antlers and a red nose might give you the opposite impression.
But, this is why you’re not supposed to judge beers by their label. Don’t let that can fool you.
The page for Rudolph’s Red reads: “This bold, Imperial Red will light up your nose and let you enjoy a season of reindeer games. The hint of cinnamon in the finish will add another spike to your antlers.”
Craft beer enthusiasts will be no stranger to the brewers from Verona. The company has surged in recent years.
Rivertowne has run out of their Rudolph’s Red, per the tweet below. But it still can be found in stores, and Rivertowne distributes to Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia if you happen to not be home for the holidays.