It’s beginning to look a lot a lot like Christmas.
In every pint of beer.
Take a look in the bottle shops, replacing much of the hops
Are cherries, figs, cinnamon and cheer.
As we head into December, holiday beers are on tap throughout Lancaster County. Some are aged, some are spiced and some are brewed with ingredients like candy canes, figs, spruce tips and egg nog. A lot are big, boozy winter warmers like Belgian tripels or imperial stouts.
There are so many, you could toast the holiday with a new one every day of December.
Here’s a sampling of the holiday beers from Lancaster County breweries, as well as a few favorites from outside the region.
Columbia Kettle Works, Columbia and Lancaster
Grinch Feet Holiday Red Ale (9% ABV, alcohol by volume) will be back on tap Saturday night. This beer is brewed with oats and blackstrap molasses and is finished with fresh cherries, vanilla bean and cinnamon.
New this year is a barrel-aged version of Tricky Fingers Belgian-style tripel (9% ABV). This beer is brewed with Belgian candi sugar, coriander and orange peel, and then aged in rum barrels. The beer will be released Dec. 21 in 750-milliliter bottles.
Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster
Already on tap are Reindeer’s Revenge (9% ABV), a hoppy version of a Belgian-style tripel; Russian Imperial Stout (9.5% ABV), with notes of dark chocolate and espresso; and Scrooge IPA (6% ABV), an American-style IPA that’s as bitter as Scrooge.
Coming up this week is a new holiday beer: Spruce Moose (6% ABV), a New England-style IPA hop-backed with spruce tips and hops, says lead brewer Kyle Hallett.
Winter Warmer (7% ABV), a spiced ale brewed with cinnamon, cloves and anise should be ready by next week.
Lancaster Brewing Company, Lancaster
In the brewery’s Jam Series, the chili-smoked Baltic porter went on tap on Black Friday. It’s a porter brewed with beechwood-smoked malt, guajillo and chipotle peppers. Coming up are an egg nog blonde ale brewed with nutmeg and milk sugar and an India-style white ale brewed with orange peel and coriander.
Mad Chef Craft Brewing, East Petersburg
Back on tap is Winter Wonder Ale (6% ABV), a honey nut brown ale with a seasonal spice mix similar to boilo (bourbon, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and honey). There is also a nitro version.
Pour Man’s Brewing, Ephrata
Two holiday beers will be added when there’s space. Oats and Ho, Ho, Hoes (7% ABV) is an oatmeal stout brewed with snickerdoodle cold-brewed coffee from Javateas Cafe.
And Good Company (6% ABV) is a porter brewed with smoked malt and aged with sweet dark cherries.
Raney Cellars Brewing Company, Millersville
One of Lancaster County’s newest breweries just released its first barrel-aged stout, Rye Guy (7% ABV). This stout was aged for two months in rye whiskey barrels from Lancaster’s Thistle Finch Distillery.
Troegs Independent Brewing, Hershey
Mad Elf ale (11% ABV), a Belgian strong dark ale brewed with honey and cherries is so popular, we're adding it to our list of Lancaster County beers. Also back is Mad Elf Grand Cru (11% ABV), a version that’s less sweet with more cherries. The brewery will have photos with the Mad Elf from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Troegs on Monday will release Double Blizzard (8.5% ABV), a hoppier version of Blizzard of Hops, in 16-ounce cans and on draft.
Twisted Bine Beer Company, Mount Joy
On tap is Pere Noel (8% ABV), a Belgian dark ale hopped with juniper and spruce tips. This beer was a hit last year, says brewer Tom Weber, so he made more and put it on tap earlier.
Union Barrel Works, Reamstown
Candy Cane Stout (5% ABV) should be back on tap this week. The stout has chocolate notes, which pair well with candy canes, says co-owner Chasy Fronheiser. The beer is served in a glass rimmed with crushed candy canes.
Wacker Brewing Company, Lancaster
A porter (5% ABV) brewed with fig and molasses just went on tap. Coming up in about a week is Belsnickel Christmas Ale (7.5% ABV), a red Belgian ale with spices, figs and orange peel.