12 Days of Christmas Beer: Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Editor's Note: To help you get in the spirit, we'll be featuring a Christmas beer or a Winter Warmer every day for 12 days. Got a favorite seasonal brew? Let us know in the comments.


[Photograph: Alice Gao]



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Great Lakes Christmas Ale smells spicy and packs a gingery punch, but isn't sweet or syrupy, and has enough crispness and piney-hop bitterness to remain refreshing. It's like a more sophisticated version of Old Fezziwig, with more subtle spicing and a grainier body, plus much more bitter bite.

This one teeters on the line between cookie-like Christmas beers and beer-like Christmas beers—the question is, does that please those who fall on either side of the Christmas Beer Debate? Given its ample bitterness, food pairing is a bit tricky with this beer—try it with salty pretzels with mustard and ham, fried chicken, or bratwurst charred on a grill.

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