In Cleveland, Ohio they love Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s Christmas Ale so much that in July when they began brewing this year’s batch, the event made the local newspaper. I arrived in Canton tonight and went straight to the nearest store to get my hands on this fan beer to see what all the fuss is about. It’s not overhyped.
Christmas Ale pours copper with a white foam head that looks like the snow collecting in the garden outside. The nose has allspice, malts, bread, figs and orange peel. It tastes rich, smooth, and sweet from the honey. Ginger, cinnamon, caramel swirl around my mouth with citrus hops and honey cutting the spices, especially the ginger which has a slight burn. It’s medium bodied, 30 IBU and 7.5% ABV. The flavors linger and stays with you.
Great Lakes Brewing used 9,000 pounds of ginger and cinnamon and $700,000 worth of honey to make this brew. It sells out each year. I’m glad I was able to taste it on this cold winter’s night!
Another Ohio Christmas ale has nearly the same flavor profile. It’s the 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale by Thirsty Dog. How do the two beers compare? See my review to find out.
Question: What do you think of Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale? You can leave a comment by clicking here.