Harvey’s Christmas Ale Review

Harvey & Sons Ltd is a 200-plus year-old brewery in Southeast Britain. It’s privately owned and run by 8th generation family members. Harvey’s Christmas Ale is a dark Barleywine.

Harvey’s Christmas Ale pours ruby red with a thin lacing of foam. The aroma is caramel, toffee, dates, and brown sugar. The taste isn’t as sweet as I expected, which is a very good thing. It has dark fruit, raisins, fruit cake, all lending a rich and complex flavor to this beer. The finish is bitter with warmth of the 7.5% ABV coming through.

It’s made with Pale Ale malts, Crystal malts and oats. As a barleywine it’s heavily hopped with Fuggle and Golding hops and dry hopped with Progress. It comes in at about 45 IBU.

Harvey & Sons ties to the local area is quite extensive. During the 6-week fermentation process, Harvey’s Christmas Ale was even blessed by a local priest, Father Toby Sims.

Finally, after tasting so many UK Christmas beers with kitsch labels and sickly-sweet flavor, here’s an ale that is worthy of the UK and Christmas. Cheers!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required Email Address *

    While it’s difficult to picture Santa as a young man, he was once. He met the future Mrs. Claus one snowy night when she offered him a winter ale that she brewed herself. It was love at first sight – for both the Mrs. and her winter ales. With Santa’s growing fame, his favorite brews became named after his favorite day – Christmas. Santa now travels the world each year to spread the joy that began in a stable in Bethlehem two millennia ago.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.