Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews (2008)

Beer columnist Don Russell has a passion for Christmas beer that rivals my own. For years, he has hunted up Christmas beers from far and wide, braving blizzards to gather them. He’s put the best finds from his travels in Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews.

This is a 200+ paged color picture book of Christmas beer history, stories, and of course Christmas beers.

Russell lists his top 50, each with a large photo and description. He includes many Belgian favorites such as Stille NachtDelirium NoëlGouden Carolus NoëlCorsendonkScaldis Noël, and St. Bernardus. Other Christmas beers include from those the all parts of the USA, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and of course, Germany and England.

Another section has photographs and brief descriptions of 194 – yes, you read it correctly! – additional Christmas beers.

There’s a nice write up of the famous Samichlaus, the world’s strongest lager at 14% ABV. It’s made in Austria by Schloss Eggenberg brewery. This beer and many other high alcohol Christmas beers can be cellared like a fine wine. There’s a short chapter with successful Christmas beer aging tips.

Christmas Beer is a hardbound, full-color book that any beer lover will enjoy leafing through. And at $8, it’s a steal!

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