The 25th year of the Kerstbierfestival in Essen, Belgium was held December 14 & 15, 2019. This is the premier Christmas beer festival featuring an amazing 230 Christmas beers. You can see the full list here.
The festival attracts Christmas beer fan from around the world. This year there were 27 nationalities including from 19 different US States and 2 Canadian provinces. Those attending voted on their favorites and here’s the list.
2019 Kerstbierfestival Top 10
The 10 favorite Christmas beers from the 2019 Belgian Christmas beer festival contain both favorites and new entries. The list begins with the beer name, the brewery, their location, and the movement on the list relative to the 2018 Top 10 list. Click the links to read out review.
- Schuppenboer Winter 2019 (Het Nest, Oud-Turnhout) same
- Black Pudding (Vleesmeester Brewery, Edegem) +1
- Stille Nacht (De Dolle Brouwers, Esen) -1
- Samhain (CyDraLe, Zandvliet) new
- Stille Nacht Reserva 2015 (De Dolle Brouwers, Esen) new
- Gouden Carolus Christmas (Het Anker, Mechelen) new
- Sint Bernardus Christmas Ale (Sint Bernardus, Watou) same
- Zilverkerst (HillDevils, Wouwse Plantage, NL) new
- Let the stars begin to fall (White Pony, Padua, IT) new
- My Honningkage is Bigger Than Yours Bourbon Ed. (To Øl, Kopenhagen, DK) new
The festival will be back in 2020 on December 12 & 13. Be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time in August or you won’t get into this popular event.
The Kerstbierfestival held in Essen, Belgium in December drew a sold out crowd of Christmas beer fans from 34 nationalities and visitors from 14 different US States, 3 Canadian, and 2 Chinese Provinces.
Participants are surveyed to determine the top 10 Christmas Beers of the festival. For the 9th time, Stille Nacht by De Dolle Brouwers won top ranking. Fans of this blog will know that Stille Nacht is Santa’s favorite as well.
The 2017 Kerstbierfestival Top 10 Christmas Beers
1. Stille Nacht – De Dolle Brouwers
2. Schuppenboer Grand Cru Whisky Barrel Aged – Het Nest
3. Gouden Carolus Christmas – Het Anker
4. Sint Bernardus Christmas Ale – St. Bernardus
5. L’Ensemble BA Montalcino – Dochter v/d Korenaar
6. Murder – Crow Mountain (Anders)
7. Jule Maelk Rhum Ed. – To Øl (Proefbrouwerij)
8. Winterkoninkske Haspeng. Gr. Cru Am. Oak Fin. – Kerkom (Proefbrouwerij)
9. Jule Maelk Cognac Ed. – To Øl (Proefbrouwerij)
10. Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie 2016 (Cogn.) – Brouwerij Abb. N.D. de Scourmont
The good news for global Christmas beer fans is two of the top beers, Gouden Carolus Christmas and St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, are widely available.
Trappist brewery Chimay has barrel aged their Grande Reserve Ale (Blue) for the first time. Historically, the Grande Reserve was Chimay’s Christmas Beer.
I don’t have a bottle yet, but here’s a video from
It’s no secret that Santa’s favorite Christmas beer is De Dolle Brouwers’ Stille Nacht. It’s a Belgian Strong Ale made with brewing equipment from a long-defunct brewery in the eastern Belgium town of Esen. Several friends bought the equipment in the 1980s called themselves the Mad Brewers (De Dolle Brouwers) and began to brew beers with life – yeast – still in them. The little guy on the bottle is often mistaken for a snowman, but is actually a yeast, representing the living nature of bottle-conditioned beer.
Stille Nacht Reserva was birthed after an accidental yeast overdose in 2000 exploded bottles as
Last year I bought a few bottles of several Christmas beers to age. Tonight I pulled a bottle of Corsendonk Christmas Ale to see how aging affected this beer.
It pours reddish brown with a two-finger head that stays firm. Obviously, the year of aging hasn’t changed the carbonation.
It tastes very much like a fresh batch (see my review here), but the whole beer is knit together and the flavors are better integrated. The carbonation is smoother, the dark fruit notes pop, and the “sharp” edges of a fresh Corsendonk are aged off in this year old ale. I like it better.
Throw a few bottles in your cellar and taste a aged Corsendonk for yourself… next year.
Another Belgian, this time from Brasserie Des Légendes in Ath, Belgium. Noël Des Géants is an unpasteurized, unfiltered, bottle conditioned Belgian spiced strong ale.
Noël Des Géants pours golden rose with a white head of fine foam. This is a spiced beer, but the aroma begins with
The brewer is Slaapmutske; the brewery is De Proef Brouwerij in Belgium. This is a malty Christmas beer called Kerstmutske Christmas, which means Christmas Nightcap.
Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap pour cloudy mahogany with a cream head that reduces to what looks like