7 Local Holiday Beers to Try This Season

Forget 7 swans a-swimming. Here's 7 beers for drinking.



Bottles of Rockingham Brewing Company beers ready to hit the streets
photo by nicole gregory

The first snows of the season have fallen, the trees are trimmed, and the holidays are just around the corner. While complicated seasonal drinks around every corner — from Starbucks' red-cupped peppermint lattes to the cinnamon-stick-infused Moscow mules peppering the winter menu at your local cocktail bar — we say, keep it simple. Many of New Hampshire's best breweries have gotten in the holiday spirit this year, and these seasonal craft beers are worth ditching the mulled wine for. Here are our favorite picks for local holiday beers to add to the family feast, to give as gifts, or to drink on your own for a bit of holiday stress reduction.

Smuttynose Brewing Co.: Smistletoe

This holiday brew is an annual tradition for the Seacoast brewers. Similar to a Biere de Garde, the 2016 Smistletoe is a farmhouse-style ale brewed with cherries, black currants, and plums. It's also wrapped up in chic minimalist packaging with a kick of festive red, so it's perfect for the design-conscious craft beer lover. smuttynose.com

603 Brewery: Fireside Smoked Porter

Rev up the fireplace, pull up a chair, and warm up with a glass of Londonderry's finest craft brew. This creamy and robust porter is brewed with chocolate rye malt to create a flavor profile including notes of caramel, dark fruits, and a touch of smokiness. 603brewery.com

Henniker Brewing Co.: The Roast

Your favorite piping hot pick-me-up joins forces with a cold can of beer for this seasonal creation. Concord's White Mountain Gourmet Coffee specially created a 15-pound blend of Kenyan, Guatemalan, and espresso coffee beans for the brewers at Henniker to add to the mix for this stout — and the result is a buzzy and boozy sipper perfect to pair with a bowl of stew. hennikerbrewing.com

The Portsmouth Brewery: Kringles Krook

Have you ever longed for a drinkable, alcoholic peppermint bark? That's the basic idea behind this Christmasy brew. Pouring now at the Market Street taproom, this traditional ale is brewed with 16 pounds of candy canes (!) and is chock full of peppermint and chocolate flavors. portsmouthbrewery.com

Woodstock Inn Brewery: Frosty Goggles

Inspired by the brewery's ski-country locale, this concoction is designed as the perfect brew to kick back with after a long day on the slopes. Fittingly labeled a "Sh-Red Pale Ale," this beer diverges from the standard chocolate- and stout-heavy recipe for many seasonal brews with an amber color and citrus notes. woodstockinnnh.com/brewery

Rockingham Brewing Company: Winter Wonderham

If your holiday table will feature a Christmas ham, why not make your beer 'ham-themed too? This winter warmer ale packs a punch with seasonally-appropriate notes of ginger, orange peel, and cinnamon. Find it bottled or on tap at the brewery's taproom in Derry. rockinghambrewing.com

Swift Current Brewing Co.: Merry Misfit

Roasted and caramel malts, ginger, and cinnamon are a few of the ingredients in this merrily spicy saison. The best part of this Manchester brew, though, may be the cartoon on the label, complete with an angry snowman and judgmental-looking Santa Claus. He sees you when you're sleeping — and he knows when you're sneaking away from family functions for a sip of craft beer. swiftcurrentbrewing.com

 

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