It’s the silly season, and you’ve probably already been to at least one Christmas function so far. It’s a great time to spend some time with the people you love (hate) and avoid all forms of political debate with your casually racist uncle. What better way to turn the tables on all the standard forms of mindless Christmas chatter to something that truly reflects your refined drinking status; fab Chrissy beers.
What better way to establish your presence at the in-laws Christmas do than plonking down on the table a champagne style, wax sealed, 750ml bottle of the latest Mountain Goat Barrel Breeds. This Golden Strong Ale, weighing in at a boozy 9.6% abv on the beer Richter Scale, is aged in a combination of both American and French Oak barrels from their co-conspirators at Lark Distillery in Tasmania, giving it that matured, full flavoured finish, and you that look of smug satisfaction. Featuring typical golden ale aromas and flavours, it’s perfect drinking for that 35 degree afternoon, but packing the punch that it does, it’s one that’s better shared amongst some of your best.
Stick with us. If you’re not one for fairy tales and you’re already poised to scroll down, hold your reindeers. What screams Christmas like a vanilla ice cream ale? That’s right, those thoughtful guys in Beechworth, Victoria have come up with a beer that lovingly marries the two best things about Christmas dinner – booze and dessert. Coming in standard 330ml bottles and at a healthy 7.3%, this is one that you don’t have to feel guilty about keeping it all to yourself. Perfect after that Christmas roast and pudding, it’s a great way to nestle into that reclining arm chair that has a permanent imprint of your Dad’s backside, and soak up all that festive cheer.
If you’re like me and you like nothing better than quaffing cold beer, and lots of it, on a hot summer’s day, then look no further. This sessionable India Pale Ale, hailing out of its brewery in Hindmarsh, Adelaide, comes in at moderate 3.5% and can be enjoyed in more generous quantities than some of its boozier siblings (Pale Ale at 5.4% and IIPA at 8.8%). Further to this excellent story is that it comes in the most enjoyable of vessels, the humble tinny. Whilst the rest of your family is almost comatose on Brandy at 5pm, you’ll be bright and bushy tailed leading your 8 year old cousins in singing all their favourite Christmas jingles.
We’ve got a feeling we might lose a few coriander haters here, but the Gose is a perfect summer beverage. With its naturally sour characteristics, this limited release Freshie Salt & Pepper Gose out of Brookvale, Sydney sums up the best of the region. The idea of using fresh seawater might turn a few heads, not to mention some Tasmanian mountain pepper, but this otherwise features all the hallmarks of the classic Gose. At 4.5%, these can be enjoyed a steady rate while fielding at first slip in the traditional family cricket match after that Christmas lunch. Whether you keep these to yourself, or enjoy watching the mother-in-law pull that funny (I-wasn’t-expecting-that-kick-of-sourness) face after you offer her one of yours, the Nomad is well worth your time.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a mother of a beer. This Imperial Stout is aged in Starward Whisky barrels before being infused with whole coffee beans to provide a rich, creamy, chocolatey mouth-feel that simply glides down the throat. Whilst it’s only in a 330ml bottle, at a whopping 10.6% abv, what better way to get into the spirit of gift giving than to share this with another, be it your father-in-law who you’ve been trying (and failing) to impress, or that special family member who’s travelled half way around the globe to be back with the family for Christmas. Thicker than the average beer, this is very much made for that night cap once all the kids have gone to bed and you can toast to another thoroughly enjoyable Christmas day.
Image source: The Craft Pint