This Year, Think Ontario Craft Beers For Your Holiday Table

?Christmas beer? means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For me, it means brews full of spice and fruit. The kind of pour I want to sip beside the fire, not necessarily heavy but definitely rich. For others, it’s a darker ale (think ambers and nut browns)or maybe even a toasty, chocolate-y stout.

Regardless of what your personal preference is, we can all agree that there’s a special place on our tables for Christmas beers. Here are a few of our favorites from Ontario, right now.


Side note: The Ontario Craft Brewers has released their list of the 12 Beers of Xmas. You should definitely add each and every one of these brews to your holiday tasting list!

Lamb’s Wool (Apple + Spice Gruit)

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., Vankleek Hill

Lamb�s Wool is a spiced gruit ale, made with barley malts and blended before fermentation with unfiltered organic apple juice. Real cinnamon and whole cloves add a warming spice character to this traditional winter wassail.

Damn Dark Lager

Thornbury Village Brewing Co., Thornbury

This is an authentic Munich Style Dunkel. It’s mahogany in colour, is malt-forward with subtle hop flavours and hints of nuts, toast and toffee. It boasts a palate of dark-chocolate that has us wanting to skip dessert.

Winter Ale

Great Lakes Brewery, Toronto

Brewed in Toronto, this beer is is a true winter warmer. Handcrafted with specialty hops and malts, combined with loads of cinnamon, honey, ginger and orange peel, this beer is a classic.

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Yuletide Barleywine

Wellington Brewery, Guelph

Have you heard? Guelph is brewing some seriously good beer. Our favorite holiday from the region is aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. It’s got notes of vanilla, smoke, toffee, raisins and some unexpected coconut richness.


Muskoka Brewery, Bracebridge

Heralding from the town of Bracebridge, Ontario, this Dunkelweizen, or dark wheat beer, is deep brown with notes of clove and banana. Muskoka Winterweiss partners the yeast and wheat character of a Hefeweizen with the malty richness of a Munich Dunkel.

Biere De Noel

Oast House Brewers, Niagara

This festive limited-edition Farmhouse Ale is modeled after a Belgian Dark Strong Ale.  It’s got all the things you want in a holiday beer: chocolate, dates, molasses, whiskey-dosed fruit pudding, seasonal spice and even a hint of cola.

The Spice Principle

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., Vankleek Hill

The Spice Principle puts to use a bounty of 12 (secret) organic spices to intensify the lively flavour profile in this ?spice weiss?. You’ll get everything from coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper, ginger, to banana and bubblegum. It’s an imaginative take on the German-style weissbier.

Grandpa’s Ol’ White Eggnog Stout

Great Lakes Brewery, Toronto

This year will mark the fifth holiday season that they’ve done this beer. It’s loaded with lactose, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla bean… just like eggnog! It’s a Tank Ten special brew available only at the brewery, so definitely plan to visit!


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