This is the first year in 5 or 6 years that I won’t be shopping for Christmas gifts on December 24th! I actually enjoy shopping on the last day of the shopping season (I go early and bring a list)! I don’t know what happened this year but I somehow ended up finishing early.
This won’t be a fun year for last-minute shoppers. Toronto has been covered in ice for 36 hours and getting around the city continues to be a struggle. If you’re short on time and need some ideas for fellow food-lovers, I thought I could share a quick guide to buying beer this time of year. Although these 3 bottles may not be available where you are, I’ll use each one as an example of what to look for.
If you’re not a beer geek you should know that this is one of the best times of year to buy beer. There are amazing seasonal, one-offs and imports that arrive for the Holidays! I’ll include a recommendation on how to find similar beers regardless of where you live in this article.
Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, Cellar Aged Version) by Muskoka Brewery
This is a great example of a seasonal; in this case, a winter beer. Muskoka Brewery unveiled this beer last year and it was awesome; it pours dark like a Guinness but is rich and creamy. The chocolate is 70% cacoa so it’s adds deep flavors (like coffee) as opposed to sweet.
It’s an 8% beer and will age well; which is good since the version being sold in Ontario this year is a year old! Lower-alcohol beer is best consumed fresh while beer that’s higher in alcohol can be stored and will age well (more on this topic on Thursday)! Muskoka aged a bunch of last years batch and are offering it in a special release for the Holidays ($13.95 for 750 ml at the LCBO).
To find beer like this, ask for a local seasonal beer or any one-offs that have been released for Christmas.