Feature photo by celeste76

With all the runaround of holiday shopping, now is the time to kick back and enjoy a great holiday brew. You’ve deserved it, right? You survived the stampedes and pepper spray of Black Friday, yes? If you’re feeling up for something new after your adventures, I recommend going out for a few bottles of Goose Island’s Christmas Ale.

This beer is a specialty of Goose Island. Each year (except last year) they brew an American brown for Christmas, but each year they brew it a little different. Their last brew was a nice, roasty beer, but this year is noticeably different.

Christmas Ale pours a dirty, amber brown and tops with a small, tan head. It tastes of raisins and dates, but also has a very nice bit of chocolate and caramel malts. When I drink this beer, I imagine it’s what beer tastes like in England.

It’s got just a touch more booze than one might expect from an English brown, but maybe that’s why they call it an American brown. Weighing in at 6.2% abv, this isn’t a huge beer, but it isn’t a small one either. It’s the perfect way to make wrapping all the gifts you got a little less of a headache, and the smooth, malty flavor is something I don’t get tired of.

Not only will this be your pick-me-up while wrapping gifts, bring it with you to gatherings because it will go great dinner. It will also match with some after-dinner desserts, so watch yourself because it will sneak up on you.

Goose Island Christmas Ale is a great beer, but if you have a hard time finding it, give Anchor’s Christmas Ale or Shorts The Magician a try. This X-mas ale can be found for about $10 for a four-pack.

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