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100 best winter warmer beers for the holiday season

  • MaxyM // Shutterstock
    1/ MaxyM // Shutterstock

    100 best winter warmer beers for the holiday season

    With winter upon us, ‘tis the season for spending time indoors with family and friends—and for keeping warm with a few favorite libations. Chief among these are winter warmer beers; a distinctive class of malty, sweet brews marked by full-bodied flavor, deep and rich color (from brownish-red to black), and delightfully balanced overtones.

    These robust brews celebrate the season with words in their names like “fireside,” “Christmas,” and “bonfire.” English varietals often come unspiced, while others carry traditional “wassail” flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stacker scoured the Beer Advocate to curate the 100 best winter warmer beers for this holiday season. For the purposes of this list, only winter warmer beers with 50 or more ratings were considered, and ties were broken by the number of rankings available. Check out this slideshow to see if you’re favorites are among it—and to find a few new varieties to try before spring.

  • Unknown // Pyramid Brewing Facebook
    2/ Unknown // Pyramid Brewing Facebook

    #100. Snow Cap

    Brewery: Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 3.51
    Ratings: 874

  • break.things // Flickr
    3/ break.things // Flickr

    #99. Fireside Chat

    Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
    ABV: 7.9%
    Score: 3.51
    Ratings: 1,327

  • Sonnett // Flickr
    4/ Sonnett // Flickr

    #98. Blitzen Holiday Ale

    Brewery: Maumee Bay Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.7%
    Score: 3.52
    Ratings: 74

  • Eddie~S // Flickr
    5/ Eddie~S // Flickr

    #97. Dundee Festive Ale

    Brewery: Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
    ABV: 6.2%
    Score: 3.52
    Ratings: 162

  • Breckenridge Brewery // YouTube
    6/ Breckenridge Brewery // YouTube

    #96. Christmas Ale

    Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery
    ABV: 7.1%
    Score: 3.52
    Ratings: 1,126

  • Bernt Rostad // Flickr
    7/ Bernt Rostad // Flickr

    #95. Young's Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Wells & Young's Ltd
    ABV: 5.0%
    Score: 3.53
    Ratings: 243

  • magerleagues // Flickr
    8/ magerleagues // Flickr

    #94. Hoppy Holidaze

    Brewery: Marin Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 3.55
    Ratings: 108

  • walknboston // Flickr
    9/ walknboston // Flickr

    #93. Wassail Ale

    Brewery: Woodstock Inn Brewery
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.56
    Ratings: 104

  • nick.amoscato // Flickr
    10/ nick.amoscato // Flickr

    #92. Great Lakes Winter Ale

    Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery
    ABV: 6.2%
    Score: 3.56
    Ratings: 121

  • Sebago Brewing // YouTube
    11/ Sebago Brewing // YouTube

    #91. Slick Nick Winter Ale

    Brewery: Sebago Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.2%
    Score: 3.58
    Ratings: 136

  • Steven Wetherill // YouTube
    12/ Steven Wetherill // YouTube

    #90. Red Nose Winter Ale

    Brewery: Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.
    ABV: 6.8%
    Score: 3.58
    Ratings: 190

  • Total Wine & More // YouTube
    13/ Total Wine & More // YouTube

    #89. Redhook Winterhook

    Brewery: Redhook Ale Brewery
    ABV: 6.0%
    Score: 3.58
    Ratings: 948

  • The Draught // YouTube
    14/ The Draught // YouTube

    #88. Atwater Lebkuchen Christmas Ale

    Brewery: Atwater Brewery
    ABV: 6.2%
    Score: 3.60
    Ratings: 61

  • Chasqui (Luis Tamayo) // Flickr
    15/ Chasqui (Luis Tamayo) // Flickr

    #87. He'Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer

    Brewery: Shmaltz Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.60
    Ratings: 168

  • lynnfennell // Flickr
    16/ lynnfennell // Flickr

    #86. Never Summer Ale

    Brewery: Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
    ABV: 6.5%
    Score: 3.60
    Ratings: 573

  • lynnfennell // Flickr
    17/ lynnfennell // Flickr

    #85. The First Snow Ale

    Brewery: RJ Rockers Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.0%
    Score: 3.61
    Ratings: 199

  • Channel C // YouTube
    18/ Channel C // YouTube

    #84. Winter Ale

    Brewery: Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 3.62
    Ratings: 140

  • fourbrewers // Flickr
    19/ fourbrewers // Flickr

    #83. Festivus

    Brewery: Full Pint Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.0%
    Score: 3.62
    Ratings: 155

  • Scottb211 // Flickr
    20/ Scottb211 // Flickr

    #82. Powder Hound Winter Ale

    Brewery: Big Sky Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.2%
    Score: 3.62
    Ratings: 538

  • Foodista // Flickr
    21/ Foodista // Flickr

    #81. Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)

    Brewery: Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
    ABV: 9.4%
    Score: 3.62
    Ratings: 588

  • Jessie Pearl // Flickr
    22/ Jessie Pearl // Flickr

    #80. Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Hangar 24 Brewing
    ABV: 7.8%
    Score: 3.63
    Ratings: 64

  • David Pursehouse // Flickr
    23/ David Pursehouse // Flickr

    #79. Jubilation Ale

    Brewery: Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 3.64
    Ratings: 75

  • lynnfennell // Flickr
    24/ lynnfennell // Flickr

    #78. Rosey Nosey

    Brewery: George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
    ABV: 5.0%
    Score: 3.64
    Ratings: 83

  • Oppig√•rds Bryggeri // YouTube
    25/ Oppigårds Bryggeri // YouTube

    #77. Oppigårds Winter Ale

    Brewery: Oppigårds Bryggeri AB
    ABV: 5.3%
    Score: 3.64
    Ratings: 128

  • bandita // Flickr
    26/ bandita // Flickr

    #76. Ebenezer Ale

    Brewery: BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
    ABV: 6.4%
    Score: 3.64
    Ratings: 447

  • Flickr
    27/ Flickr

    #75. Winter Ale

    Brewery: Mt. Carmel Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.66
    Ratings: 79

  • Zanatpike // Wikimedia Commons
    28/ Zanatpike // Wikimedia Commons

    #74. Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale

    Brewery: Pike Brewing Company
    ABV: 5.5%
    Score: 3.66
    Ratings: 133

  • lynnfennell // Flickr
    29/ lynnfennell // Flickr

    #73. Winter Welcome Ale

    Brewery: Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
    ABV: 6.0%
    Score: 3.67
    Ratings: 2,272

  • Sly Fox // YouTube
    30/ Sly Fox // YouTube

    #72. Christmas Ale

    Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.5%
    Score: 3.68
    Ratings: 425

  • BOC Guys // YouTube
    31/ BOC Guys // YouTube

    #71. Frostnipper Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Aviator Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.3%
    Score: 3.69
    Ratings: 72

  • Authentic Michigan // YouTube
    32/ Authentic Michigan // YouTube

    #70. 3 Scrooges

    Brewery: Griffin Claw Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.5%
    Score: 3.69
    Ratings: 74

  • JerryDAndrews // Flickr
    33/ JerryDAndrews // Flickr

    #69. Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale

    Brewery: Diamond Knot Brewery
    ABV: 8.5%
    Score: 3.69
    Ratings: 85

  • Olivier boit des bi√®res // YouTube
    34/ Olivier boit des bières // YouTube

    #68. 25 Dodici

    Brewery: Birra Del Borgo
    ABV: 9.5%
    Score: 3.69
    Ratings: 102

  • Public Domain
    35/ Public Domain

    #67. Schlafly Christmas Ale

    Brewery: The Schlafly Tap Room
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.69
    Ratings: 562

  • AdamsCraftBeerChannel// YouTube
    36/ AdamsCraftBeerChannel// YouTube

    #66. Poacher's Choice

    Brewery: Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse
    ABV: 5.7%
    Score: 3.70
    Ratings: 63

  • sashafatcat // Flickr
    37/ sashafatcat // Flickr

    #65. Mogul Madness Ale

    Brewery: Rogue Ales
    ABV: 6.6%
    Score: 3.70
    Ratings: 335

  • emileifrem // Flickr
    38/ emileifrem // Flickr

    #64. BiFrost

    Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.3%
    Score: 3.70
    Ratings: 543

  • Kingfox // Flickr
    39/ Kingfox // Flickr

    #63. Batch 666

    Brewery: Appalachian Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.7%
    Score: 3.71
    Ratings: 90

  • o_sam_o // Flickr
    40/ o_sam_o // Flickr

    #62. Winter Warmer Ale

    Brewery: No-Li Brewhouse
    ABV: 7.5%
    Score: 3.72
    Ratings: 60

  • mastermaq // Flickr
    41/ mastermaq // Flickr

    #61. Vertical Winter Ale

    Brewery: Tree Brewing
    ABV: 5.0%
    Score: 3.73
    Ratings: 50

  • chrisscott // Flickr
    42/ chrisscott // Flickr

    #60. Wasatch First One Down

    Brewery: Utah Brewers Cooperative
    ABV: 7.1%
    Score: 3.73
    Ratings: 55

  • radiobread // Flickr
    43/ radiobread // Flickr

    #59. Father John's Winter Ale

    Brewery: Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 3.73
    Ratings: 69

  • PeterKraayvanger // Pixabay
    44/ PeterKraayvanger // Pixabay

    #58. Winter Warmer

    Brewery: The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.73
    Ratings: 148

  • radiobread // Flickr
    45/ radiobread // Flickr

    #57. Winterbraun

    Brewery: Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.73
    Ratings: 446

  • cursedthing // Flickr
    46/ cursedthing // Flickr

    #56. Summit Winter Ale

    Brewery: Summit Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.1%
    Score: 3.73
    Ratings: 588

  • Sam Cavenagh // Flickr
    47/ Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

    #55. Nutcracker Winter Warmer Ale

    Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Co.
    ABV: 7.8%
    Score: 3.73
    Ratings: 920

  • Tyler Monroe // YouTube
    48/ Tyler Monroe // YouTube

    #54. Elevator Winter Warmer Ale

    Brewery: Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus
    ABV: 8.6%
    Score: 3.74
    Ratings: 59

  • IsabellaO // YouTube
    49/ IsabellaO // YouTube

    #53. Fish Tale Winterfish

    Brewery: Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
    ABV: 7.5%
    Score: 3.74
    Ratings: 182

  • amberdegrace // Flickr
    50/ amberdegrace // Flickr

    #52. Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

    Brewery: Hoppin' Frog Brewery
    ABV: 8.6%
    Score: 3.74
    Ratings: 416

  • Love the wind // Shutterstock
    51/ Love the wind // Shutterstock

    #51. Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)

    Brewery: Casco Bay Brewing Co.
    ABV: 7.3%
    Score: 3.75
    Ratings: 84

  • nan palmero // Flickr
    52/ nan palmero // Flickr

    #50. Old Bat Rastard

    Brewery: Freetail Brewing Company
    ABV: 9.1%
    Score: 3.75
    Ratings: 97

  • QuesterMark // Flickr
    53/ QuesterMark // Flickr

    #49. Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.5%
    Score: 3.75
    Ratings: 233

  • Venture Vancouver // Flickr
    54/ Venture Vancouver // Flickr

    #48. Lions Winter Ale

    Brewery: Granville Island Brewery
    ABV: 5.5%
    Score: 3.75
    Ratings: 260

  • Sam Cavenagh // Flickr
    55/ Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

    #47. Festivus Holiday Ale

    Brewery: Black Raven Brewing Co.
    ABV: 7.6%
    Score: 3.76
    Ratings: 50

  • Sam Cavenagh // Flickr
    56/ Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

    #46. Bonfire Ale

    Brewery: Fremont Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.0%
    Score: 3.76
    Ratings: 158

  • patruby83 // Flickr
    57/ patruby83 // Flickr

    #45. Prelude

    Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.7%
    Score: 3.76
    Ratings: 581

  • Natalya Okorokova // Shutterstock
    58/ Natalya Okorokova // Shutterstock

    #44. Winter Ale

    Brewery: Telegraph Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.1%
    Score: 3.77
    Ratings: 81

  • Sarah McDevitt // Flickr
    59/ Sarah McDevitt // Flickr

    #43. Brrr

    Brewery: Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.2%
    Score: 3.77
    Ratings: 968

  • lynnfennell // Flickr
    60/ lynnfennell // Flickr

    #42. Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

    Brewery: Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
    ABV: 5.9%
    Score: 3.77
    Ratings: 3,715

  • 5chw4r7z // Flickr
    61/ 5chw4r7z // Flickr

    #41. Christian Moerlein Christkindl Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 3.78
    Ratings: 123

  • Oakshire Brewing // YouTube
    62/ Oakshire Brewing // YouTube

    #40. Ill-Tempered Gnome

    Brewery: Oakshire Brewing
    ABV: 6.8%
    Score: 3.78
    Ratings: 127

  • West Sixth Brewing // YouTube
    63/ West Sixth Brewing // YouTube

    #39. Christmas Ale

    Brewery: West Sixth Brewing Company
    ABV: 9.0%
    Score: 3.79
    Ratings: 100

  • Sam Howzit // Flickr
    64/ Sam Howzit // Flickr

    #38. Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Columbus Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.5%
    Score: 3.79
    Ratings: 112

  • Sarah McD // Wikimedia Commons
    65/ Sarah McD // Wikimedia Commons

    #37. Fa La La La La

    Brewery: Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
    ABV: 7.6%
    Score: 3.80
    Ratings: 90

  • Dark Horse Brewing Co// YouTube
    66/ Dark Horse Brewing Co// YouTube

    #36. Dark Horse 4 Elf

    Brewery: Dark Horse Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.8%
    Score: 3.80
    Ratings: 845

  • wickenden // Flickr
    67/ wickenden // Flickr

    #35. Avalanche

    Brewery: Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company & Taproom
    ABV: 6.8%
    Score: 3.81
    Ratings: 51

  • Nrbelex // Flickr
    68/ Nrbelex // Flickr

    #34. Sweetwater Festive Ale

    Brewery: SweetWater Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.7%
    Score: 3.82
    Ratings: 816

  • Adam Jones, Ph.D. // Wikimedia Commons
    69/ Adam Jones, Ph.D. // Wikimedia Commons

    #33. Full Sail Wassail

    Brewery: Full Sail Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.2%
    Score: 3.82
    Ratings: 876

  • Garrison Brewing // YouTube
    70/ Garrison Brewing // YouTube

    #32. Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Garrison Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.8%
    Score: 3.83
    Ratings: 63

  • Brewheads Entertainment // YouTube
    71/ Brewheads Entertainment // YouTube

    #31. Winter Ale

    Brewery: Fremont Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.84
    Ratings: 204

  • o_sam_o // Flickr
    72/ o_sam_o // Flickr

    #30. Cabin Fever Ale

    Brewery: Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
    ABV: 6.3%
    Score: 3.84
    Ratings: 337

  • RCH Brewery // YouTube
    73/ RCH Brewery // YouTube

    #29. Ale Mary

    Brewery: RCH Brewery
    ABV: 6.0%
    Score: 3.86
    Ratings: 78

  • Bernt Rostad // Flickr
    74/ Bernt Rostad // Flickr

    #28. Frosted Frog Christmas Ale - Barrel-Aged

    Brewery: Hoppin' Frog Brewery
    ABV: 8.6%
    Score: 3.86
    Ratings: 159

  • Erik Wood // YouTube
    75/ Erik Wood // YouTube

    #27. Stir Crazy

    Brewery: Indeed Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.5%
    Score: 3.86
    Ratings: 225

  • nyuhuhuu // Wikimedia Commons
    76/ nyuhuhuu // Wikimedia Commons

    #26. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale

    Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.9%
    Score: 3.87
    Ratings: 1,847

  • Bernt Rostad // Flickr
    77/ Bernt Rostad // Flickr

    #25. Bestefar

    Brewery: HaandBryggeriet
    ABV: 9.0%
    Score: 3.88
    Ratings: 145

  • o_sam_o // Flickr
    78/ o_sam_o // Flickr

    #24. Vinter Varmer

    Brewery: Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
    ABV: 6.4%
    Score: 3.89
    Ratings: 85

  • LeeKeoma
    79/ LeeKeoma

    #23. Fuller's Old Winter Ale

    Brewery: Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
    ABV: 5.3%
    Score: 3.89
    Ratings: 106

  • fourbrewers // Flickr
    80/ fourbrewers // Flickr

    #22. Winter Ale

    Brewery: pFriem Family Brewers
    ABV: 7.5%
    Score: 3.90
    Ratings: 51

  • Christopher Brown // YouTube
    81/ Christopher Brown // YouTube

    #21. First Frost

    Brewery: Fullsteam Brewery
    ABV: 8.8%
    Score: 3.90
    Ratings: 83

  • Fil.Al // Flickr
    82/ Fil.Al // Flickr

    #20. St. Peter's Winter Ale

    Brewery: St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
    ABV: 6.5%
    Score: 3.90
    Ratings: 264

  • Time4Hemp // YouTube
    83/ Time4Hemp // YouTube

    #19. Double Diamond Winter Ale

    Brewery: Dick's Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.5%
    Score: 3.91
    Ratings: 77

  • Mike Tigas // Flickr
    84/ Mike Tigas // Flickr

    #18. Odell Isolation Ale

    Brewery: Odell Brewing Company
    ABV: 6.0%
    Score: 3.92
    Ratings: 816

  • cogocogo // Flickr
    85/ cogocogo // Flickr

    #17. Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø / Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales / Stone Brewing Co.

    Brewery: Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
    ABV: 8.5%
    Score: 3.93
    Ratings: 260

  • peteSwede // Flickr
    86/ peteSwede // Flickr

    #16. Jubelale

    Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
    ABV: 6.7%
    Score: 3.93
    Ratings: 2,843

  • Intrigue Media // YouTube
    87/ Intrigue Media // YouTube

    #15. Iron Duke

    Brewery: Wellington County Brewery
    ABV: 6.5%
    Score: 3.94
    Ratings: 89

  • Public Domain
    88/ Public Domain

    #14. Brewer's Art St. Festivus Holiday Ale

    Brewery: The Brewer's Art
    ABV: 8.0%
    Score: 3.95
    Ratings: 74

  • Dark Horse Brewing Co// YouTube
    89/ Dark Horse Brewing Co// YouTube

    #13. Rum Barrel Aged 4 Elf

    Brewery: Dark Horse Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.8%
    Score: 3.95
    Ratings: 100

  • The Cleveland Kid // Flickr
    90/ The Cleveland Kid // Flickr

    #12. Christmas Ale

    Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Co.
    ABV: 7.5%
    Score: 3.95
    Ratings: 3,163

  • ThisisCLE // YouTube
    91/ ThisisCLE // YouTube

    #11. 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale

    Brewery: Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.3%
    Score: 3.96
    Ratings: 768

  • Boundary Bay Brewery // YouTube
    92/ Boundary Bay Brewery // YouTube

    #10. Cabin Fever Winter Ale

    Brewery: Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
    ABV: 8.5%
    Score: 3.97
    Ratings: 82

  • Pittsburgh Ale Trail // Flickr
    93/ Pittsburgh Ale Trail // Flickr

    #9. Snow Melt Winter Ale

    Brewery: East End Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 3.99
    Ratings: 147

  • CohenSBHS // Pixabay
    94/ CohenSBHS // Pixabay

    #8. Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale

    Brewery: Highland Brewing
    ABV: 5.8%
    Score: 4.01
    Ratings: 806

  • Adam Jones, Ph.D. // Wikimedia Commons
    95/ Adam Jones, Ph.D. // Wikimedia Commons

    #7. Lead Dog Olde English Ale

    Brewery: Yukon Brewing Company
    ABV: 7.0%
    Score: 4.02
    Ratings: 69

  • CartonBrewingCompany// YouTube
    96/ CartonBrewingCompany// YouTube

    #6. Decoy

    Brewery: Carton Brewing Company
    ABV: 12.0%
    Score: 4.02
    Ratings: 115

  • cogocogo // Flickr
    97/ cogocogo // Flickr

    #5. God Jul

    Brewery: Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
    ABV: 8.5%
    Score: 4.08
    Ratings: 334

  • QuesterMark // Flickr
    98/ QuesterMark // Flickr

    #4. Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer

    Brewery: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
    ABV: 8.5%
    Score: 4.08
    Ratings: 423

  • ThisisCLE // YouTube
    99/ ThisisCLE // YouTube

    #3. Barrel Aged 12 Dogs Of Christmas

    Brewery: Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
    ABV: 10.0%
    Score: 4.12
    Ratings: 111

  • Firkin Awesome // YouTube
    100/ Firkin Awesome // YouTube

    #2. Wintervention

    Brewery: Peticolas Brewing Company
    ABV: 10.0%
    Score: 4.20
    Ratings: 61

  • Hopstories // YouTube
    101/ Hopstories // YouTube

    #1. Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb

    Brewery: Fremont Brewing Company
    ABV: 13.0%
    Score: 4.57
    Ratings: 943

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