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100 best winter warmer beers for the holiday season

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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.

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Unknown // Pyramid Brewing Facebook

#100. Snow Cap

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

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break.things // Flickr

#99. Fireside Chat

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

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Sonnett // Flickr

#98. Blitzen Holiday Ale

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

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Eddie~S // Flickr

#97. Dundee Festive Ale

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

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Breckenridge Brewery // YouTube

#96. Christmas Ale

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

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Bernt Rostad // Flickr

#95. Young's Winter Warmer

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

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magerleagues // Flickr

#94. Hoppy Holidaze

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

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walknboston // Flickr

#93. Wassail Ale

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

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nick.amoscato // Flickr

#92. Great Lakes Winter Ale

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

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Sebago Brewing // YouTube

#91. Slick Nick Winter Ale

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

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Steven Wetherill // YouTube

#90. Red Nose Winter Ale

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

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Total Wine & More // YouTube

#89. Redhook Winterhook

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

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The Draught // YouTube

#88. Atwater Lebkuchen Christmas Ale

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

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Chasqui (Luis Tamayo) // Flickr

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

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

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lynnfennell // Flickr

#86. Never Summer Ale

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

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lynnfennell // Flickr

#85. The First Snow Ale

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

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Channel C // YouTube

#84. Winter Ale

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

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fourbrewers // Flickr

#83. Festivus

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

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Scottb211 // Flickr

#82. Powder Hound Winter Ale

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

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Foodista // Flickr

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

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

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Jessie Pearl // Flickr

#80. Winter Warmer

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

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David Pursehouse // Flickr

#79. Jubilation Ale

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

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lynnfennell // Flickr

#78. Rosey Nosey

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

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Oppigårds Bryggeri // YouTube

#77. Oppigårds Winter Ale

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

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bandita // Flickr

#76. Ebenezer Ale

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

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Flickr

#75. Winter Ale

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

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Zanatpike // Wikimedia Commons

#74. Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale

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

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lynnfennell // Flickr

#73. Winter Welcome Ale

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

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Sly Fox // YouTube

#72. Christmas Ale

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

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BOC Guys // YouTube

#71. Frostnipper Winter Warmer

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

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Authentic Michigan // YouTube

#70. 3 Scrooges

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

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JerryDAndrews // Flickr

#69. Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale

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

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Olivier boit des bières // YouTube

#68. 25 Dodici

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

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Public Domain

#67. Schlafly Christmas Ale

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

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AdamsCraftBeerChannel// YouTube

#66. Poacher's Choice

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

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sashafatcat // Flickr

#65. Mogul Madness Ale

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

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emileifrem // Flickr

#64. BiFrost

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

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Kingfox // Flickr

#63. Batch 666

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

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o_sam_o // Flickr

#62. Winter Warmer Ale

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

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mastermaq // Flickr

#61. Vertical Winter Ale

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

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chrisscott // Flickr

#60. Wasatch First One Down

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

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radiobread // Flickr

#59. Father John's Winter Ale

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

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PeterKraayvanger // Pixabay

#58. Winter Warmer

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

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radiobread // Flickr

#57. Winterbraun

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

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cursedthing // Flickr

#56. Summit Winter Ale

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

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Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

#55. Nutcracker Winter Warmer Ale

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

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Tyler Monroe // YouTube

#54. Elevator Winter Warmer Ale

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

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IsabellaO // YouTube

#53. Fish Tale Winterfish

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

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amberdegrace // Flickr

#52. Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

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

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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

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nan palmero // Flickr

#50. Old Bat Rastard

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

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QuesterMark // Flickr

#49. Winter Warmer

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

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Venture Vancouver // Flickr

#48. Lions Winter Ale

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

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Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

#47. Festivus Holiday Ale

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

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Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

#46. Bonfire Ale

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

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patruby83 // Flickr

#45. Prelude

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

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Natalya Okorokova // Shutterstock

#44. Winter Ale

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

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Sarah McDevitt // Flickr

#43. Brrr

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

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lynnfennell // Flickr

#42. Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

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

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5chw4r7z // Flickr

#41. Christian Moerlein Christkindl Winter Warmer

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

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Oakshire Brewing // YouTube

#40. Ill-Tempered Gnome

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

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West Sixth Brewing // YouTube

#39. Christmas Ale

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

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Sam Howzit // Flickr

#38. Winter Warmer

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

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Sarah McD // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Fa La La La La

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

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Dark Horse Brewing Co// YouTube

#36. Dark Horse 4 Elf

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

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wickenden // Flickr

#35. Avalanche

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

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Nrbelex // Flickr

#34. Sweetwater Festive Ale

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

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Adam Jones, Ph.D. // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Full Sail Wassail

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

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Garrison Brewing // YouTube

#32. Winter Warmer

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

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Brewheads Entertainment // YouTube

#31. Winter Ale

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

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o_sam_o // Flickr

#30. Cabin Fever Ale

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

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RCH Brewery // YouTube

#29. Ale Mary

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

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Bernt Rostad // Flickr

#28. Frosted Frog Christmas Ale - Barrel-Aged

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

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Erik Wood // YouTube

#27. Stir Crazy

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

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nyuhuhuu // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale

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

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Bernt Rostad // Flickr

#25. Bestefar

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

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o_sam_o // Flickr

#24. Vinter Varmer

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

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LeeKeoma

#23. Fuller's Old Winter Ale

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

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fourbrewers // Flickr

#22. Winter Ale

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

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Christopher Brown // YouTube

#21. First Frost

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

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Fil.Al // Flickr

#20. St. Peter's Winter Ale

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

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Time4Hemp // YouTube

#19. Double Diamond Winter Ale

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

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Mike Tigas // Flickr

#18. Odell Isolation Ale

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

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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

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peteSwede // Flickr

#16. Jubelale

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

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Intrigue Media // YouTube

#15. Iron Duke

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

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Public Domain

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

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

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Dark Horse Brewing Co// YouTube

#13. Rum Barrel Aged 4 Elf

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

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The Cleveland Kid // Flickr

#12. Christmas Ale

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

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ThisisCLE // YouTube

#11. 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale

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

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Boundary Bay Brewery // YouTube

#10. Cabin Fever Winter Ale

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

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Pittsburgh Ale Trail // Flickr

#9. Snow Melt Winter Ale

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

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CohenSBHS // Pixabay

#8. Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale

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

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Adam Jones, Ph.D. // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lead Dog Olde English Ale

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

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CartonBrewingCompany// YouTube

#6. Decoy

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

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cogocogo // Flickr

#5. God Jul

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

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QuesterMark // Flickr

#4. Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer

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

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ThisisCLE // YouTube

#3. Barrel Aged 12 Dogs Of Christmas

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

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Firkin Awesome // YouTube

#2. Wintervention

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

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Hopstories // YouTube

#1. Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb

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

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