Four weeks and counting: Crafting up brews for Christmas
You've been asked to bring the beverage for a festive meal. The first thing that may come to your mind is a nice bottle of wine.
But what if you'd like to think outside the wine bottle this holiday?
There are many fine craft beers available. If you have trouble picking just one, some stores allow you to mix and match them. This way you can suit a variety of palates (and buffet table foods).
"Craft beer is a big, big trend," said Kip Earney of West End Liquor in Red Wing. As a result, he carries upwards of 400 varieties.
Some beers come with special labels decked for the holidays. Others are made only for the Christmas, so you'll need to get them while they last.
Anchor Brewing's Christmas Ale fits both categories.
"Every year they have a different tree on the label," said Kip Earney of West End Liquor in Red Wing.
The 2017 version features a Santa Lucia fir and a new recipe — one that resulted in a smooth and creamy ale that the company says carries flavors of cacao, toffee and roasted nuts, and subtle hints of honey and herbal spice. This is the 43rd annual release of this Anchor tradition.
Bell's Brewery literally caps it's Winter White Ale with a snowflake.
Beer names also reflect the season. Earney recommends arounding our your six-pack with the likes of New Holland's Cabin Fever, New Belgium's Accumulation (as in snow), Pray for Snow by 10 Barrel Brewing and Victory Brewing Co.'s Winter Cheers.