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12 Beers of Christmas: Ohio brewers offer flavors of the season

Mitch Hooper

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While many of you are excited about the upcoming holiday season, we’re excited about the holiday drinking. Though summer ales and Oktoberfest beers are tried-and-true classics, the annual release of Christmas-style beers into grocery stores forever reigns supreme as the best Christmas miracle in our books—guaranteed to satisfy you no matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year.

What’s not to love about these beers? Some of them manage to cram the very essence of Christmas into a can; others play with flavors and spices that are the perfect warm up on a cold day. And just like the bearded man himself, these beers only come once a year. So with that in mind, we have a lot of drinking to do before the season comes and goes. Here are 12 beers worth checking out this season, and perhaps even shelve a few away for Christmas in July.

COLUMBUS BREWING COMPANY CITRA NOEL

Photos: Brian Kaiser

No local Christmas beer list is complete without CBC, and it’s for good reason. Their beers are consistently some of the best in town and the Citra Noel is a testament to that. In addition to a rich and malty profile, this holiday ale features tropical flavors thanks to the Citra hops used in the brewing process. Just be careful with these brews as they boast an ABV of 7.3%.

WOLF’S RIDGE SNOW CONE

If you’re looking for a more hoppy adventure, Wolf’s Ridge Snow Cone is a nice combination of wintery flavors with bitter notes thanks to it being a pale ale. The overall mouthfeel of this brew is light, and the finish is crisp, meaning you can enjoy quite a few of these without feeling bloated or full like some of the more heavy holiday beers can do.

RHINEGEIST DAD ALE

Rhinegeist’s take on the holiday beer is the perfect middle ground. While it features many of the holiday favorites—hop spice, citrus, and caramel malt—it also maintains a light and very sippable body with an ABV of 6%. While this beer is delicious, Stock & Barrel is not responsible for any and all dad jokes made while drinking.

FAT HEAD HOLLY JOLLY ALE

With hints of sweetness, honey, and spices, everything about this beer screams Christmas. The Holly Jolly Ale is a medium- bodied brew boasting a 7.4% ABV, making it an easy drinker that packs a holiday punch.

THIRSTY DOG 12 DOGS OF CHRISTMAS

Get it while it’s cold! The Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas is a powerful brew with an 8% ABV, but it’s only available until Dec. 31. This beer features honey, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, giving it that signature holiday flavor and a low IBU for anyone who doesn’t like the bitter tastes of IPAs.

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MARKET GARDEN FESTIVUS

Deciding to purchase a case of Festivus means you are all-in. This is more than just a spiced brew with notes of allspice, ginger, and nutmeg; it’s an all day experience. This beer is inspired by the famous episode of Seinfeld so prepare to tell your loved ones how they disappointed you, plan a Festivus dinner, and engage in the always-entertaining feats of strength. BREW

KETTLE WINTER WARMER

Sporting a fresh new can design, Brew Kettle Winter Warmer is back for another holiday season. It seems that as this list grows, the ABV does too, and Winter Warmer’s 8.2% ABV keeps that trend alive. This brew combines spices like cinnamon with ginger, orange peels, and lemon peels, as well as honey for an added sweet touch.

LAND-GRANT BEARD CRUMBS

Land-Grant takes the traditional spicy Christmas brew and goes in a different direction. This beer is an oatmeal raisin stout with hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramelized raisins. Sure, this beer is a little heavy, but that’s exactly what you need to warm you up on a cold day.

PLATFORM ESTHER

Attention imbibers: proceed with caution! Platform Esther is not messing around during the holidays as this brew has an ABV of 9.5%! But, don’t let the high alcohol percentage scare you off. There’s tons of flavor here thanks to ingredients like cherry, and as your drink gets a little warmer, more notes of toffee become prevalent.

GREAT LAKES CHRISTMAS ALE

No Christmas beer list is complete without a shout out to Great Lakes Christmas Ale. This beer is full of holiday spirit and hits a nice 7.5% ABV. Our pro tip is to take your favorite pint glass, add a little cinnamon and sugar to the rim, and pour up a tall one of these Christmas Ales. You can thank us now, or later.

BARLEY’S CHRISTMAS ALE

For Barley’s, making batches of their Christmas Ale is a tradition they hold dearly. It’s something they’ve been doing since 1993. This beer starts with loads and loads of fresh orange peels in addition to fresh young ginger, whole cinnamon sticks, and organic honey. With a medium body and an ABV of 6.6%, this beer is great for sitting around the fire with the family, or bellying up to the dinner table.

HOMESTEAD TANNENBAUM

Last, but certainly not least, is Homestead Tannenbaum, an herbs-and- spices Christmas ale boasting flavors of ginger with caramel-flavored malt notes. This brew is medium-bodied and sits at a 7.3% ABV, giving it a nice balance of drinkability to alcohol percentage. And if you prefer the bitterness from hops, this brew has an IBU of 45, placing it squarely in the middle ground range.

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Food & Drink

The End of the Road?

Julian Foglietti

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As the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue, we are beginning to see the effects take their toll on Columbus eateries. Here's a list of some of the changes taking place.

The Sycamore+Cosecha Cocina  

Grow Restaurants, the company which owns Harvest Pizza, has listed The Sycamore and Cosecha for sale. While there hasn't been confirmation that the restaurants won’t make a reappearance in some form, Chris Crader stated in Columbus Underground, “It’s a lot of work to re-open after the pandemic and we have a considerable amount of interest in these two properties so it doesn’t make sense to open and then close again so quickly.”

Miller's Ale House

Both Miller’s Ale House locations are closing. The Florida-based company has removed mention of the Ohio locations from their websites.

Flowers and Bread Co.

In a recent article with Columbus CEO, owners Sarah Lagrotteria and Tricia Wheeler announced the closure of the cafe portion of their business. There are plans to expand the flower and bread workshop portion of the business under the new name Flower and Bread Society.

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Rémy Cointreau presents: The Sidecar

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**SPONSORED**

We teamed up with Rémy Cointreau and local bartender, Ben Griest, from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to bring you an icon of cognac cocktails. Ben's previous videos featured the art of margarita-mixology, and now we are moving on to another tasty cocktail. This timeless, opulent drink is well-balanced and fresh.

With National Cognac Day coming up, we figured it would be great to share, Rémy Martin 1738 presents The Sidecar.

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National Brisket Day is Today!

Julian Foglietti

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Photo by Brian Kaiser

With meat shortages starting to take their toll and National Brisket Day here at last - we've gathered a roundup of some spots you can go to to get your brisket fix.

Legacy Smoke House

With their main location in Hilliard and a food truck moving throughout the city, Legacy Smoke House is a solid choice for brisket on National Brisket Day, just be sure to get there while supplies last. Enjoy!

Pecan Pennys

Just off Main Street, Pecan Pennys is ready to fulfill your brisket needs. If your looking to feed a family though be sure to get your orders in advance as they're requesting 24 hours notice on dinner bundles.

Ray-Ray's Hog Pit

With locations in Franklinton, Westerville, Clintonville and Powell Ray Ray's Hog Pit is open for business with brisket stocked at all locations. #NationalBrisketDay is the best day!

Hoggy’s Restaurant and Catering

Located on Bethel Road, Hoggy’s will be stocking brisket for both dine-in or carryout. Feel free to stop in or stop by!

The Pit

With a new location opened up on Parsons Ave. The Pit BBQ will be offering brisket for the National day. Celebrate with some tasty brisket!

City Barbeque

City Barbeque will be offering brisket for the National day! So get excited and get ready for some yummy BBQ brisket!

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