We enjoy crushing easy-drinking summer beers and throwing back steins of Oktoberfest biers, but there are also times when we want to just sit back, relax and sip our brews. That’s what winter beers are for. Many are full of flavor and have higher ABV, so we recommend taking your time to savor these brews with good company and good conversation over a meal or by a roasty, toasty fire on those cold, blustery winter nights.
The following is a list of local Massachusetts winter/holiday brews that can excite the senses, please the palate and tingle your toes. Each beer listed has a link to the brewery website so you can locate and/or purchase these beers. COVID has obviously made times uncertain, so availability and acquisition may be a challenge for some of these beers. We will continue to update this list as we find more seasonal beers to suggest. If there are any beers that you think should be added to this list, please leave them in the comments. Bundle up and toast the season because winter is here!
Altruist Brewing G-FORCE BBA Stout (Sturbridge, MA) – Brewed with an “abundance of homemade chocolate chip cookies and rested on toasted cacao nibs” then aged in a bourbon barrel for 10 months. It will be available in 22oz bottles at the brewery.
Barrel House Z Gingerbread Objects Of Confection (Weymouth, MA) – A gingerbread brown ale with notes of ginger, cinnamon, clove, allspice and vanilla
Berkshire Brewing Cabin Fever (Deerfield, MA) – A rich, malty ale “reminiscent of an English pale ale” with a spicy and fruity hop finish
Berkshire Brewing Holidale (Deerfield, MA) – A Barleywine “with a rich caramel malt flavor, giving it a deep mellow sweetness of candied fruits and aromatic esters” – Available in 22oz bottles – They also have aged versions of Holidale for sale
Black Hat Brew Works Belgian Holiday (Bridgewater, MA) – An 8.5% strong ale spiced with Turkish Fig, Cinnamon, and Orange Peel
Bright Ideas Brewing Aztec Winter (North Adams, MA) – An imperial milk stout brewed with cinnamon, cocoa nibs, and Ancho Chiles
Cambridge Brewing Double Blunderbuss (Cambridge, MA) – This award-winning Barleywine was “aged for one year in a fresh craft bourbon barrel. It was then aged in a second barrel which held an Apple Amaro from our friends and local artisanal distillers Short Path Distillery”
Canned Heat Canned Christmas (Fall River, MA) – A BIG 10% stout with notes of toffee, burnt sugar, raisins and baking chocolate with cherries on top!
Cape Cod Beer Old Man Winter (Hyannis, MA) – A “British-style” Old Ale packed with malted barley
Crue Brew Winter Solstice Chocolate Rye IPA (Raynham, MA) A “rich rye IPA complimented with a hearty portion of chocolate malt”
Great Awakening Brewing Xmas Bender (Westfield, MA) – An 9% imperial stout brewed with coffee, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans with added cinnamon and hazelnut
Harpoon Winter Warmer (Boston, MA) – This classic winter beer brewed since 1988 has cinnamon and nutmeg to compliment its rich malt backbone
Independent Fermentations Dark Winter Ale (Plymouth, MA) – A Belgian style dark ale with hints of oak, cinnamon and spices
Lamplighter Brewing Blitzen (Cambridge, MA) – A bottled Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale with flavors of chocolate-covered cherries, black figs, and brown sugar
LlamaNama Beer Labs Chocolate Mint Stout (Plymouth, MA) – Andy’s Special chocolate mint stout will be released in limited 22oz bombers and also cans
Lost Shoe Brewing Miracle on 19 Weed Street (Marlborough, MA) A hazy india pale ale brewed with spruce tips. Limited cans still available as well as on draught in the Lost Forest
Lost Shoe Brewing Say Goodnight Kevin (Marlborough, MA) – A 13.8% imperial stout brewed with Graham cracker, marshmallow, vanilla beans and cacao nibs (currently only available on draught in the Lost Forest)
Mighty Squirrel Brewing Heart And Hearth (Waltham, MA) – Brewed with a balanced array of holiday spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar with local New England maple syrup added
Naukabout Candy Cane Forest (Mashpee, MA) – A milkshake IPA made with peppermint candy canes (contains lactose)
Naukabout You Can’t Catch Me…(Mashpee, MA) – A brown ale “supercharged with tons of Gingerbread” and other holiday spices
Navigation Brewing Winter Warmer (Lowell, MA) – A big boozer at 11.5% to warm you all over on cold winter nights
Old Planters Brewing Spruce Wills (Beverly, MA) – Welcome to the party, Pal!! This West Coast Style IPA is conditioned with enough spruce tips to placate even Hans Gruber!
Redemption Rock Brewing Biere de Fête (Worcester, MA) – A holiday lager with ginger and allspice and notes of toffee
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig (Boston, MA) – This seasonal favorite old ale is like a Christmas cookie with spices and biscuity notes – Avaialble at the Boston breweries in crowlers or growlers to go
Samuel Adams Winter Lager (Boston, MA) – A staple for winter beer lovers, this spiced wheat bock has cinnamon, ginger and orange peel
Spencer Holiday Ale (Spencer, MA) – Made at the only Trappist brewery in the United States, this lightly-spiced holiday ale is a wonderful compliment to your “feast-day” table
Stellwagen Beer Snow’d Ale (Marshfield, MA) – A dark brown winter ale with warming aromas of chocolate, cinnamon & nutmeg
Sterling Street Brewery Gingerbread Snuggles (Clinton, MA) – A winter ale brewed with with actual gingerbread men in the mash and spiced with cinnamon and sugar
Stone Cow Brewery Winter Wassail (Barre, MA) – Brewed with Massachusetts Honey, Cranberries & Apples and aged for one year in America Oak Whiskey Barrels
Tin Bridge Brewing Imperial Gingerbread Stout (Westfield, MA) – Made with “Mom-in-Law’s gingerbread,” honey, allspice, brown sugar and aged on Madagascar vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks
Tree House Brewing Jingle Juice (Charlton, MA) – A Double IPA with Douglas Fir Spruce Tip Tea that gives notes of “bright citrus, and sweet evergreen”
Troy City Brewing Yuletide (Fall River, MA) – An Imperial Stout with flavors of chocolate and coffee
True North Ale Midnight Snow (Ipswich, MA) – Aromas of spruce and juniper pair with flavors of coffee and chocolate orange in this Black IPA
Vanished Valley Brewing Joyous (Ludlow, MA) – From their Holiday Series, this is a limited Bourbon Barrel Aged Marshmallow and Coffee Imperial Stout in a 22oz bomber bottle
Wachusett Brewing Winter Ale (Westminster, MA) – A winter ale full of malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, & vanilla
Westfield River Brewing Snowy Silo (Southwick, MA) – A winter warmer brewed with raspberries, cinnamon, vanilla bean and nutmeg
Wormtown Brewery Bllzzard of ’78 (Worcester, MA) – A classic English-style Brown Ale with fresh roasted coffee beans added from Acoustic Java a portion of the sales of this beer will go to the Black Ale Project which supports veterans
Wormtown Brewery Season’s Greetings (Worcester, MA) – An amber IPA with hints of spice from the spruce tips and hand selected hops
*photos of beer from brewery websites/social media