Check out these local holiday brews (I tried a few for you)

Check out these local holiday brews (I tried a few for you)
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Like most of you, I’m fascinated by Charlotte’s beer scene. There’s either a new brewery popping up or an existing one expanding its quarters monthly, and I can’t seem to keep up. So I thought I’d motivate myself to visit them all by trying each brewery’s holiday/seasonal beer selections and then come back here to tell you all about them.

Well, between a full time job and very long list of breweries, I may have set the bar a little high. I haven’t quite become comfortable enough to enjoy a beer alone (nothing wrong with that, though) and trying to coordinate with friends to join me turned into a task. And because I don’t want to keep you all waiting, I’m here to tell you about the beers I DID try as well as the ones I did not.

(Full disclosure: At the time this article was written, these beers were still on tap. I apologize if the kegs are drained by the time you make your visit. There’s always next year!)

Birdsong Brewing Co.

MexiCali Stout
ABV: 5.7%

I believe this is a fall release, but it was still technically fall this week, after all. I’ve always shied away from stouts, but I’d order this one again. It’s made with coffee from Central Coffee Co., cinnamon, chocolate, and a little bit of chili spice, all blended together for the perfect sweet-but-not-that-sweet beer. It does have that coffee aftertaste, so have some gum handy.

birdsong-mexicali

Bourbon Barrel Aged St. Tuber Abbey Ale
ABV: 9%

Hello, bourbon! You can smell this one coming. It’s been aged 2-3 months in new bourbon barrels, and boy, can you taste the stuff. If you’re into it, you’ll love this brew.

birdsong-bourbon

Sycamore Brewing

Christmas Cookie Ale
ABV: 7.2%

This was my favorite because it smells JUST like heaven. Yes, there are sugar cookies in the mix, but no, you can’t really taste them, which is probably for the best (beer + cookies = unsure feelings). It had the whole place smelling like vanilla and fresh baked goodies. How can you resist?

sycamore-christmas-cookie-ale

@sycamorebrewing via Instagram

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Dunkel
ABV: 4.9%

The best part about my visit to OMB was that I enjoyed these brews outside by a fire on a mild December night. Gotta love OMB’s set up. Flavors here: caramel and roasted malts. It was tasty, but if anything, the name’s a blast to say.

olde-mecklenburg-dunkel

@oldemeckbrew via Instagram

Yule Bock
ABV: 7.0%

This one is a traditional German (duh!) holiday beer called “Weihnachtsbock,” a.k.a. Christmas Bock. Brewed with malts and hops, this seasonal creation will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. I’d like to curl up by a fire (in actual winter weather) and sip on this beer.

omb-yule-bock

Heist Brewery

(NOTE: I tried 5 holiday brews here on a Thursday for the HB Flight School special. They are no longer available, but I just had to let you all know that I was out being social and doing research. The next flight school takes place on January 14, 2016 and will include 5 different beers.)

heist-flight-list

This is the coolest deal. For $9, you get a flight of 5 themed beers. And if you Instagram your flight with the hashtag #HBTakesFlight, you’re entered to win a growler of your favorite. Here’s what I tried, and here’s to hoping they come back next year:

  • Cranberry Succussion, ABV: 4.2%
  • Chestnut Porter, ABV: 4.0%
  • Peppermint Cross, ABV: 6.9%
  • Blueberry Succussion, ABV: 4.2%
  • Black & White Porter, ABV: 2.0% (my fave!)

heist-holiday-flight

And now, for some of the brews I hoped and dreamed of trying and still may one day soon:

NoDa Brewing:

hoppy-holidays-noda

@nodabrewing via Instagram

Sugar Creek Brewing:

  • Porter, ABV: 5.7%
  • Mocha Java Porter, ABV: 5.2%
  • Raspberry White Ale, ABV: 4.4%
  • Biere de Garde, ABV: 6.8%
sugar-creek-mocha-java-porter

@sugarcreekbrewing via Instagram

Triple C Brewing:

  • Up All Night, ABV: 10%
  • White Blaze, ABV: 6.0%
  • Kind of a Big Deal, ABV: 9.2%
Triple C Up All Night

@triplecbrewing via Instagram

The Unknown Brewing Co.:

  • Tele-Porter, ABV: 6.7%
  • Silverback Stout, ABV: 6.5%
  • Hospitali-Tea, ABV: 5.4%
unknown-tele-porter

@unknownbrewing via Instagram

Wooden Robot Brewery:

  • Yule See, ABV: 6.6%
  • Cranpus, ABV: 4.8%
yule-see-wooden-robot

@woodenrobotbrewery via Instagram

Have you tried any of these seasonal concoctions? What should I try next? What did I miss?

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