It's around this time of year that I like to drink my own body weight in beer. In the past I've managed to assemble 13 Beers of Christmas (why stop at 12?) but I only had about half a dozen xmas beers for this year. Good job I had plenty of normal beers to make up the numbers!
We kicked off with some of my very own mulled ale. This went down surprisingly well with the non-beer drinkers in my family so I must have done something right.
Next was Cropton Breweries Rudolph's Revenge. This didn't have any spices in but the combination of Cascade and Styrian goldings hops gave it slightly spicy taste making it a reasonable effort for an xmas beer. Naylor's Santa's Choice apparently had some added ginger but I wouldn't have guessed from tasting it and it could just as easily have been called a Summer beer. Hop Back Pickled Santa also apparently had some spices in but was too thin for my taste. We finally got what we were looking for with Anchor Breweries Christmas Ale. This was smooth and dark with a chocolatey taste but still very drinkable. Annoyingly the label just said "made with natural ingredients and natural flavourings" so I don't really know what's in it but I will be trying to track some more down next year. The last of our xmas beers was Ridgeway brewery Bad Elf. Ridgeway do some interesting beers but you don't see them very often as they're mainly bound for export. This one was pale and hoppy, but not really what we were after.
Aside from the xmas beers alcohol levels were maintained with copious quantities of Fuller's London Pride and a bottle of Meantime London Porter my favourite brother in law shared with me and the lovely Lisa. And come to think of it a Fuller's Winter Ale may have been in the mix somewhere too. Oh yeah, and the Fuller's Vintage. I'd better stop now before I remember any more.
As has been noted by other beer bloggers many xmas beers don't really fit the bill and I'll have to make more effort to find some decent dark and spicy ones next year.