‘Tis the season… for seasonal brews!

By on December 12, 2018

A taphouse like Funck’s in Leola usually offers flights of seasonal brews, like this selection of four Christmas ales.


That goofy Grinnin’ Grizzly has reared his adorable mug at Appalachian Brewing Company, marking the unofficial start of holiday-inspired beers. ‘Tis the season! And all those wintery-wonderful brews spiced with Christmas spirit are now on tap at most of the region’s breweries and taphouses.


Grinnin’ Grizzly Holiday Spiced Ale (5.7 ABV) delivers exactly what the name implies, a robust ale brewed with a heaping amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and orange peel. Don’t be afraid of the spice! This beer is smooth with a flavor-filled finish.

Also in Lititz, JoBoy’s has gone big for the holiday season. Odin’s Ale (9.2 ABV), a dark, Belgian Strong Ale also concocted with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and orange, is balanced by a strong malt presence. This one-year-aged brew is a deep ruby red and is sure to warm the insides after a day out in the cold.

As for Fetish, I don’t know. I heard they were selling Furbies nowadays, or something like that. That’s a science-based fact formulated from Facebook posts. Guess I should drop in and see what is going on at the Pod #2 brewery. Meet you there?


In Ephrata, co-owner Ryan Foltz confirms Pour Man’s is brewing up a “winter warmer brewed with spices and also a special version of Oats & Hoes (stout) that has snickerdoodle cold brew added to the kegs. That’s called Oats & Ho Ho Hoes.”

On Black Friday, St. Boniface fittingly released their Black Currant Stout (with a fancy new label). This American Imperial stout is a popular brew-great beer discussion topic: which do you prefer the most, the Black Currant Stout or the flagship stout Hegemony?

Ryan Foltz from Pour Man’s Brewing in Ephrata is brewing a snickerdoodle cold brew coffee stout called Oats & Ho Ho Hoes for the holiday season. (Photos by Michael Upton)

Mount Joy

In Mount Joy, Twisted Bine is offering their Pere Noel (8.0 ABV); it’s another dark, Belgian Strong Ale, except this one incorporates juniper berries, local spruce and fir tips, and sweet malts to provide a low hop bitterness.


On Monday, brewer Mike Brubaker added 40 pounds of tart Montmorency cherries to Moo-Duck’s Pop’s Porter. You’ll have to wait a couple weeks till this one is ready at the E-town brewery, but it may be well worth it.

Also in Elizabethtown, Cox Brewing released a beer called Triple-X on Wednesday. I haven’t tried it, so drop me a line and let me know what your think!

I was really hoping to end out this cheery installment of Hop’in Around with Funk Brewing’s White Christmas — which is my all-time favorite winter beer — but I don’t see it on their tap list. Let’s call for another brewing of this Belgian white brewed with Sauvignon Blanc musk, which transforms as it warms presenting subtle hints of ‘spice’ reminiscent of holiday brews created with a unique yeast strain and French oak spirals. One highly-notable brew on tap right now at Funk E-Town is an English barleywine; Griddle (10.5 ABV) is made with more than 50 gallons of Vermont maple syrup and heirloom English malts.


Oh, but don’t forget, Resilience will be making its way to taps all over the county on Dec. 22. All the profits from the super-collab IPA go to relief efforts for victims of the Camp Fire, which devastated parts of California earlier this year. Sounds like a perfect excuse to spread some holiday giving.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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