Let’s face it: The holidays can be a drag. But these five seasonal offerings from New England gems are here for you, providing needed refuge from all of the maddening, anxiety-inducing aspects of the holiday season.
BAH HUMBUG MOMENT: Parade watching
BEER IN HAND: Traveler Beer Co. Jolly Traveler
Those street-clogging anachronistic cavalcades of ornamented floats, large balloon characters, and costume-wearing loonies strewing cheap candy to sticky-fingered kids are quite possibly the worst thing ever. Unless you pack a cooler with the first winter shandy: Jolly. Brewed by The Traveler Beer Co. in Vermont, this seasonal wheat ale brings orange peel, pomegranate, and holiday spice (and booze) to get you through the most tedious of holiday rituals.
BAH HUMBUG MOMENT: Christmas shopping
BEER IN HAND: Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2014
Slumbrew’s second-edition Yankee Swap Imperial Stout was released just in time for holiday libations. Brewed with a unique recipe each year, this barrel-aged merrymaker acquires the flavors of Turkey Shore Distilleries’ rum, brown sugar—did I mention rum? Clocking in at an intoxicating 12 percent ABV, it’ll help take the edge off a nightmarish day in retail hell. Because you’ll be wasted.
BAH HUMBUG MOMENT: Giftwrapping
BEER IN HAND: Peak Organic Brewing Co. Holiday Saison
Two rolls of snowflake-sprinkled paper and an Everest of presents. They won’t wrap themselves. This daunting task requires a quality, jubilant brew: Maine’s Peak Organic Holiday Saison. Crisp saison yeast plays nice with a bite of ginger and clove, and at a sessionable 4.7 percent ABV, this brew ensures that your frenzy of ribbon curling won’t be marked by paper cuts.
BAH HUMBUG MOMENT: Work functions
BEER IN HAND: Long Trail Brewing Co. Sick Day IPA
The last thing you want to do is rub elbows with the water cooler pissheads after office hours. Or maybe you do. Either way, you’ll want a Sick Day IPA from Vermont-based Long Trail Brewing Co., unfiltered goodness that’s knee-deep in piney, spicy hops and balanced by toasty, belly-warming malt.
BAH HUMBUG MOMENT: Family gatherings
BEER IN HAND: Pretty Things Barbapapa
Despite every effort to avoid this exact scenario, you end up wedged between a bowl of French onion dip and your great aunt Mildred in the inevitable mind-numbing conversation you dread. As she carries on about her cataracts, the only respite from this monologue snoozefest is a big bottle of Pretty Things’ legendary, luscious Imperial Russian Stout Barbapapa. It’s 12 percent Christmas cheer by volume. Enough said.