Holiday parties increase demand for seasonal brews, so a good number of people this week will be trying to grab some Great Lakes Christmas Ale. If you can’t track down a six-pack, don’t worry: The halls of your local carryout are decked with many delightful substitutes.
Here are three to try.
Columbus Brewing Company
ABV: 7.5 percent
Start things off with this powerfully aromatic local brew, whose nose explodes with cinnamon and nutmeg. Some might find the scent too strong, but most will appreciate a beer that packs potpourri’s potent punch. Once downing the chestnut-colored ale, you’ll find a noticeable hop bite that accentuates the spiciness.
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
12 Dogs of Christmas Ale
ABV: 8.3 percent
This award-winning liquid comes extremely close to the look, smell and taste of Great Lakes’ sought-after seasonal — and many Columbus drinkers like it better. The Akron brewery’s reddish-brown ale is concocted with honey, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and something known simply as “Santa’s secret recipe.” It’s delicious, smooth, slightly sweet and perfectly spiced.
Breckenridge Brewing Company
ABV: 7.4 percent
When Ohio’s trademark winter warmers start tasting too sweet and spicy — yes, you can have too much of a good thing — grab a bottle of this holiday brew made in Colorado. Technically listed as an American strong ale, it’s a more traditional sipper with toasty, hearty malts that will withstand winters in Colorado and Ohio.