questionswhat is the best beer for the holidays?

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Free, followed closely by cold.

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The free, cold one that you get to drink that's followed w/a shot of Jack.

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The Beer That Saved Christmas brewed by Prarie Artisan Ales. Very near perfection for a holiday beverage.
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/30356/104958/?ba=Cowboys9

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@magic cave: Awwwww! You always get to the root of things.

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@magic cave: I prefer IBC. {Pop tastes better out of a glass bottle, don't you think? } But A&W will do in a pinch ;-)

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@ceagee: Agree - glass is better. Beer just tastes better from a bottle. Or a frosted mug. Root beer & all sodas are better.

Jack is better out of a bottle, but in a glass. Of some sort. Of course, you could drink it directly from the bottle. But then you'd be accused of failing "couth" school.

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@ceagee: I fondly remember the days of my youth, when we got our A&W at an A&W drive-in, in giant frosty glass mugs. Fifty years later, I can still remember those first icy sips.... totally unmatchable today.

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Personally, I love Shiner Holiday Cheer. It has a great flavor and isn't as heavy as Sam Adams to me.

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@ruger9mm: Hmm, I don't think Prarie is distributed in TN...But my idea of Holiday Perfection is Spoetzl's Shiner Holiday Cheer: it's like Christmas in a bottle.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/143/45591

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Admitting I tried Shiner Holiday cheer for the first time the other day... Sooooooooo tasty! Its almost as good as Sam Adams Oct fest..

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My favorite is the Red Winter Ale I brewed with my homebrew club brethren a few weeks ago. Our goal was to approximate Widmer Brrr:

http://widmerbrothers.com/2013/10/24/warm-up-with-a-cold-one-brrr-seasonal-ale/

I think we succeeded!

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The best beer is the one you made yourself.

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Hardywood Brewery Gingerbread Stout. Find a local craft brew, forget the macro crap.

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New Belgium Snow Day, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or Guinness

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New Belgium Accumulation White IPA. Had some at Thanksgiving and it's really good - really fits the season well.

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@quinnderella: Try NB Accumulation too if you haven't already

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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The one you like.

And remember -- if you've just drank a beer that had the perfect, incredible balance between hops and malt for where you were at that exact moment -- you've had an incredible experience worthy of being a lifetime memory.....and if you didn't, you had a beer!

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Love the celebration but you should check out Deschutes Jubelale.

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Hands down, 2XMAS by Southern Tier Brewing Company.
Fig, ginger, spices, 2 different hops and 4 different kinds of malt.
It's absolutely Christmas in a bottle.

If you can't find that, Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Thirsty Dog is also very good.
Beats the pants off of Great Lakes Christmas Ale.

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If there's only 1 correct answer, it's Samichlaus Bier. It's brewed only on St. Nick's Day by monks in Switzerland, and only for about 20 years.

From Wikipedia:
Samichlaus is one of the strongest lager beers in the world,[1] at 14% alcohol by volume. The name means Santa Claus in Swiss German. It was originally brewed by the Hürlimann Brewery in Zürich, Switzerland.
The Samichlaus Christmas beer was first brewed in 1979 for sale in 1980. Production continued annually until 1997, when the brewery closed. In 2000, it returned,[2] this time produced by Schloss Eggenberg in collaboration with the original Hürlimann brewers, using the original Hürlimann Samichlaus recipe. The beer is only brewed once a year, on December 6 (which is the day of Saint Nicholas), which makes it a relatively rare brew. It is in the style of a Bavarian Doppelbock, and undergoes unusually long fermentation by traditional cold lagering over a ten-month period, leaving very little residual sugar in the final beer.

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I am in love with this year's Sam Adams Winter Lager. Can't explain why it's better than any other year, but it is. Until this winter, Octoberfest was my undisputed favorite, but Sam Winter Lager is making a run for my money this year!

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@fgarriel: I agree, if you can find it, Samichlaus is a rare treat worth the price and effort.

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I'm a fan of Troeg's Mad Elf for the holidays.