Christmas beers: marketing or tradition?
They always appear around this time of year and they're cause for controversy
among consumers and even historians.
To some they are just a marketing tool. To others they are deeply rooted in tradition.
Among this second group, there are beers considered as the last of the year, direct descendants of the "October beers" that breweries essentially created to take advantage of the surplus of barley and hops available to them before the new harvest.
For others, they are the first of the year, produced to take advantage of the mild temperatures of autumn and the fruits of the latest harvest.
The fact is that many breweries have a Christmas beer in their back catalogues, although their sales represent barely 5% of total sales.
Generally speaking, they are strong, dark, heavy, sweet and often spiced, but there are notable exceptions. Among the first we find the already classic St. Bernardus Christmas, Carolus Christmas or Abbaye de Rocs Noël, and among the second we do recommend Stille Nacht and Père Noël.
In any case, these are seasonal beers and the majority of them are to keep. As you'd expect, here at Lambicus we can't turn our backs on Christmas beer, and that's why we're inviting you to try some more - by coming to our tasting on the December 15th or just let yourself be seduced by our pourers who will be offering customers these Christmas gems over the next fews days.