It’s time for the holidays, which calls for a slew of seasonal beverages: spiced cider, hot chocolate, and most importantly: Christmas beer! Here are 5 of my favorite Texas beers for the holidays. Blue Owl, Whitestone, and Lazarus are all local to the Austin area. And while many don’t consider Shiner to be a true “craft brewery”, this Texas-brewed Shiner Holiday Cheer is too good to pass up!

Whitestone Brewery

Melted Snowman Winter Warmer Ale with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
7.5% ABV
Dark and foamy, but with a thinner mouthfeel than you would expect – it definitely does not taste as black as it is! The cinnamon and nutmeg come through with a roasty profile. Hints of black cherry.

My opinion about this beer changes every time I have it – sometimes I’m in the mood and sometimes I wonder why I keep choosing it. My general conclusion is that although I like the flavor, I personally would prefer the cinnamon and nutmeg in a heavier and darker-tasting beer.
2.5 out of 5.0 stars

Blue Owl Brewing

Jubilberry: Sour Winter Ale
7.1% ABV
Pleasantly sour with just enough sweetness to balance out the tart cranberry. The ginger is very subtle but blends well with the other flavors. The oat adds some body and keeps the whole mix from tasting overly acidic. This is my favorite beer from Blue Owl (so far), and I wish it weren’t seasonal!
5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Above: Plum de Plume

Blue Owl Brewing

Plum de Plume: Plum Jam and Orange Marmalade Sour
5.6% ABV
This isn’t exactly a Christmas beer, but it’s a winter seasonal that I find festive. This sour has a beautiful deep pinkish-orange color and is pleasantly bubbly with a tart and lemony scent. According to the label it is brewed with plums, orange juice, orange peel, sage, and vanilla. The orange definitely comes through in the tart and citrusy flavor, and then fades into a sweet plummy jam taste. There are subtle herbal/floral notes, but I can’t say I taste the sage or the vanilla specifically. Finishes with an orange peel bitterness.
0.0 out of 5.0 stars

Above: Shiner Holiday Cheer

Shiner

Holiday Cheer: Dunkelweizen with Texas Peaches and Roasted Pecans
5.4% ABV
Dark amber in color, this classic holiday beer smells like a malty peach tea and is slightly bubbly in the mouth. It hits first with a simple wheat flavor, then with the combined sweetness and tartness of peaches, and lastly a hint of pecan bitterness. Overall a really pleasant mouthfeel and highly drinkable. And it really does taste like a Christmas beer, even though that’s not what you would expect of peaches and pecans! It’s not as complex as many craft beers, but it is just simply good.
3.5 out of 5.0 stars

Above: First Noël

Lazarus Brewing Company

First Noël (2017 Vintage): American Wile Ale Refermented with Figs
8.3% ABV
At such a high ABV this is definitely a warmer, despite its light and refreshing taste. This beer is bubbly, slightly sweet from the fig, and a little funky in true wild ale form. The funk almost reminds me of a *slight* bleu cheese aftertaste, which goes perfectly with the fig. This is a limited edition and only available for purchase at Lazarus, but its worth the special trip! Head over there and grab a bottle before the holiday season is over. There is also a 2018 vintage available.
5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Want to learn more about Austin area beer and breweries?

Check out one of these guides!

Austin COVID Brewery Guide (What is still open? What has outdoor seating?)

Austin Vegan Breweries (fyi, even a simple lager often have fish or animal ingredients!)