Winter Wrap Up: Texas Holiday Craft Beers to Adore and More to Carry you into 2024

Winter Wrap Up: Texas Holiday Craft Beers to Adore and More to Carry you into 2024

Cheers to the holiday season!! The Texas Brewers have been busy creating a bevy of beautiful beers to celebrate the holiday season – and it’s time to celebrate some of the best and boldest flavors of Winter 2023 Craft Beers.

Festive Favorites

No matter what you celebrate, it’s a time for friends, family, merriment, and exceptional seasonal beers. The Texas breweries are sparkling with tinsel and colored string lights, and almost everyone you walk into right now has a wintery creation on tap, often packaged up and ready for you to take home. Many of our favorite stores are filled with stacks of seasonal offerings from the more extensive brewery operations, prepared to make all of our holidays bright. Let’s raise a glass to some of the Lone Star State’s finest craft brewers, who’ve created a symphony of seasonal sips to delight your taste buds and warm your winter spirit.

This year’s winter beers push the boundaries of festive flavors in fresh new directions. It’s no longer a world of saccharinely sweet pumpkin pie flavor dumped into a brown ale that you drink one and done. This year’s selection of winter brews are sweet, spicy, complex and delightfully surprising. Welcome to a little holiday odyssey deep into the heart of the Lone Star State – from eclectic Austin breweries, rustic Hill Country Taprooms, industrial Houston breweries, and divine Dallas locations. We will acquaint ourselves with bright ales, crisp IPAs, warm ambers, and rich porters spiced with much more than seasonal delight and holiday cheer.  

Experience the Christmas spirit! get a slice of Christmas with nice people and cinnamon spice whatever!

Seasonal Superstars

And no reindeer games are required – these Texas craft brews are the holiday gifts that keep giving well into the new year.  There truly is something for everyone.  Hoppy and Bright IPAs, malty Pub Ales, Rich and complex Porters, a Winter Warmer, and even a brand new Imperial Fruit Sour!  From the cozy warmth of the fireplace to fun evenings with friends and family, each sip promises a festive escape from the chill. 

So raise a glass to cozy fireside evenings, lively potluck gatherings, and quiet moments of wintery reflection.  These seasonal beers are not only fuel for holiday cheer but they are also meant to delight your palate and drive your gatherings until the first Texas bluebonnet peeks through the thawing ground. 

Yule Shoot Your Eye Out
Karbach Brewing | Houston, TX | Red Ale | Festive Favorite

Glass of Karbach's Yule Shoot Your Eye Out. Remember - cinnamon is in season this year and so is orange peel, and cranberry!

This festive red ale throws a snowball straight at your taste buds, just like ol’ Ralphie’s first encounter with his coveted Red Ryder BB gun. As the festive can complete with a bullseye and fra-gee-lay leg lamp indicates, this brew is a true love letter to A Christmas StoryKarbach Brewing’s Yule Shoot Your Eye Out is a festive Red Ale featuring a rich caramel base that will warm your soul like a crackling Yule Log right before a zingy citrus twist kicks in to cut the sweetness. This ale is a little rich and thick, but like many of its cousins at Karbach, it is still easy to drink more than one. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out is delicious on its own and also pairs beautifully with Wild Game, Hearty Stews, Lamb Chop, Spice Cake, Family, and Festive cookies.

Equal Parts Brewing | Houston, TX | Porter | Cozy Winter

Christmas ale is the perfect drink to stock in your home for the upcoming Christmas celebration! Be sure to add Equal Parts Brewing's Nocturna to your collection.

Equal Parts Brewing’s Nocturna Porter is the perfect companion when you are curled up by a toasty crackling fire and the wind and snow swirl outside your window. This robust porter brewed with chocolate and roasted oats is a delicious warm hug of a beer reminiscent of gooey brownies by the campfire but smoother and 100% less sticky. This dark and delightful porter is a soft, full-bodied brew with fruity aromatics thanks to toasted chocolate and caramel notes that are sweetened and balanced by the oats. It’s the perfect beer for a cozy night under starlit skies, bonding with friends, and simply sinking into a good book. Nocturna is a standalone champion on a cold, dark night, but if you feel peckish, Nocturna pairs perfectly grilled or smoked meats, sharp and tangy cheeses, chocolate, fruit, and gingersnaps.

Where’s my Flannel?
Southern Heights Brewing | Austin, TX | Bodacious Pub Ale | Cozy Winter

Cranberry, cinnamon, or mint?  This is the question to ask when deciding the flavor profile for your upcoming Christmas celebration meal! Make sure Southern Heights Brewing's Where's my Flannel is included!

Where’s my Flannel is a popular question this time of year, and Southern Heights’ Bodacious Pub Ale is the perfect answer. This amber-hued is a light, easy-drinking ale that strikes the perfect balance between slightly malty and slightly bitter. Upon first sip, you get the familiar toasty, nutty backbone of an English Bitter, but it quickly takes a fun new turn with a kiss of caramel and a slightly hoppy edge. Boadicea hops add earthy, floral notes and a touch of grapefruit flavor. Like your favorite flannel, this Southern Heights delight reminds you that the autumn spirit lives on through the holidays and into the new year! Where’s my Flannel? It is a super versatile pub ale that pairs well with our favorite comfort foods, including barbeque, burgers, chili, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and shepherd’s pie.

You, Nature, Trees
Turning Point Beer | Bedford, TX | New England IPA | Bright New Year

Home is where Turing Point Beer Belongs! Be kind and share with nice people!

After a busy holiday season, get back to the basics and fall in love with nature with Turning Point Beer’s You, Nature, Trees. This double dry-hopped New England Indian Pale Ale made from Idaho 7 and Chinook hops is a smooth sunshine color that is essentially forest bathing in a can. Its earthy flavor is elevated by a citrus explosion of grapefruit and tangerine combined with mango and guava, all swirling around a mossy whisper of pine. The finish is delicate, almost reminiscent of chamomile – making it the ideal companion for winter hikes or simply sitting still in a park full of tall trees. You, Me, Trees is a versatile IPA that can tango with various foods – including grilled vegetable skewers, grilled romaine salad, creamy cheeses, spicy Korean barbeque, or salted caramel treats.

Ye Olde Christmas Ale
Saint Arnold Brewing | Houston, TX | Ale | Festive Favorite

Can of Saint Arnold's Christmas Ale posed on a table.

Like the fun uncle at your holiday party, Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale is sweet and spicy with a high alcohol content. This copper-hued beer ale is created with five different malts, resulting in a rich, malty flavor and 7% alcohol content. Two different Northwest hops keep it from getting overly sweet by swooping in with a pinch of cinnamon spice and floral pine notes. This ale can pack quite a punch, so it’s ideal to enjoy it with a snack or meal: roasted meats, smoky Texas chili, savory quiche, meat pies, and even classic holiday desserts like fruitcake, gingerbread, and pecan pie pair perfectly with this malty, toasty, spicy masterpiece.

Spindle Tap Brewing | Houston, TX | Winter Warmer | Cozy Winter

Can of Spindle Tap Brewery's Mentality beer posed on a table.

Like a cozy fireplace in a can, Mentality Winter Warmer from SpindleTap Brewery is an enticing winter warmer here to chase away the winter chill. This rich, malty, Wassail-style beer is similar to an English Brown Ale and features a subtle symphony of warm spices – orange peel, ginger, clove, and a whisper of nutmeg. It’s the perfect seasonal sipper for reading by the fire or sharing a cozy evening with friends. Mentality embodies the season’s joy and warms your soul from the inside out. Mentality pairs perfectly with Spindletap’s legendary queso if you are enjoying it at the brewery. It also pairs perfectly with smoked meats, spicy Cajun dishes, Thai curry, spiced nuts, and dark chocolate desserts.

Coffee Porter
Real Ale Brewing Co. | Blanco, TX | Porter | Cozy Winter

Can of Real Ale Brewing Co.'s Coffee Porter on a table.

Coffee lovers rejoice!  Real Ale Brewing Company’s Coffee Porter is the perfect way to enjoy your coffee anytime. The brewery’s most popular seasonal release, this rich, robust ale with a dry finish, is the happy result of Owner Brad Frabstein’s homebrewing experiments in college. Each batch receives its coffee kick from an infusion of Houston’s own fresh, cold-brewed organic fair trade Katz Coffee just before packaging – ensuring that each batch has the most delightful notes of our favorite cup of Joe. This porter is perfect on its own… but it does pair well with smoked meats, rich stews, chili, sharp cheeses, and chocolate and coffee desserts.

Kama Citra
Turning Point Beer | Bedford, TX | Indian Pale Ale | Bright New Year

Glass of Turning Point Beer's Kama Citra posed on a table.

Saddle up for a citrus joy ride with Turning Point Beer’s Kama Citra! This double dry-hopped IPA is made with 100% Citra Hops, known for its strong and smooth floral and citrus notes that include grapefruit, citrus, peach, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit, and lychee. Turning Point transforms this into a lighter-than-air creamy, hazy IPA that reminds you of a fluffy cloud floating down a stream of citrus. Kama Citra is the perfect beer to add a little citrus kick to your New Year’s Eve Celebration, and it is light and refreshing to keep you focused on all your healthy resolutions in the new year. Thanks to its citrusy explosion of flavor, Kama Citra is a bright and fresh complement to spicy hot wings, Thai curry, light seafood, salads, charcuterie boards filled with cured meats and creamy cheeses, and light and fruity desserts.

Shiner Holiday Cheer
Shiner Brewing | Shiner, TX | Dunkelweizen | Festive Favorite

Six pack of Shiner Brewing's Shiner Holiday Cheer posed on a table.

Forget the sugarplum fairies and fruitcake.  Shiner Holiday Cheer is Texas Christmas in a pint glass.  This highly anticipated seasonal offering from the OG Texas brewery in Shiner, Texas, is sweet, spicy, and addictive. Brewed from real local peaches and roasted pecans, this seasonal dunkelweizen has a rich chestnut hue and a flavor as unique as a bluebonnet in December. The first taste of the caramelized malts is initially sweet, then gives way to an extraordinary and crave-able complexity thanks to a unique mix of warm autumn spices. Shiner Cheer’s unique flavor profile pairs well with a wide range of holiday favorites, including sweet and salty charcuterie boards, smoked salmon, spicy sausage and sweet potato hash, honey glazed ham, peach cobbler, pecan pie, and gingerbread cookies.

Not your Nanna’s Fruit Cake
Zilker Brewing | Austin, TX | Imperial Fruited Kettle Sour | Festive Favorite

Glass of Zilker Brewing Company's Not Your Nana's Fruit Cake posed on a silver table.

Photo credits – Zilker Brewing Company

A refreshing new release by Zilker Brewing makes a late entrance into the last spot on our list. This is definitely Not your Nanna’s Fruit Cake; it is a delightful Imperial fruited Kettle Sour bursting with blueberry, pineapple, and passionfruit goodness. Although they may not be the most complex beers, tart and acidic sours like this lift your spirits and soothe your soul. The vibrant acidity and diverse fruit notes of Not Your Nana’s Fruit Cake offers an open playground for playful food pairings, including grilled salmon, duck confit, grilled shrimp, fresh fruit, funky cheeses, and sweet treats like lemon meringue pie.

Celebrate the Season with Texas Craft Beers!

Embrace the magic of the season and raise a toast to fresh new beginnings with these delightful seasonal Texas Craft beers.  With a range of styles and flavors as big as the State of Texas, there is truly something for everyone, from the crisp and refreshing Kama Citra IPA to the sweet and spicy Ye Olde Holiday Ale to the rich and complex Mentality Porter.  

So ditch the predictable, the bland, the boring brews this winter.  Whether you are out on the town or snuggling up next to the fire, embrace the spirit of Texas craft brewing, where innovation spills with every pour and the holidays sing in every sip.   Even if the holidays have passed, many of these beers can still be found in stores – so you can keep the holiday vibe going strong!  Fortunately, a good portion of these beers are meant to be enjoyed well into 2024 – so pick up a six-pack or a growler and pencil in a new resolution for 2024 – drink more delicious Texas Craft Beer!  Cheers from the Lone Star State. 

Sarah is a lifestyle author, designer, and lover of craft beers. She has been touring and supporting Austin Craft Breweries for years and works with a company directly sponsoring the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. You can find more of Sarah’s insight into the Austin brewery scene at Cheers!

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