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History of Christmas beer

31 Oct 2022
History of Christmas beer

‘Tis the season to be jolly and tipsy from indulging in yummy Christmas beer. Heck yeah, beer invaded even Christmas. How else did you think Santa got his (beer) belly?

Where did the Xmas beer come from?

Eduard von Grützner. Oil on panel, 40 cm x 50.8 cm.

The Christmas beer actually dated back to a pre-Christian era where Vikings brewed winter beers to honour their Norse Gods and the winter solstice. After Christianity was introduced to the region in the 10th century, certain laws actually mandated the citizens to create Christmas beers to honour the Christian God and their new holiday.

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In the 1920s, Stella Artois - a malty Belgian lager - made its debut as a Christmas beer and became one of the most ubiquitous beers ever since. The “Stella” in its name alludes to the shining Christmas star that guided the three Magi to baby Jesus.

What does it taste like?
Image credit: Chris J. Davis

You may be wondering, what exactly constitutes a Christmas beer? Well, Christmas beers are dark, malty beers with beautifully blended notes of cinnamon and clove. This delightful winter beverage is basically the alcoholic pumpkin spice latte of fall.

Image credit: St. Bernardus

Christmas beers typically have flavours and aromas that will immerse you in the festive spirit. From spicy warm beers to beers with all that chocolatey goodness, you will definitely have a cosy and luxurious time with a Christmas beer by your side.

Winter beer vs Christmas beer
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While winter may be synonymous with Christmas for many of us, winter beers and Christmas beers are not exactly the same. To put it simply, all Christmas beers are winter beers, but not vice versa.

Winter beers are a wider and more general category, and can consist of a variety of beer styles, including ales, barley wines, stouts, porters and quadrupels. Winter beers are typically dark, rich, and spicy - perfect for keeping you warm on harsh winter nights.

History of Christmas beer

Now that you know all about Christmas beers, you can stock up on these festive and delicious winter beverages to ensure that you have a beer-y Merry Christmas!