With wintery weather looming, forget the milk and bread and reach for a growler of locally brewed winter craft beer. Whether you’re a fan of sweeter, spiced winter warmers, rich and chocolaty stouts or high gravity brews, the Upstate has a beer to put you in the holiday spirit.
‘Tis the season for barrel-aged beer at Brewery 85, which will welcome the Maker’s Mark barrel-aged Country Quad for its first anniversary after the new year. You can also look forward to the Great Danish Belgian Strong Ale, Fat Lighter Winter IPA and Fishing Beer Munich-style Helles.
Quest Brewing Company
The time has finally arrived to unwrap Quest’s collaboration beer with Trophy Brewing Company, located in Raleigh, NC. Available this month, the Smoked Peach Dark Saison features peaches smoked with a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel, as well as acidulated malts to give it a farmhouse quality. For more traditional wintertime flavors, sip the smooth, subtly nutty Pecan Porter and keep an eye out for a new brew with cranberries.
RJ Rockers Brewing Company
Not to be outdone, RJ Rockers is treating Spartanburg drinkers to not one, but 25 new beers! The 25 Days of Christmas beer releases mean you can enjoy a new holiday brew every day until Santa’s arrival, starting with the Winter Warmer-style First Snow Ale.
Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Tap Room
For a strong drink with a flavor that lingers, treat yourself to a Double IPA. Described as a “cerebral beer with a very long, dry finish,” this English-style brew is an excellent sipping option by the fire. If you need to dial down your ABV or your hops, order the new Chocolate Stout on nitro, boasting a well-balanced flavor profile with organic chocolate and seven malts. Belgian beers are also popping up at this Travelers Rest brewery, with a session Belgian ale (5.8% ABV) appearing the week before Christmas and a 12% Belgian Strong Ale debuting in February.
Thomas Creek Brewery
If you love darker beers with smoky tones, robust flavors and a bitter finish, then you need a six-pack of the Pumphouse Porter. Available December-March, this English-style Porter can be purchased from local stores or directly from the brewery. If you’re stopping by the taproom for a growler, why not pick up a homewbrew kit and set your own new beer release date? Bundles and equipment kits are on sale until Christmas.
A big thank you to Greenville’s Beer Blogger, Harvin Bedenbaugh for this holiday wrap-up!