When our malls are pumping out the Xmas jams and the snow has fallen, then melted, then fallen again, it means only one thing. Seasonal beer time! If there’s one thing I’m grateful for this holiday season, it’s our three local breweries pumping out delicious beer. The best thing a brewery can do is let their brew masters play around and the results are these delicious limited edition brews. If you’d like to look like a beer connoisseur at your Christmas shindig here are three choices to make.

Wildrose Brewery – Cherry Porter

First up is this seasonal batch from the Wildrose Brewery. Made in time for the holidays every year, this is a Porter which means a deep dark beer. Made with two varieties of BC cherries (sour and sweet). The flavour is almost like drinking a black forest cake, there’s hints of chocolate but the cherries aren’t overpowering.

Village Brewery – Village Monk, Chai Winter Porter

The newcomer to the party. Village Brewery is Calgary’s newest microbrew. Their offering this season is the Chai Winter Porter. Staying in the dark, chocolatey neighbourhood, this brew does differ from the Cherry Porter. The mix of spices like cinnamon, mint, clove and cardamom makes for a layered flavour.

Big Rock Brewery – Barghest Barley Wyne

You’re probably not familiar with Barley Wine’s. These are strong ales originating in England in the 1870′s. Why call it wine? Because of the 9.5% alcohol content. Held up to the light it has a red hue. The first sip is powerful if you’ve never tried one before. Spending a full year maturing to achieve it’s higher alcohol content gives it a dried fruit flavour. Enjoy this one slowly or like the mythical black dog it’s named after, it’ll come for you in the night. The brewers also hand dipped each bottle in wax. This one might be the hardest to find, there’s only 3000 bottles and I have 4 of them.

Try some new beer this winter. Check your local beer store for these limited time beers and do drink responsibly this holiday season.