PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s that time of the year: People are shopping, baking, cooking and more in preparation for the holiday season.
Some local businesses — breweries, specifically — are also getting in the holiday spirit.
10 On Your Side reached out to craft breweries in the Hampton Roads region to find out if they’re offering any seasonal brews.
Here’s what we found out:
Big Ugly Brewing
The Gose of Christmas Present is a tart wheat ale brewed with sea salt and conditioned on hundreds of pounds of sweet cherries and pomegranate. With subtle tartness, ruby red hue and pronounced aromas and flavors of sweet cherry, it’s like drinking a glass of grandma’s homemade cherry pie filling. This Gose is available in cans to-go and draft in the taproom on December 7.
Location: 845 S Battlefield Blvd, Chesapeake, VA 23322
The Garage Brewery
No-Carrot-All Spiced Beer; It is inspired by a classic carrot cake. With carrots added to a more complex mash process, deep caramel and carrot flavors lay the foundation for a flavor dominated by ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. 7% ABV | 17 IBU
Location: 1011 Eden Way N, Chesapeake, VA 23320
Gloucester Brewing Company
Grandma’s Apple Beere has a tart, green apple flavor balanced by cinnamon; reminiscent of grandmas apple pie after Christmas dinner.
Location: 6778 Main St, Gloucester, VA 23061
Capstan Bar Brewing Company
CBBC’s Blood Orange Cranberry Spice Kölsch is a light, crisp and refreshing unfiltered version of a classic beer from Cologne, Germany. They added a twist to this traditional beer with some of our favorite flavors of the holidays. Blood oranges, cranberries, spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg offer a take on a festively-inspired punch right in time for the season. 4.15% ABV and 20 IBUs
Location: 2036 Exploration Way, Hampton, VA 23666
Oozlefinch Beers & Blending
Mouth Full of Sugar Plums is released at Oozlefinch Dec. 10. It will be a sour ale with plum, mascarpone, cinnamon, clover honey, lactose and vanilla. (No photo available)
Location: 81 Patch Rd, Fort Monroe, VA 23651
St. George Brewing Company
For the holidays, St. George Brewing Company will release two beers in the taproom only: Cappuccino Tiramisu Porter and a Pineapple Upside Down Cake Red Ale. (No photo available)
Location: 204 Challenger Way, Hampton, VA 23666
The Vanguard Brewpub and Distillery / Caiseal Beer & Spirits
This fruit-forward ale is based on a favorite holiday bread. Caiseal added tart cranberries and roasted walnuts to a blonde ale to give this beer a tart note up front, but it finishes with a balanced malty bread flavor perfect for the holiday season. 5.6% ABV
Location: 504 North King Street, Hampton, VA, 23669
Isle of Wight
Wharf Hill Brewing Company
Wharf Hill Brewing Company will have four holiday-themed beers this season.
Chocolate Stout: Wharf Hill Brewing Co.’s original oatmeal stout made with two row, dark roasted grains and oatmeal giving it rich toasted notes of coffee and vanilla with just a little spicy finish and aroma from the hops to balance the flavor and nose. Then, they add pounds of American chocolate (from a certain Pennsylvanian company) taking it to a whole new level flavor for beer enthusiast.
APV: 6.8% IBU:9.2
Peppermint Mocha Stout: Start out with Wharf Hill’s stout recipe and add a secrete blend of flavorings to give you the taste of sweet chocolate and peppermint. One taste will make you think of peppermint bark in a glass.
APV: 6.8% IBU:9.2
Gingerbread Stout: The flavor of gingerbread comes alive in Wharf Hill Brewing Co.’s stout recipe for this holiday season. Smooth creamy stout and gingerbread flavorings will bring your taste buds alive and make you feel like your back in your grandmother’s kitchen.
APV: 6.8% IBU:9.2
Caramel Cream Porter: This porter is like a lighter version of Wharf Hill Brewing Co.’s stout. Hints of chocolate and coffee just not as thick and rich as a stout. Then, they kick it up a notch by adding milk lactose and sweet caramel to the mix giving you a sweet creamy taste like old world caramel candy.
APV: 5% IBU:17
Location: 25 Main St, Smithfield, VA 23430
COVA Brewing Company
COVA’s Winter Warmer: Brewed with fresh ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla beans, this beer is the epitome of a “Christmas beer.” Also as a true winter warmer, it definitely lives up to the name, making it a solid choice for a chill winter night. (6.8% ABV)
Location: 9529 Shore Dr, Norfolk, VA 23518
Elation Brewing Company
The smell of wood stoves heating up for the first frost tickle your amygdala and the sweet bold flavors of this barley wine wrap their everloving arms around you like grandma Jean’s hand knit comforter. At 10% ABV, this beer is sure to keep you warm and cozy.
Location: 5104 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508
Smartmouth Brewing Company
Smartmouth Holiday Helper Red IPA: This red ale boasts a crisp, sweet, spicy aroma and is sure to help get you through the holiday season. Its chocolate and caramel malts stand up to the spicy Centennial and rye flavors, making this beer dangerously clean and smooth. 6.8% ABV
Location: 1309 Raleigh Ave, Norfolk, VA 23507
Commonwealth Brewing Company
Commonwealth Brewing Company is offering two holiday-themed brews this season.
Christnizzle Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Chocolate Stout with Peppermint, Cacao Nibs, and Indonesian Vanilla Beans 13.1% ABV
White Claus Foamies Hard Seltzer with Cherry, Cranberry, Apple Cider, and Candy Cane 5% ABV (gluten-free and vegan)
Location: 2444 Pleasure House Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Pleasure House Brewing
Snatch You Baldheaded. Tim loves a quad and there’s no better time than the holidays to make one. Pleasure House Brewing has piled in pilsner malt, classic Belgian monastery yeast, some herbal and citrusy hops, and steeped mulling spices. The result? A deep, sweet, malt driven beer that reveals chocolate, spice, citrus, and floral notes with every taste. This is a beer to be savored. 12.5% ABV
Location: 2032 Pleasure House Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Alewerks Brewing Company
Fun, Old-Fashioned Family Christmas Ale. It is all the goodness of the Christmas season blended together for a uniquely nostalgic and satisfying brew. Savor the influence of cinnamon, clove, ginger, vanilla beans, sweet orange peel, allspice and nutmeg in this spiced beer that will have you dreaming of Christmases long, long ago with every sip. And at 8% ABV, it’s sure to make you jolly and keep you warm on the cold winter nights ahead.
On Black Friday, Alewerks also released a limited variant aged in bourbon barrels that is available in 500ml bottles and exclusive to their taprooms.
Locations: Alewerks Brewing Company, 189B Ewell Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 // Alewerks Brewing Company @ Williamsburg Premium Outlets, 5711-36 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
Virginia Beer Company
This holiday season, Virginia Beer Co. will usher in the return of their Evil Santa series of 7% abv Spiced Milk Stouts. Evil Santa (brewed with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, & Milk Sugar) returns annually with an array of variants, including Double Chocolate Espresso (brewed with Cacao Nibs & Espresso) and Vanilla Latte (brewed with Vanilla & Coffee). New to the base lineup this year will be Peppermint Hot Chocolate Evil Santa (brewed with Peppermint, Vanilla, Marshmallows, & Cacao Nibs). On Black Friday, they released Double Evil Santa, an 11.3% abv Imperial version aged in Bourbon Barrels. Then for the first time ever, they planned to release a super limited Double Evil Santa variant aged in Apple Brandy Barrels on Saturday, Dec. 4. All of these releases tie in with VBC’s annual food & goods drive for House of Mercy, holiday music pop-ups throughout December, and an “Evil SantaCon” coming to the brewery on Dec. 18.
Location: Virginia Beer Company, 401 2nd St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
This list will be updated as more brews are submitted. To submit a photo and description of a holiday-themed beer from a local brewery, email firstname.lastname@example.org.