Christmas is fast approaching.
And for craft beer fans, that means visions of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon dancing in their heads. Those are the traditional ingredients of many holiday beers, thanks in part to the ever-popular Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale setting the standard.
But holiday beers can run the gamut of styles, from IPAs and winter warmers to saisons and more.
Beer shops, grocery stores, restaurants and bars are overrun with holiday beer options. If you crave to eat and drink local, we have you covered.
Here’s a rundown of the Christmas beers produced in the Akron-Canton region, broken down by county. These beers are available at the breweries and, in many cases, at local stores in bottles and cans.
Stark County breweries
Aeonian Brewing Co.
Location: 120 W. Chestnut St., Alliance
Beers: Replacement Santa and Barrel Aged Replacement Santa
What the brewery says about Replacement Santa: Replacement Santa is everything that a Christmas ale should be, and it will replace all of the other Santas in your life. Replacement Santa is a spiced ale with a balanced malt backbone and notes of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel. We put all of the delicious flavors of Christmas joy into Replacement Santa; it’s just missing the tree.
What the brewery says about Barrel Aged Replacement Santa: BA Replacement has the same delicious Christmas flavors of Replacement Santa, but with an extra kick for those long, cold sleigh rides. BA Replacement Santa has bold notes of bourbon and vanilla backed with oak characteristics.
The Brew Kettle
Locations: 2018 Champions Gateway, Suite 101, Canton; 11 Atterbury Blvd., Hudson; 18741 Sheldon Road, Middleburg Heights; 7850 Mentor Ave., Mentor; 300 Church St., Amherst; 8377 Pearl Road, Strongsville
Beers: Winter Warmer and Maple Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer
What the brewery says about Winter Warmer: A Christmas ale packed with the spices of the holidays: cinnamon, ginger, orange and lemon peel, and a sleigh-load of honey. A beer that’s loaded with holiday cheer!
What the brewery says about Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: Our spiced Winter Warmer, but brewed slightly bigger and aged for four months in bourbon barrels used by Bliss for their bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. Big sweet maple and malt synergy of flavor with subdued spicing and a touch of bourbon and oak character. A yuletide sipper if there ever was one.
Location: 6305 Whipple Ave., Jackson Township
Beer: Unparalleled Glory (NEOH Christmas Ale)
What the brewery says about it: The snap of a few spices, a quick whiff of honey and the beer blazed forth in Unparalleled Glory. Based on one of Jason Gasper-Hulvat’s first homebrew recipes and refined over the last 12 years, our take on this holiday tradition is brewed with honey, fresh ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Special note from the brewery: Joining Unparalleled Glory on tap will be our Barrel-Aged Unparalleled Glory, made from a portion of the 2022 batch, and Relish, our new cranberry helles.
Fat Head’s Brewery
Locations: 3885 Everhard Road NW, Plain Township; 17450 Engle Lake Drive, Middleburg Heights; 24581 Lorain Road, North Olmsted
Beer: Holly Jolly Christmas Ale and Pimp My Sleigh Belgian-style Christmas Ale
What the brewery says about Holly Jolly Christmas Ale: A festive spiced holiday ale with aromas and flavors of Christmas day. Sweet malt, ginger, honey and cinnamon spice. From our Jolly Fat Man to yours, happy holidays.
What the brewery says about Pimp My Sleigh: This rich, complex Belgian-style holiday brew has intricate aromas and flavors of sweet dark malt, dark fruit, raisins, figs, anise and spicy phenols. A thick, creamy head always tops it off.
Maize Valley Winery & Craft Brewery
Location: 6193 Edison St. NE, Marlboro Township
Beers: Mule-Tide Carol and a yet-to-be named winter warmer
What the brewery says about Mule-Tide Carol: Mule-Tide Carol is our holiday spiced Belgian dark strong ale with lots of dried fruit notes from the base beer complemented by cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and coriander.
What the brewery says about its winter warmer: Our winter warmer is still unnamed but will be around 7.5% ABV and very malty in character, somewhere between an imperial amber ale and brown ale.
Muskellunge Brewing Co.
Location: 425 5th St. NW, Canton
Beer: Striped Bass Xmas Ale
What the brewery says about it: Our holiday beer is a traditional bock spiced with a blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. This delivers the signature maltiness of a bock beer together with a unique spiced and smooth aftertaste.
Special note: This beer won a silver medal at the 2023 U.S. Open Beer Championship.
Paradigm Shift Brewing
Location: 128 North Ave. NE, Massillon
Beer: Rudolph’s Revenge
What the brewery says about it: Rudolph’s Revenge is a spiced brown ale made with real honey and just enough cinnamon, orange peel, ginger and nutmeg to balance out the malt. I started brewing this beer about 15 years ago as a homebrewer and have really enjoyed brewing it for the holiday season since.
Royal Docks Brewing Co.
Locations: 7162 Fulton Drive NW, Jackson Township; 2668 Easton St. NE, Plain Township
Beer: Yuletide Spiced Holiday Ale
What the brewery says about it: Each of the world’s great brewing traditions boasts a distinct beer style that is uniquely theirs. In Burton, they celebrate pale ale, while the Czechs hold pilsner dear. Munich reveres the dunkel and in Northeast Ohio, spiced holiday ale is held sacred.
Our yule offering stands among the least timid of its Northeast Ohio bretheren and festooned with a complex spiciness born of 16 traditional (cinnamon, nutmeg) and not-so-traditional (heather tips, rosemary, cardamom) spices supported by a hefty Scotch-style ale. With a cinnamon-sugar rim or without, Yuletide is properly served garnished with two cranberries skewered by a sprig of rosemary laid across the rim of a tulip glass.
Special notes from the brewery: This year, we’ve increased the alcohol level to 8.5% ABV. We’ve also added English Heritage Crystal Malt to the formula for a bit more caramel and toffee notes to support the increased alcohol warmth.
UnHitched Brewing Company
Location: 115 S. Mill St., Louisville
Beer: Cherry Shrouded
What the brewery says about it: Our Christmas-ish type beer is a dark saison. While no spices are added, you will get warm spice notes from the yeast. We rested this beer on Montmorency and Balaton cherries. You will receive some tartness from this, along with flavors of chocolate, plum, biscuit, and raisin.
Summit County breweries
Locations: 58 E. Market St., Akron; 5121 Buehlers Drive, Medina
Beer: BBA Spicer St., Spicer St.
What the brewery says about BBA Spicer St.: We took our Christmas ale and aged it in bourbon barrels for six months, accentuating its spice character and adding boozy notes of vanilla and caramel.
What the brewery says about Spicer St.: Our traditional Christmas ale brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg and honey. Its rich caramel color and balance of sweetness and spices will help you welcome the most festive of seasons. Celebrate the holidays with us!
Location: 1201 E. Market St., Suite 110, Akron
Beer: 25,000 Twinkle Lights and BBA 25,000 Twinkle Lights
What the brewery says about 25,000 Twinkle Lights: One of my favorite beers to brew because each year, more and more people look forward to its release. It’s brewed with real cinnamon sticks, ginger root and local Akron Honey Co. honey too. Lightly spiced and tastes just right… “It’s a beaut Clark!”
What the brewery says about BBA 25,000 Twinkle Lights: Keep your eye out for our bourbon barrel-aged version to be released. This year’s version used 13-year-old George Dickel barrels, and we aged our 25,000 Twinkle Lights in it for over one year. It will have a very limited quantity available on draft and in 16-ounce cans. Also, we’ll be releasing our yearly limited-edition Christmas glass along side the BBA release.
HiHO Brewing Co.
Location: 1707 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls
Beer: HiHO HO HO Holiday Ale
What the brewery says about it: The HiHO HO HO Holiday Ale was brewed to be enjoyed over the holidays. The flavor begins with a complex malt bill of Marris Otter, crystal, roasted, and chocolate malts, followed by whole ginger, cinnamon, coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, and clove. Finishing with noble hops and honey, this beer will keep you HiHO-HO-HO-hoing all holiday season.
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
Location: 1680 E. Waterloo Road (U.S. Route 224), Akron
Beer: Frosted Frog Christmas Ale and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale
What the brewery says about them: The magical essence of Christmas is captured in this beer! Perfectly blended spices compliment Frosted Frog’s rich malt flavors, creating the ultimate Christmas experience. Celebrate the holidays as you savor this very special seasonal offering.
Special note: Originally released in 2009 at Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant in downtown Akron, Frosted Frog has been brewed the same way for the last 15 years.
Ignite Brewing Co.
Locations: 600 W. Tuscarawas Ave., Barberton; 1255 N. Carpenter Rd., Suite 100, Brunswick
Beer: Ignite the Lights
What the brewery says about it: Do you have visions of cinnamon sugar dancing on the rim of your glass? How about a malty delicious melody of ginger and honey joyfully carrying you into your holiday celebrations? It’s that glorious season to hang the stocking with care, decorate the tree, and Ignite the Lights!
Lock 15 Brewing Co.
Beer: Fragile Festivus
Location: 21 W. North St., Akron
What the brewery says about it: Fragile Festivus Christmas Ale is a delightful amber beer infused with the warm flavors of cinnamon and ginger. Crafted with generous amounts of brown sugar and honey malts, this ale harmoniously combines the spicy undertones with a rich, festive maltiness.
McArthur’s Brew House
Location: 2721 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls
Beer: Christmas Ale
What the brewery says about it: Full-bodied amber, rich in malty characteristics along with orange peel, cinnamon, ginger and an abundance of honey. The high ABV is sure to keep you warm all through the night. A cinnamon sugar rim is available upon request.
Missing Falls Brewery
Location: 540 S. Main St., Suite 112, Akron
Beer: Deck the Falls
What the brewery says about it: A winter warmer brewed with honey, molasses, cinnamon, orange peel, coriander, anise and nutmeg.
Special note: The brewery will also have its Sugar Plum Seltzer available.
Missing Mountain Brewing Co.
Location: 2811 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls
Beer: Happy Holidays And What Not Winter Ale
What the brewery says about it: Within the complex flavor of this beer you will find a pleasant balance of honey, ginger, and cinnamon to deliver the essence of the holiday season to your palate! Happy holidays!… and what not.
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.
Location: 587 Grant St., Akron
Beer: 12 Dogs of Christmas and Barrel-Aged 12 Dogs of Christmas
What the brewery says about them: 12 Dogs of Christmas is spiced for the holidays with honey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and Santa’s secret recipe. The barrel-aged version is aged for almost a year.
ABV: 8%; 10.4% for the barrel-aged
Portage County breweries
Bell Tower Brewing Co.
Location: 310 Park Ave., Kent
Beer: Décembre Spiced Rye Saison, Silver Bells Belgian Dubbel
What the brewery says about Décembre: Décembre is a seasonally spiced, standard-strength rye saison. We blended crushed allspice, nutmeg and Indian long pepper together with fresh ginger. The result is an aromatic journey from familiar holiday spices into something bright and new.
What the brewery says about Silver Bells: Silver Bells was brewed with reverence to the monasteries that have been brewing this style, keeping it alive, for centuries. Our Belgian dubbel has a moderate alcohol presence, balanced bitterness with hints of raisin and fig. It’s a perfect pairing for many rich foods and easily matched with “Christmas-time in the city.”
Garrett’s Mill and Brewing Co.
Location: 8148 Main St., Garrettsville
Beer: Jack Frost
What the brewery says about it: Our holiday beer is called Jack Frost with a spicy aroma and followed with a sweetness to your palate from local maple syrup and local clover honey.
Medina County breweries
Lager Heads Brewing
Location: 325 W. Smith Road, Medina
Beer: Winter Mischief
What the brewery says about it: Brewed with numerous spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ginger. In addition, copious amounts of local Medina County-harvested honey bring the ABV to 8%.
MAD Brewing Company
Location: 333 Foundry St., Medina (attached to Foundry Social)
Beer: Merry Crisis
What the brewery says about it: We had a hard time deciding how to build this beer (one might call it a … crisis), but we did it! Merry Crisis is a winter ale brewed with wildflower honey and mulling spices — a great beer for even the coldest Ohio days!
Medina Brewing Co.
Location: 320 S. Court St., Medina
Beer: Christmas MiraCLE Winter Warmer, Belsnickel Belgian Christmas Ale, Baby It’s Cold Outside Cold IPA, White Christmas White Stout, Red Ryder Fruited Hazy IPA
What the brewery says about Christmas MiraCLE: It’s a Christmas MiraCLE!! Medina’s Own Gold Medal Christmas Ale is teeming with caramel malts and honey sweetness generously spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.
What the brewery says about Belsnickel Belgian Christmas Ale: Balancing the honey sweetness, cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ginger with the unmistakable fruity clove, allspice and peppercorn of Belgian yeast. Clocking in at 10%, this dry and spicy ale will warm your soul all winter long!
What the brewery says about Baby It’s Cold Outside Cold IPA: Hopped up Crispy-Boi!! Loaded with Citra and Taiheke and double dry hopped with Wai-iti, this cold IPA will have you spreading Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear!
What the brewery says about White Christmas White Stout: Albino stout with coco nibs, single origin/family farm Honduras El Paraiso coffee and lactose.
What the brewery says about Red Ryder Fruited Hazy IPA: Red Ryder greets you with a bright ruby color and an unmistakable grapefruit nose. But don’t be fooled, the grapefruit only comes from the hops!! This hazy IPA is loaded with tangerine and raspberry purée to complement the hop profile and give this hazy boi added depth and complexity.
Planted Flag Brewing
Location: 3594 Pearl Road, Medina
Beer: Christmas in Medina
What the brewery says about it: Brewed with Medina honey and Ohio malt, cinnamon and ginger.
Wrecking Crew Brew Works
Location: 144 N. Court St., Medina
Beer: Wreckmas (peppermint stout), Fridays are Fair (English spiced ale)
What the brewery says about Wreckmas: Wreckmas was our first ‘Christmas ale’ and has become one of our favorite beers of the year. A chocolate stout sweetened with lactose and conditioned with the perfect amount of peppermint and cocoa nibs to provide a crisp and refreshing holiday stout.
What the brewery says about Fridays are Fair: What if Christmas was canceled…no colored lights, no shopping sprees, no presents underneath dead trees? Well, it’s not, so we offer you this delicious English ale spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, honey and tangerine peel. Warms you up while you’re getting down…in celebration.
Wadsworth Brewing Co.
Location: 126 Main St., Wadsworth
Beers: Papa Elf, Under the Mistletoe, Yo! Jingle This!, Winter White, Fra-gee-lay
What the brewery says about Papa Elf: Papa Elf is a brown porter that we infuse with whole bean Butter Cookie Coffee from Pearl Coffee Co. in downtown Akron.
What the brewery says about Under the Mistletoe: Under the Mistletoe is a milk stout with cocoa and mint additions. The beer is dark and rich with a little hint of mint in taste and aroma.
What the brewery says about Yo! Jingle This!: Yo! Jingle This! is a winter IPA with Citra hops and cinnamon. IPA drinkers need their Christmas beer, too.
What the brewery says about Winter White: Winter White is our Christmas ale with flaked oats, barley and crystal malts adding to the complexity of this beer. We add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and other holiday spices to give this ale its bold spiced profile.
What the brewery says about Fra-gee-lay: Fra-gee-lay is our version of a fruit cake beer. An old ale style with mixed fruit additions and cinnamon. Fruit aroma and subtle fruit flavor make this a very easy drinking beer.
Tuscarawas County breweries
Location: 10748 Wilkshire Blvd. NE, Bolivar
Beer: Cheer Beer
What the brewery says about it: Cheer Beer is brewed with loads of honey malt and actual honey, and finished with cinnamon, nutmeg and crystallized ginger. A pint will have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head!