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Ho-Ho-Hoist a seasonal ale

December 24, 2009 | 12:12 pm

Seasonal ales December is the season of seasonal ales, when some of the richest, most enchanting bottlings of the year reach the market: heady, potent, dark-malted brews laced with exotic spices. No, that's not a sugar plum fairy dancing in that guy's head, it's a nut-brown, triple-hopped, pine-spiced pumpkin ale with a nice creamy head in a chilled glass.

From fairly modest beginnings, the seasonal ale movement is now a full-blown phenomenon among artisanal brewers. More than 100 U.S. breweries make a holiday beer or ale, and another 40 are imported annually, according to the website Realbeer.com.

For lovers of the tall and frosty, few holiday seasons are complete without a sampling. Read the rest of the story here, and find out what to buy, and where:


Here, here: 15 of our favorite beers