Local Breweries Reveal Favourite Holiday Beers

Ten local breweries reveal their favourite seasonal brews and what to gift the beer lover on your list

Ten local breweries reveal their favourite seasonal brews and what to gift the beer lover on your list

Julia Hanlon, brewmaster at Steamworks recommends…

Craft holiday brews

“I tend to go for darker, bigger beers in the Christmas season, such as Steamworks Whiskey Barrel-aged Imperial Stout or Steel & Oak Smoked Honey Doppelbock, but I would also add Steamworks White Stout to the list because even though it’s lighter in colour, it has a lot of bold flavours that say Christmas to me. Some new brews that we are crafting this season are…

Steamworks Blitzen: This winter ale is an ode to the Belgian Tripel. Apple and citrus aromas along with a toasted malt character make for a refreshingly different holiday brew. So curl up closer to the steam pipes and warm up for the festive season.

Steamworks White Stout: Steamworks White Stout takes the rich typical stout flavours and body imparted from oats and barley, but without the dark-coloured roasted malts traditionally used in a stout. Instead, these roasted notes come from first aging the beer with whole espresso beans from East Vancouver’s Pallet Coffee, and then with whole cacao beans from East Van Roasters. The result is a deliciously unexpected yet comforting brew that pours light gold with a thick white head.”

Gift for beer lovers

“The gift of beer, of course! Or I would recommend booking the beer lover in your life a brewery tour that hits all of their local favorites with one of the great tour companies in town, like Vine and Hops or Vancouver Brewery Tours. Beer tastes better when you drink it in a brewery!”

Steamworks Brew Pub Brewery, 375 Water Street, Vancouver

Aaron Jonckheere, co-owner of Strange Fellows Brewing recommends…


“Without question, our favourite beer for the holiday season is Krampus. As you know, December brings excitement for many children around the world as they eagerly await a visit from St. Nicholas. In some European villages, this anticipation is tainted with fear as St. Nick is accompanied by the frightful Krampus. While St. Nick brings gifts for the good children, Krampus—with his horns, cloven hooves and long devilish tongue—comes for the naughty. Instead of bringing treats, Krampus whips the naughty children and takes the very bad away in his sack.”


“A jug of Krampus makes for the perfect holiday gift. Brewed to reward the good, you can find Krampus at your local bottle shop, along with other 750 ml creations from the Strange Fellows… the rest of you will have to answer to Krampus.”

Strange Fellows Brewing, 1345 Clark Drive, Vancouver

Tim James, tasting room manager of Powell Street Craft Brewery recommends…


Old Jalopy, Powell Street Craft Brewery: “This malt-forward pale ale is available year-round thanks to it being awarded the bronze medal at the World Beer Cup in 2016.”

Ode to Citra, Powell Street Craft Brewery: “An homage to our favourite species of hop, this citrusy pale ale pairs well with any Christmas treat!”

Dive Bomb Porter, Powell Street Craft Brewery: “Hints of caramel, toffee, chocolate and nuts, this is perfect for the holidays!”

“Also, co-owner/brewmaster David here at PSCB has been barrel-aging his barley wine with brettanomyces to be ready for the holiday season and it will be simply titled “Anniversary Ale” to coincide with PSCB’s fourth anniversary this December. This delicious offering will double as our holiday brew.  We’re all anxious to sample the goods after an additional three weeks of bottle conditioning.”


“As a Christmas gift idea for beer lovers, nothing makes a better stocking stuffer than our Old Jalopy Beer Jelly, made locally with none other than our award-winning Old Jalopy Pale Ale, winner of the bronze medal at the 2016 World Beer Cup, along with a handful of other accolades. It’s delicious and sweet with notes of the pale ale itself.  Pair this with a cold growler full of Old Jalopy and this would excite any beer lover for the holiday season.”

Powell Street Craft Brewery, 1357 Powell Street, Vancouver

Nickolai Zarchukoff, sales & marketing coordinator of Granville Island Brewing


“Our favourite beer for the season is our one and only Lions Winter Ale. This year we have it available for the very first time in packs of 12 cans, perfect for sharing with family and friends. One of the things we look forward to all year is our annual beer trees. We build one in our retail store on Granville Island and last year we surprised our friends at Hootsuite with one of their very own.”


“I recommend a pre-made beer gift basket (or assemble your own) from Granville Island Brewing.”

Granville Island Brewing, 1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

Nate Rayment, co-founder & managing director of Postmark Brewing recommends…


“Our favourite beers over the holidays are of course our stouts, but in the last few years we have also really enjoyed a lighter take on a winter seasonal with our Mandarina Wheat Ale. Big mandarin flavours in an American Wheat Ale make for the perfect party favour this holiday season.”


“Shopping for gifts? This Christmas we recommend one of our custom camping mugs and a gift certificate to the Settlement Building which can be used at Postmark Brewing, Vancouver Urban Winery or Belgard Kitchen. Oh, and you might as well grab some beer and wine while you’re at it.”

Postmark Brewing, 55 Dunlevy Avenue, Vancouver

Adam Hart, manager of Green Leaf Brewing Co. recommends…

Craft holiday brews

“At Green Leaf we are celebrating the holiday season with the release of our Lolo Stout, a dark ale featuring roasted and chocolate flavours with a creamy head and a smooth finish. The perfect beer for warming up from the cold.”


“If you are looking for a special gift for the beer lover in your life, we recommend a growler of our Bonfire Amber Lager, a bomber of Lolo Stout, a jar of Apple Ginger Kombucha or a bottle of our one-of-a-kind Raspberry Sour or Sour Stout.”

Green Leaf Brewing Co., 123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver

Darren Hollett, Hearthstone Brewery operations manager recommends…


“Each year, as the days get shorter and the air turns crisp, I find myself craving darker beers and spiced winter warmers. At Hearthstone, the two beers in particular that are perfect for the winter season are our Chocolate Milk Stout (which we have year-round) and our Graham Cracker Ale (only around for the holiday season).”


“Sometimes when I’m craving a sweet treat I make a beer s’more by mixing a Chocolate Milk Stout and Graham Cracker Ale and add a flaming marshmallow on top; a perfect Christmas gift for a beer lover with a sweet tooth.”

Hearthstone Brewery, 1015 Marine Drive, North Vancouver

Jack Bensley, Brewmaster at Main Street Brewing Company recommends…


“Our favourite brews for the holiday season are darker malt beers like our Westminster Brown Ale or Persephone Nitro Stout. We just released our seasonal award-winning 2016 Barrel Aged Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout which was aged in Old Forester bourbon for barrels for the past 12 months. It’s our first barrel-aged release.”


“A subscription to a beer magazine (TAPS or Beer Advocate), or brew your own beer for gifts if you’re a home brewer.”

Main Street Brewing Company, 261 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver

Stuart Karol, social media specialist for Big Rock Urban Brewery recommends…


“Any true beer lover would love to receive a bottle of our new Rum Barrel Barley Wine for Christmas! Aged for eight months in rum barrels from historic St. Nicholas Abbey, this brew is just in time for the holidays and will warm you right up with an ABV of 10.8%—very limited supply available and only at the Big Rock Urban beer store.”

“Winter Spice Ale is back again this holiday season, the winter warmer to give you much-needed comfort this winter. Aromas of cloves and caramel evoke the sensation of home baking and the rich, malty flavour is enhanced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Plus, it comes in a special holiday-wrapped tall can so you can personalize it as a gift or a stocking stuffer! It’s great for friends, family or co-workers.”


“A Big Rock Growler ($9 for 1L + fill, $15 for 2L + fill) is a great gift for any beer enthusiast. This reusable growler can be refilled with the freshest B.C.-brewed productsome styles exclusive to BRU.”

“Another top pick for the budding or seasoned beer geek in your life is the “Beer Tasting Tool Kit” by Jeff Alworth ($34). This kit has everything you need to host a beer tasting or just enjoy it more on your own time.”

Big Rock Urban Brewery, 310 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Click here for Big Rock Urban Brewery’s complete list of 12 must-have gifts for beer lovers.

Cam Andrews, partner and creative director at Bomber Brewing recommends…


“Christmas is about spending time with friends and family, hanging by the fire and sharing beers. For the holidays, our favourite style of beer is a Winter Warmer, a non-spiced strong ale. This year’s release is the Old Fat Heater Winter Ale.


“For the perfect holiday gift idea, we’ve put together the Winter Warmer pack to cure those cold weather blues. The pack includes a 650 ml bottle of Old Fat Heater, a custom glass, a toque and a $25 gift card. A $55 value for $40.”

Bomber Brewing, 1488 Adanac Street, Vancouver