Holiday Beer Reviews Pt. 1

7 Holiday Beers

There’s something really heartwarming about the beers produced and distributed by craft breweries during the Autumn and Winter months. The familiar sweet and bitter spices, roasted malts, and reassuring warm hues keep us going back to many of our go-to cold weather ales. However, we do love variation and over the weekend Drunkle Brandon stopped by our home for a friendly visit. We decided to sample 7 holiday beers. The beers we chose range from sours to winter warmers.

Throughout the course of the evening and into the next morning, we sampled and thoughtfully wrote down how these beers tasted and what they meant to us. Some of the reviews are not what you’d expect to find on a website like BeerAdvocate. Our reviews are genuine and we always like to keep things as real as possible. Verbatim and all. I tend to note the taste, smell, hue, and occasional thought that accompanies each sample. Josh highlights possible experiences that can relate to how each sample tastes. Brandon gets down to the mechanics of each beer and reflects on past similar ales he has tried.

We also thought it’d be fun to rate the beers on a scale of 1 – 5 coffins. We chose coffins because they’re cuter than our rotting livers.

 coffin  coffin coffin coffin coffin coffincoffin

Boulevard Funky Pumpkin Spiced Sour

 Skye: 3.75 Coffins 

Nice spice, green apple tart, golden color. Reminds me of a sour cider with cinnamon. 

Josh: 3.75 Coffins

Orange zest in an English tea. Tastes like an old high. Good pine porch, waaand all. 

Brandon: 4 Coffins

On the condition that I think I felt very new to the style, I don’t want to rate it too high. Good. 

Bell’s Octoberfest Beer

Skye: 3.75 Coffins

Light roasted malts, dry hopped, light pine, copper color. 

Josh: 3.75 Coffins

Do you remember you first memory that was uninspiring, but somehow memorable? This is almost like that. Like a nice acquaintance that you know that in 1,000,000 years, you would never invite them to your place because you know that would be their last visit. 

Brandon: 3.5 Coffins

Bell’s is always a treat, but lately what I have from them lacks. A bit thin but clearly drinkable. 



Spaten Oktoberfest

(Brandon and I rated this beer at around midnight. Josh was fast asleep.)

Skye: 2 Coffins 

Ok- tastes like candy. 

Josh: Unknown Coffin Rating

Brandon: 2.5 Coffins

Fine, adequate. 

Redhook Winterhook Dark Ale

Skye: 3.5 Coffins

Caramel, malty, lightly hopped, hints of formaldehyde. I would drink this next to a fireplace. 

Josh: 3.25 Coffins

Remember the first time you visited a home brewer’s house for a beer drinking session? This is what it was on day 1, and what it should have been on day 21. 

Brandon: 3.25 Coffins

Thinner than I prefer my winter warmers! Malty for sure- could be a grower in colder temperatures.

21st Amendment Fireside Chat

Skye: 4.25 Coffins

Nice spice. Perfect for a holiday dinner or Sunday roast. This would be a great cask because it should be served at room temperature. Magnolia Brewery should take note.

 Josh: 4.25 Coffins

When the aunt you don’t like makes a great pecan pie. You eat it but you don’t let her know how great it is.  

Brandon: 4 Coffins

A definite winter spiced ale. Maybe if I snow-boarded I’d drink this in the lodge for the entire day.

Deschutes Hopzeit Autumn IPA

Skye: 4 Coffins

Decent and smooth. A good autumn ipa and basically the bottle’s description. Might be great while taking a bath. 

Josh: Unknown Coffin Rating

Brandon: 3.75 

Creamier than I expected. Would love to try on tap- definitely a better IPA variant than some other recent ones. 


Coronado Punk’in Drublic

Skye: 2.25 Coffins

Sickly sweet with a lot of honey that overpowers taste and scent. I gave one extra coffin because of the high content. Oh, and hints of apple. 

Josh: 3.25 Coffins

Fuck you guys, it’s like a candied yap raped a carved pumpkin, and why is there a mermaid swimming with a tankard on the bottle? Is she underwater? It doesn’t make sense…

Brandon: 2 Coffins

Score feels low. But many times you have a pumpkin beer and immediately remember that style’s stigma. Deceiving alcohol by volume (ABV)—honey for sure—just there. Wouldn’t seek. 

I hope our beer reviews are helpful and inspire you to try some autumn and winter ales. If not, at the very least, I hope they were entertaining.




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