6 best Christmas ales 2013

Whether you’re a seasoned ale aficionado, a total novice or just looking for an extra special stocking filler, we’ve compiled a list the most delicious and diverse beers to buy this Christmas

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The Independent Online

1. Hit the Fairy Lights 4.6%, Weird Beard Brewery Co.

Brewed with oranges and star anise, this festive pale ale can be enjoyed with any winter dish. It is a lighter version of the West London brewery’s Hit The Lights, and the strong bitter finish works perfectly with the initial refreshingly fruity aroma.

£3.20 for 500ml bottle, realale.com

2. Rosey Nosey 4.7%, Bateman’s Brewery

This copper-coloured ale is bursting with all the warm, fruity flavours of Christmas. With the additional blend of crystal and chocolate Norfolk malts, this one is a great accompaniment to mince pies.

£1.99 for 500ml, morrisons.com

3. Otter Claus 5%, Otter Brewery

There is nothing like a deep brown, malty ale at Christmas time. Otter Brewery’s festive beer is comforting and cosy with well-balanced flavours and a hint of chocolate.

£2.28 for 500ml, waitrose.com

4. Christmas Ale 7%, Shepherd Neame

Brought to us by Britain’s oldest brewer, this 7% amber ale offers the perfect dose of spice and fruit to warm anyone’s cockles on a cold winter night. It is great value for money too.

£2.69 for 500ml, tesco.com

5. Christmas Eve 4.4%, Batemans Brewery

With its earthy finish, this cinnamon-scented beer from Batemans Brewery in Lincolnshire is perfect for Christmas parties and seasonal suppers. It is a dark copper-coloured number, brimming with flavour, and it comes in at a great price too.

£1.99, 500ml bottle, morrisons.com

6. Christmas Paradox 15%, Brewdog

Okay, so this isn’t technically ale, but we couldn’t have a list of occasion beers that didn’t include something from Brewdog. If the success of their two 2013 Christmas ales is anything to go by (they had completely sold out of both by the end of November), their signature imperial stout Christmas Paradox is definitely also worth a try. After 12 months maturing in rum casks, this dark, spicy-sweet beer is just waiting to tantalise your taste buds.

£9.99 for 330ml, brewdog.com

For more IndyBest food and drinks picks for Christmas:

10 best Christmas puddings

10 best mince pies

10 best hampers

10 best turkeys

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