The elves have been decking the shelves of Hop City with their favorite Christmas beers. Ever wondered how these seasonal brews came to be? There’s rich history behind the origin, starting all the way back to the pre-Christian era of the Vikings. Jul, also modernly known as Yule, was a December pagan festival celebrated by the Vikings to honor Norse gods and the winter solstice. Special beers were brewed for the occasion and the tradition spread throughout Scandinavia. Christianity arrived to the region in the 10th century and a sort of mash-up of Pagan and religious practices occurred when King Haakon of Norway used the Jul tradition to push his Christian agenda and mandated citizens brew special Christmas beer or risk being fined. The Jul tradition carried on in the form of Yule ale in the British Isles following the Viking invasion and gradually countries throughout Europe began creating their own versions. The rest is, well... sort of history.
Early Christmas beers were dark and malty and this characteristic is still the backbone of today’s modern Christmas beer. Many of the holiday brews also traditionally contain spices and herbs such as cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, cloves and juniper to name a few.
Interested in sampling some of the best Christmas beers out there? Join us for the last Fizz Ed session (aka Beer School) of the year next week (@West End & Fayetteville locations). Here's a sneak peek at what we'll be pouring...
Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux - What a treat! We'll be pouring this on draft as the Fizz Ed 'Welcome" beer. Dupont's very, very special saison ale brewed for the holidays. Redolently aromatic, rich and velvety.
St Bernardus Christmas Ale - A cozy holiday beer loved by so many throughout the world... St Bernardus Christmas is a Belgian dark strong ale that is slightly sweet and fruity with aromas of toasted nuts and zesty spices.
Delirium Noel - Did you know that Delirium beers were once banned in the US because the provocative name was thought to encourage overindulgence? Noel is their holiday brew and is another Belgian classic with warming spices, fruity notes and just a touch of sweetness.
Highland Cold Mountain - a kinda local (western NC) seasonal release and favorite of many a Hop City staffer. This winter spiced ale has notes of vanilla, hazelnut, dark fruit, and cinnamon.
Parish Brewing just released Ghost Prime, a special anniversary take on the infamous Ghost in the Machine! Landing tomorrow, December 8 at all Hop City locations (Krog, West End & Fayetteville)! Secure yours now!
Equilibrium Fractal Mosaic/Galaxy
Equilibrium Sky Lab
Equilibrium Lucid Dream Wave
Phase Three DDH Double Pixel Density
Phase Three Vertical Visibility
Phase Three TDH Triple Trio of Stars
DARK & SEASONAL
Phase Three Baltic Porter
Phase Three Warmest Wishes
Phase Three Peppermint Warmest Wishes
Prairie Barrel Aged French Toast Brunch
Prairie Barrel Aged Razzle Dazzle
Prairie Nerdy Dancing
Prairie Peach Crumble Treat