Say cheers with our 7 favorite Houston holiday beers

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Sailing Santa by Saint Arnold | Photo: Texas Beer Nerd

Toast the season with winter and holiday beers from your favorite local breweries.

Each year for a limited time breweries in the Greater Houston Area create one of a kind brews that bring together the best flavors of the holidays. Sample festive favorites from this season with our list of holiday b below.

Top 7 Local Holiday Beers in Houston 2015

  • Gingerbread StoutBuffalo Bayou Brewing Company brags that this stout beer, brewed with nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves will even make Mrs. Claus naughty. This beer is available for purchase at local stores and on draft at select bars or on tasting tours at the brewery every Saturday from Noon to 3pm. The beer has a 10% ABV and bitterness of 30 IBU.
  • Yule Shoot Your Eye OutKarbach Brewing Company welcomes back the seasonal favorite, Yule Shoot Your Eye Out. This spiced beer is flavored with fresh ginger, cocoa nibs and orange peel. Karbach brews a limited quantity so add it to your Christmas wish list before it runs out. It is available at local stores and bars as well as on tasting tours of Karbach Brewery and restaurant . The beer has an 8% ABV and bitterness of 37 IBU.
  • Elda Milk Stout – Put an adult twist on your Christmas milk and cookies. Each Winter, No Label Brewing Company brews the Elda Milk Stout with ten different malts to create a rich chocolate and coffee flavor. This beer has a sweet, creamy taste and is best served warm. This beer is in season through the end of January and is available for purchase at HEB, Specs, Whole Foods, Kroger, Randalls and World Market. The taproom is open Wednesday through Friday and offers brewery tours on Saturdays from Noon to 3pm. It has a 6.8% ABV and a bitterness of 25 IBU.
  • Shiner Cheer – Although Shiner Cheer isn’t brewed in Houston, it has been a Texas tradition in the wintertime since its debut in 2010. This dark wheat beer is flavored with pecans and peaches for a rich holiday taste. The beer is available in bottles, cans and on draft across Houston. It has a 5.4% ABV and a bitterness of 22 IBU.
  • Christmas Ale – This beer has been a local favorite since Saint Arnold debuted it in 1995 and features five types of barley that give it a large quantity of malts, a sweet, full flavor and a high alcohol content. It has a 7% ABV and a bitterness of 35 IBU.
  • Sailing Santa – This hoppy, dark ale was developed after customers asked to combine the Christmas Ale with another Saint Arnold beer, the Elissa IPA on a brewery tour. Some seasonal spices to create a holiday taste were added and now this beer is brewed with Snaps, which are a blend of hops, spices and botanicals. It has a 7.2% ABV and a bitterness of 45 IBU.
  • Winter Stout – Saint Arnold compares this beer to a chocolate milkshake and offers the winter stout from December to February. This beer, brewed with four types of malted barley, has a sweet, roasty taste with subtle chocolate and coffee flavors. It has a 5.6% ABV and a bitterness of 36 IBU. All three of Saint Arnold’s holiday beers are available at local stores and bars as well as at the brewery which is open for tasting tours weekdays from 11am to 4:30pm and Saturdays from 11am to 3pm.

Measuring Beer with IBU & ABV ratings

International Bittering Units, or IBU, measures the bitterness of a beer from hops and is subjective to the malt sweetness and drinker’s tastes. Alcohol By Volume, or ABV, measures how much alcohol is in the volume of a beer and is an indicator of the beer’s potency.