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Top 10 festive buys for craft beer lovers

Beer fans can be awfully picky when it comes to selecting a Christmas haul, so we decided to take the sting out of trawling through and have made a list of some of our favourites over here at db. Going for a range of styles to suit a fair few refreshment occasions, with simple discernment being at the heart of the criteria. Here’s the list and it makes for thirsty reading:

1, It’s got a crisp, fruity acidity and a nimble warming backbone. It’s all sorts of contradictions for your palate that takes you from gose through to enlivening. But gosh, it’s a good conversation starter. You have to try it.

Pomona Island
Name of beer: Kissing Sexing Casio Poke You Me
Beer style: Pineapple, lime and jalapeno sour
Location: Salford
ABV: 5.6%
Packaged: 440ml can

2, Anything Mark Tranter brews is sublime. But really, come on, let’s face it, he’s the master of the mixed fermentation blend. This has brightness and depth that keeps you on your toes. It’s such a satisfying blend that you forget about what it is or even how it came to be as you pour out that big bottle between friends. Suddenly it’s gone and you’re aware that it made your day a little cheerier. These go quickly and are also great for laying down for a time too.

Brewer: Burning Sky
Name of beer: Assemblage 3
Beer style: Mixed and spontaneously fermented blend aged four months in Chardonnay barrels
Location: Firle
ABV: 6.5%
Packaged: 1.5L (Magnum)

3. These peeps, tucked away in Melton Mowbray, have been quietly making really great quality beer without the fanfare so many other craft brewers generate. Why? Because they’re excellent at brewing of course, social media roostering is not their bag. But if you seek out this gem, it really shows that you lead with your palate. Deserving of so much praise. Chocolate, fruit cake and a voluptuous body are all found in this small brown can. Rich and rewarding. A brilliant beer.

Brewer: Round Corner Brewing
Name of beer: Mackinaw
Beer style: American brown ale
Location: Melton Mowbray
ABV: 5.4%
Packaged: 330ml can

4, Everything a West Coast IPA should be – a big juice bomb of resinous piney skunkiness that balances grapefruit with orange zest. This beer will pour with a slight haze and waft of citrus on the nose. Know any crafty hipsters? Yeah, they’ll love it and you will too. Honest.

Brewer: Verdant
Name of beer: Pigs All Day
Beer style: West Coast IPA
Location: Cornwall
ABV: 6%
Packaged: 440ml can

5, Crispy, refreshing and oh so well balanced. Everything you want from a lager but without the carbon footprint. Made by the wonderfully sustainable Devonshire-based talent at Utopian Brewery, you’ll find it hard to find a cleaner more delicious lager made in the UK to such perfection as this. Elegant, but suits those whose palates are not after anything too shouty. It’s an impressively understated beer from an independent brewery run by genial folk. Just lovely.

Brewer: Utopian
Name of beer: Unfiltered British Lager
Beer style: Lager
Location: Devon
ABV: 4.7%
Packaged: 440ml can

6, Chocolate, vanilla, spice and a warming strength that has you longing for a winter’s day beside a log fire. Rich and luxurious with a slightly gentle dry finish that makes you dip back in for more again and again.

Brewer: Fierce
Name of beer: Very Big Moose
Beer style: Imperial Stout
Location: Aberdeen
ABV: 12%
Packaged: 440ml can



7, When the weather is ghastly and you want to close your eyes and imagine you’re in tropical climes then look no further. This builds in warmth and body like any good holiday drink. It actually feels like a hug from a friend. Lots of well-balanced citrus. So punchy and vibrant that it tastes like you shouldn’t have another. Oh, go on then.

Brewer: North Brew Co
Name of beer: Six Times Around the Sun
Beer style: TIPA
Location: Leeds
ABV: 10%
Packaged: 440ml bottle

Price: £8 per can

8, Oranges, passion fruit and every bit as tasty as zesty little double IPA should be. So much juiciness. An outstanding beer for a slow day or the best drink of a Friday night with your mates. Memorable and full bodied with a finish that lasts and lasts.

Brewer: Beak
Name of beer: Trumbo
Beer style: DIPA
Location: Lewes
ABV: 8%
Packaged: 440ml can

9, Bananas, caramel, Christmas cake and a big helping of honeyed whisky on the nose. Such a revelatory beer that keeps you diving back in. Save it for a celebration, or make this drink a celebration in itself. So delicious.

Brewer: Deya x Boxcar
Name of beer: Crocodile King
Beer style: Barley wine
Location: Gloucester/Bethnal Green
ABV: 5.4%
Packaged: 375ml bottle

10, Molasses, liquorice, vanilla and toffee. Sweetly full of flavour and yet incredibly well-balanced with a bitterness that cuts through its velvety body. Mellows out to the finish to pull you back in again.

Brewer: Lost & Grounded
Name of beer: Running with Spectres
Beer style: Baltic Porter
Location: Bristol
ABV: 6.8%
Packaged: 440ml can

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