Santa’s Secret Stash: 5 Local Holiday Beers To Try This Winter

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The holiday season is here. You may be spending more time catching up with friends and family, exchanging gifts, enjoying savory meals, and imbibing on alcoholic beverages. If beer is your drink of choice, Pennsylvania has an abundance of breweries that crank out some fantastic holiday-styled beers. Luckily for Pittsburgh, many of these beers are made in the Steel City, or from the surrounding region.  If you are looking for some classic brews to try this holiday season, here are 5 Pennsylvania holiday beers to get you into the holiday spirit

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One of Pittsburgh’s oldest breweries is engrained in the steel town’s beer history because it has been producing phenomenal beers since 1986. The brewery in Pittsburgh’s North Side is a must visit, and feels like you are in a charming European town – it has a great atmosphere, food, and of course beer list. One of their winter beers in particular compliments the brewery’s warming ambience, St. Nikolas Bock. This 6.5% ABV beer is European style that’s rich in maltiness, chocolate, and caramel, and hits the spot with any dessert!

Location: Pittsburgh, PA; distributed locally and surrounding region
IG: @pennbrewery

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Philadelphia- based brewery Evil Genius is known for cleverly naming their beers after pop culture phrases, so of course they named their holiday beer after a classic holiday movie. Santa! I Know Him! is a 7.2% ABV holiday Saison, which is a dry Belgian-style ale. It’s made with roses, chamomile, and has a slight spice to it, and is easily enjoyed by many!  If Buddy the Elf had a beer of choice, this would be it.

Location: Philadelphia, PA; distributed statewide
IG: @evilgeniusbeer

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You may have heard of Tröegs before, or even tried some of their beers! It’s definitely a Pennsylvania staple in the beer world. While this Hershey-based brewery has so many popular beers for every season, one beer they are most legendary for is their spicy-Belgian cherry beer, Mad Elf. Procced with caution on this one – it clocks in at a whopping 11% ABV, and is indeed a sipper! Mad Elfs can sneak up on you because the booziness is masked by a slightly sweet cherry honey flavor, and is so enjoyable!

Location: Hershey, PA; distributed statewide
IG: @troegsbeer

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Meadville-based Voodoo Brewing has made a splash across Pennsylvania in recent years by expanding their locations throughout Western PA. Obviously, they are crushing it with their beers, so let’s raise a glass to their success. One holiday Imperial stout that will put you under a voodoo spell is Big Black Voodoo Daddy. This boozy 12% stout is a mouthful of chocolate – malty goodness, and not overpoweringly sweet. It’s just the right balance of hops, chocolate, and malts that’s perfect for a cold winter night. 

Location: multiple locations throughout PA; distributed statewide
IG: @voodoobrewery

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Sly Fox Brewery makes some tasty beers all year round, and their Christmas Ale is a must try. It is a 6.3% ABV malty red ale, with lots of ginger, cloves, and spice. This Pottstown-based brewery has two new-ish locations – one in Downtown Pittsburgh, and the Highline in the South Side. While you enjoy one or three of their beers, you will get an amazing city view!

Location: Pottstown, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; distributed locally and statewide
IG: @slyfoxbeer

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Whether these 5 beers tempt you to give them a try or are already among your holiday favorites, there are countless other amazing local breweries all around the region that make holiday beers. Everyone has a different taste in brews, and sometimes you need to try different styles to find the type you like best. The beauty of having so many breweries in the Pittsburgh area is it allows you to go out and find what fancies your tastebuds the most! To support local breweries this year, perhaps try something different with your family and friends and hit up a brewery…or two. After all, ‘tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry. Cheers!


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