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Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews Hardcover – September 23, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In your hunt for that perfect holiday elixir, there's a brand-new book that can help....He came up with an awesome selection. It's a great, informative read." ~The San Jose Mercury News

"Russell gives readers the lowdown on the best of these holiday offerings..." ~The Wine Buzz

“It is the first comprehensive collection." ~About Beer Magazine

"...a comprehensive look at holiday brewing history and tradition..." ~The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"The book is an entertaining history of holiday beer...” ~The Philadelphia Weekly

From the Inside Flap

Delirium Noël, anyone? Tap the yuletide cheer with this beer-by-beer guide to the greatest holiday brews from around the world. Since the beginnings of civilization, humans have celebrated the winter solstice with one of our most primal rituals: welcoming the returning sun with a strong drink. Many cultures throughout history indulged in the custom, crafting singular brews for the biggest party of the year. The tradition continues today with breweries the world over decking the halls with unique ales and lagers made seasonally as a gift to beer-lovers.

From Pittsburgh's St. Nikolaus Bock to Belgium's Stille Nacht, and from Seattle's Snow Cap to Japan's Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale, there's a Winter Warmer out there to put anyone in the holiday spirit. Don Russell has traveled the world sampling and celebrating, keeping a list of what's naughty and nice. Here he profiles the fifty greatest holiday brews as well as dozens of other beers that are sure to put a twinkle in your eye. Packed with anecdotes and trivia, tasting notes, and recipes for special holiday drinks and dishes.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa's Butt-it's a porter from South Stoke, England.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789317966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789317964
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,082,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Smagalski on November 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
No one shares holiday cheer better than Philadelphia beer writer Don Russell, who celebrates the season with this newest book, Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Beers.

Snuggle into an overstuffed chair by the fireplace and revel in the charms of this delightful and insightful book. In the turn of each page, you will be immersed in traditions of Christmas past. Russell, alias award-winning author Joe Sixpack of the Philadelphia Daily News, seduces the reader with welcoming warmth as he alights on a journey across generations. He regales us with stories of wassailing and ancient yuletide raucousness. Among his many narratives, is the tale of a grisly butcher and the miracle of Nicholas, the bishop of Myra. He recounts stories of the European and Viking traditions of Sinterklass and relays the history of American Thomas Nast who gave us our image of that jolly old elf.

Russell takes us through Europe to Nordkapp Bryggeri, the northernmost brewpub in the world, located just 1,311 miles from the North Pole, and southward to Castle Eggenberg in Austria to see the blessing of Samichlaus Beer. We travel to America, into the little town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with its sassy Rude Elf Reserve, and westward to California, where Anchor Brewing celebrates the Christmas Beer of medieval villages and Shmaltz Brewing celebrates the Festival of Lights with He'brew Jewbelation.

Christmas Beer features more than 150 Winter Specialty beers that celebrate the season. Mr. Russell presents a chapter of "The World's 50 Best Christmas Beers," along with full-color photos that stimulate desire for a splash of malt and spice across the lips, accompanied by that warming sensation down the throat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JK on October 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no better time of year than Christmas because of all the wonderful beer that becomes available. The book reviews the top 50 best beers and then includes reviews of a number of other Christmas/Winter beers as well.

The book had opportunities to dig more indepth on the different beers and be more descriptive -- but, I'm hard-pressed to criticize any book devoted to Christmas beer.

If you love this type of beer and look forward to this season, I highly recommend this book -- it is a fun read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Johnson on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book portraying many of the both traditional and non-traditional holiday beers from around the world. Could use a few more recipes for brewing clones or types of holiday beer. Overall, an enjoyable read for any beer enthusiast.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've walked into Whole Foods and other fine beer purveyors with plans to buy any, all, and only Christmas beers. So, I'm probably biased, but I love this book. I enjoyed the history as well as the reviews. However, since these beers often changed from year to year, not all of the beers are always available, and some may not taste like the review notes. But, that isn't why you buy this book. It is a starting point for tastes with history thrown in for a deeper appreciation. I can't wait until next Christmas (beer) season.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought a copy of this book because I have relatives who are interested in sampling different beers. I enjoyed the well presented information and the pictures of the bottles very much. I bought two more copies for my son-in-law and grandson, and they are very happy. Son-in-law hopes to go to Germany in December and do some on-site checking.
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Got this as a secret santa for a coworker who is a beer enthusiast. He was very excited to receive the book and the day after had already started a list of Christmas beers he wants to try this season. Highly recommended!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Still looking on September 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book thinking it had the beer recipe as well as the review, it contains reviews only. Nice little book but not what I was looking for.
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This book covers the history of beer being associated with Christmas celebrations and highlights 50 of the best Christmas beers. Great book to add to your beer and brewing collection.
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