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Holiday Beers Roundup: Local Breweries Celebrate The Season

By Jessica Maurer, posted Dec 19, 2018
Flying Machine Brewing Co. is offering its first hand-packaged release, Polar Byrd Winter Warmer Ale. (Photo courtesy of Flying Machine Brewing Co.)

Many local breweries are serving up special releases for the holiday, showcasing a wide variety of flavors and styles that reflect this festive season.

Flying Machine Brewing Co. is offering its first hand-packaged release, Polar Byrd Winter Warmer Ale, (7.4 percent ABV), named for Medal of Honor recipient and renowned polar explorer and aviator, Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. Brewers describe it as a warming, spiced ale with hints of cinnamon and dark fruit and a creamy malt finish. A limited draft release, Polar Byrd growlers are available to take home as presents and for holiday gatherings.

Edward Teach Brewing is serving their Winterfest Lager (6 percent ABV), which features a mix of Munich malt and Nobel hops used for traditional Marzen-style beers. Brewers say it offers a rich bready malt profile with a finish as crisp as a winter’s morning.

Ironclad Brewery has partnered with Zola Coffee & Tea, located inside Pomegranate Books, for the Zola Chai Brown (6.9 percent ABV), which fuses together the powers of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and black tea with beer.

Flytrap Brewing will release a Belgian Chocolate Stout this week, available on draft as well as in bottles.

Bill’s Front Porch is pouring its annual batch of Christmas Pants Winter Warmer, a strong and smooth, full-bodied brown ale brewed with nutmeg, allspice, sorghum and orange peel (8.4 percent ABV). Also on tap, Jim's Breakfast Stout, a strong imperial stout made with Vermont Grade-A maple syrup, cold pressed Sumatran espresso and cocoa nibs (9.1 percent ABV).

Waterline Brewing Co. has a limited quantity of its Cranberry Hefewiesen on draft but is also pouring Holiday Spiced Gruit (4.8 percent ABV) packed with bursts of cranberry, juniper, green chai tea and habanero peppers for spicy winter warmth. Also on draft is the Black Citra IPA, brewed with dark grains for a malty balance to the juicy 100 percent American hop profile.

Good Hops Brewing will tap this year's batch of Barley Wine (ABV 9.5 percent) on Friday, and will release a new brew, Birch Brown Ale, (ABV 5.25 percent), made with pure Alaskan birch syrup, on Dec. 28.

And specially brewed for oyster season, Wrightsville Beach Brewery is pouring its Oysterman’s Stout, a dark ale with roasted barley malts and overtones of coffee, biscuits and cocoa.

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