Another month—and with that, another year—is in the books. With that came, yes, more great beers. We finished 2018 on a festive note, with a Puerto Rican Christmas tradition captured in a rum barrel-aged beer as well as a brew chock full of Oreo cookies. Santa would be proud. December’s best beers also pushed the boundaries of what a beer could be, with a pinot noir-infused creation from Oregon’s Alesong. These are the beers that left their mark and the beers that will set the bar as we enter 2019.
“IBU chasers beware. Trappists take heed. Bedlam! is not a simple negotiation between two unrelenting beer styles. It’s an elevation: spice, fruit, and malt all coming together for something greater than the label would assume.” —Jerard Fagerberg
“There’s no need to age it—crack it open right under the holiday lights. Sit back. Relax. If you’re lucky enough to have it, Coquí-to will probably become a tradition in your household, too.” —Charlie Crespo
“By Combining both beer and wine ingredients as well as a blend of yeasts and bacteria, Alesong blends two libations together to create a completely new fermented beverage—one that is neither wholly beer or wine, but a new style altogether.” —Jesse Bussard
“Each summer, small teams of winemakers work to produce a beer that is a blend of various barrel-aged beers. The teams create and blind taste test several combinations and then pick a winner. The resulting beer often transcends the qualities of the already intriguing individual beers.” It’s an impressive feat.Tom Thornton
“Double Dunk certainly veers toward the sweeter side of the spectrum, lacking the traditional balance of bitterness from malt or hop. But if you like Oreos and you like beer, you will love Double Dunk.” —Tucker Anders
“Forget winter warmers, and leave the cookies and cocoa to Santa. St. Bernardus has brewed up a spicy, fruity beast of a beer. Pair a bottle with a plate of figgy pudding and rest assured that you did Christmas right.” —Jerard Fagerberg