Think that the holidays means only drinking champagne, wine and rum and eggnogg? Think again! Quebec based microbrewery in Montreal called Les Brasseurs RJ has made a special holiday brew, just like some breweries do in many parts of Europe.
Holiday beers tend to be more festive in nature and usually have hints of fruits and spice flavors – and higher alcohol content. This beer is called Brassin des Fêtes and is an amber beer, close to a red ale. It is a new and different and is worth a try if you want a beer that puts you in the Christmas spirit.
As of this year, the beer is only available in the province of Quebec in Canada and was only allowed to be sold starting November 3rd at 6pm to ensure that it is a special Christmas beer drinking experience. The taste it not like your average ale, it’s 6% alcohol, has almost no bitterness, no aftertaste, and is made from 40% malt imported from Germany.
Traditionally, “Holiday” type beers have to have ingredients that are different from those used year round such as a Christmas type fruit or spice. (Cranberry, Apple, Cinnamon etc.) By default they are only available for a limited time, just before and after Christmas. Christmas beers are higher in alcohol because they contain more cereals and hence more sugars. When the sugars ferment, they produce alcohol.
Quebec is a leader in small breweries that specialize in this type of beer during the winter months. There are about 12 breweries that make Christmas brews out of the 70 microbreweries in the province. 70 microwbreweries for a population of 6 million is impressive. Specialty beers are on the rise there while domestics are on the decline. The US has about 1,100 microbreweries but 300,000 people. So, three times as much choice than the US means that Quebec is a place a beer lover needs to visit!