10 Barrel Brewing Co.
The holidays are upon us once again! It’s that cheery time of year marked by incessant Christmas jingles, the sound of cheap wrapping paper crumpling beneath greedy fingers, and thousands upon thousands of egregiously spiced winter ales. [Editor’s note: Counterpoint: these winter ales.] By now you probably know which special bottles you’re doling out to your Champagne friends -- but what about your sham friends? Real pain is the classic option, of course, but we think negging them with a sly subtweet of a beer is a much more satisfying bet.
Here are our picks for the best beers to gift everyone on your naughty list.
For your neighbor who loves to get his karaoke on every night at 2AM
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Twisted Pine Brewing Co. Ghostface Killah
Chile beer, 5% ABV
Unwrapping this unabashed tribute to Wu-Tang’s finest is sure to put a smile on this joker’s eardrum-annihilating face. The kicker, however, is that this Colorado-brewed hip hop nod is chock full of gobsmackingly-spicy peppers -- Anaheim, Fresno, jalapeño, serrano, habanero, and the gobsmackingly fiery ghost chile -- guaranteed to put your neighborhood crooner’s pipes on the DL for at least a couple of precious late night hours.
For the UPS guy who doesn’t exactly handle your precious beermail with care
Pipeworks Brewing Co. Hey, Careful Man, There's A Beverage Here!
Imperial cream stout, 10.5% ABV
Instead of forking over a few bucks this year, tip your harum-scarum mail carrier with a bottle of this unique, amber-hued 10.5% sipper. Here’s what you do: invite the guy in, pour him a pint, and as the velvety layers of cacao nibs, vanilla bean, cold-pressed coffee, and sweet, lingering caramel begin to warm his belly, stand there smiling, holding the empty bottle with its label prominently displayed. It might not work (and sure, it’s a little creepy), but it’s a better bet than your illegible, passive-aggressive note haphazardly Scotch taped to the front door.
For Pam from accounting who guilted you into attending the office holiday party
10 Barrel Brewing Co. Pray for Snow
American strong ale, 7% ABV
Look, Pam, we know you mean well. You just want to mingle with your coworkers over burnt gingerbread cookies, swap dollar store trinkets during a White Elephant, and maybe even get a little wild with a...mulled wine. No one wants to hurt Pam’s feelings, right? That’s why this full-bodied winter warmer, with its molasses and raisin notes and lasting, spicy finish, has her name written all over it. She’ll think, “Pray for snow! Yes! Nothing livens up a Christmas party sing like a snowy backdrop.” You’re thinking, “Pray for snow! Yes! Nothing cancels a Christmas party like a freak blizzard.”
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Evil Twin Brewing Molotov Cocktail
Imperial IPA, 12% ABV
This overwhelmingly citrusy, palate-crushing hop bomb says one thing: You will not, you repeat, will not, take any more of this neck beard’s BS. Don’t @ me, bro.
For your slumlord
Avery Brewing Co. Karma
Belgian-style Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV
Heat still not on? Buzzer still not working? Show your chronically negligent rent thief a little holiday appreciation with this aptly-titled Avery release. The smooth, fruity, and slightly funky Belgian number doesn’t come around very often, but hey, neither does he.
For that freeloading “roommate”
Rogue Ales Beard Beer
American wild ale, 5.6% ABV
Look, if a couple of wonderfully wacky dudes from Oregon (i.e. Rogue Ales & Spirits) had the ingenuity to not only brew a beer using the bacteria hanging out in their unkempt beards, but also make money off of it...maybe that human lump glued to your couch has it in him to get a job. Consider this peculiar fruit-forward sour bottled inspiration.
For that guy you know who throws a million ugly sweater parties
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Prairie Artisan Ales Christmas Bomb!
Imperial stout, 13% ABV
Cloaked in a bright, cartoonish Santa-themed label that will undoubtedly rival its drinkers annoyingly festive threads, this beefy seasonal covers all the holiday bases: a body as dark as coal, warm cocoa aromas, notes of pipe tobacco, winter fruits, peppery bitterness, and more cinnamon than you can shake a Red Hot at. The best part? At a whopping 13% ABV, give your pal one of these, and he just might fall asleep before the dreaded fashion show even begins.
For your bossy-ass boss
Spiteful Brewing Working for the Weekend
Imperial IPA, 7.9% ABV
Driven by a sturdy malt backbone, this juicy, Chicago-born zinger screams hard work, loyalty, and dedication with every resinous, grapefruit-tinged sip. A glance at the label reassures your whip-cracking jefe that you’re up to snuff while the nearly 8% ABV brew’s undiable crushability should get him tipsy enough to chill the fuck out. On the other hand, if you feel like getting fired on the spot, this one’s always an option.
For your cooler-than-thou little brother
Evil Twin Brewing Hipster Ale
American pale ale, 5.5% ABV
Sure, it’s kind of a cheap joke, but if there’s one thing hipsters hate -- aside from crappy mustache wax -- it’s being called a hipster. And it doesn’t hurt that this crisp, grassy brew (imbued with a hint of refreshingly bitter grapefruit rind) is delicious enough to get you through his latest noise band’s four hour show.
For your ex-
Whatever’s good on draft
If you’re seriously considering getting that good-for-nothing loser a gift, take your hard earned cash to your favorite brewery and buy yourself a pint of something nice instead. Best case scenario: you just might meet somebody who’s worth the price of a hazy IPA. And if it doesn’t work out? At least you’ve got a delicious beer to wash away those lonely holiday tears.
Note: 10 Barrel Brewing Co. is a member of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.