Denmark has a great Christmas beer tradition. Every brewery just needs to brew a Christmas beer. J-day is the day when Tuborg releases their Julebrygd, Christmas Beer. J-day in Copenhagen is great. It’s the day when you feel that Christmas is just around the corner. It’s kind of the start of the Christmas season. With the Danish beer revolution the selection of Christmas beers have increase significantly. A typical Danish Christmas beer is higher in alcohol, spicy (preferably Christmas spices), dark and more malty than hoppy. This is not just typical for Denmark. All of Scandinavia and norther Europe have Christmas beers and they are most often dark, malty and strong.
Visiting Copenhagen around Christmas time is great. I really get that Christmas feeling there. I love to walk from pub to pub and try the great varieties of Christmas beers. I’m happy to see that the Christmas beer tradition is strong here in the US too. The varieties are wide with a little wider range of flavors than in the old world and more hops of course. At least here on the West Coast.
In 2009 I had a Christmas beer count down. This year I will make make a list of “5 Christmas beers to have before Christmas Day” that I will publish December 20th. The selection process have already started with Stone Brewery Vertical Epic 2011.