Kern River | Citra Double IPA | 8.0%
An iconic, cult favorite beer. Once upon a time, enthusiasts had no choice but to make the arduous drive up the twisty mountain roads northeast of Bakersfield to reach Kern River Brewing Company so as to pick up this annual release. To see the beer in cans on (16oz cans no less!) on the shelf at the shop is really astonishing. Though its namesake varietal Citra is predominant, this is no single-hop IPA – there is also bright orangey Amarillo hiding in its midst. The real danger with this beer is its drinkability – despite firm DIPA status with an ABV of 8%, the texture and finish implies a beer far lower in alcohol.
Enegren | Christmas Bock | Winter Bock | 6.9%
There’s no denying San Diego is a hops town, but as the morning fog creeps in and the sweatshirts go on, a malt-forward lager is exactly what is called for. This ruddy maroon-hued Bockbier provides all the caramel aromas without the associated sickly sweetness, tied off by spicy Hallertau and Herkules hops from Germany. Frohe Weihnachten!
Prairie | Seasick Crocodile | Sour Ale, 6.3%
Speaking of yuletide beers… Oklahoma’s Prairie Artisan Ales is at it again with their canned sour creations. With ugly-sweater iconography depicting Santa Claus being pursued by a crocodile in an embroidery aesthetic, they have also (as per usual) nailed the can-art. A tart beer dosed with cranberries for sugar and acidity, ginger for the high-toned burn, and the ineffable combination of cinnamon and nutmeg for winter spicing, this croc won’t last the calendar year. Happy holidays to all!