Howdy Homebrew Fans!

In this edition of our Homebrew Alchemy blog, I thought I’d research and report some of the different levers that we can engage on our holiday beer, wine, mead, cider, kombucha, and sake creations.  Hopefully you’ll get a few ideas for your next party or batch of holiday homebrew.  Enjoy!


The holidays are a perfect time to explore the rich flavors of homebrewed beer.  Traditional holiday ales often feature warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Consider brewing a porter or stout with added vanilla or chocolate for a dessert-like finish.  These darker, spicier beers pair wonderfully with hearty holiday meals, complementing flavors like roasted meats and spiced desserts. For a festive twist, try adding orange peel or ginger to your brew, creating a unique blend that captures the essence of the holidays.  If you’ve never tried an imperial stout float (yep, with ice cream), it’s time to surprise your friends!


Homemade wine can be a special addition to your holiday table.  Experiment with infusing mulled wine with traditional spices such as cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves, served warm to counter our chilly evenings.  Fruit wines made from cranberries or blackberries offer a seasonal touch and can range from sweet to tart, catering to diverse palates.  These wines pair great with holiday favorites like turkey, ham, or rich creamy desserts.  For a creative touch, consider making a spiced wine jelly as a unique gift or interesting addition to your holiday charcuterie board.


Mead is a great choice for holiday brewing.  Spiced mead, known as metheglin, which is infused with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, brings warmth to the winter season.  Fruit-infused meads, or melomels, which use seasonal fruits like apples or pears, also offer a nice variation.  These meads pair great with strong cheeses, smoked meats, and fruitcakes!  For a more personalized gift, consider bottling your mead in decorative bottles, accompanied by a note explaining its history and flavor profile.  (Personal note: I used to provide the BJCP style description (AAFMO) when I shared my bottled beer with friends .. it made it a bit more interesting for them, and I felt like I was providing a value-add).


Homebrewed cider is a refreshing and versatile holiday drink.  A traditional hard cider, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, or maple syrup, can be a delightful accompaniment to holiday meals.  Experiment with adding seasonal fruits like cranberries or pomegranates for a festive twist.  Non-alcoholic versions simmered with the same spices can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.  Ciders are excellent for pairing with roast pork, turkey, or a variety of cheeses, offering a balance of sweetness and acidity that complements rich holiday foods.


Kombucha, with its unique tang and probiotic benefits, offers a health-conscious alternative to traditional holiday beverages.  Infuse your kombucha with holiday flavors like cranberry, ginger, or apple-cinnamon for a festive twist.  These brews are not only delicious but also a great conversation starter about the benefits of fermented foods.  Kombucha pairs well with lighter holiday fare such as salads, seafood, or vegetarian dishes, and provides a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of other holiday foods.


Sake, a refined and subtle beverage, can be a sophisticated addition to your holiday repertoire.  Brewing sake at home allows for experimentation with different rice types and yeast strains, each producing unique flavor profiles.  Consider infusing your sake with holiday-inspired ingredients like cherries or spiced pears for a festive note.  Sake pairs nicely with a wide range of foods, from sushi and sashimi to delicate desserts, offering a versatile and elegant option for holiday dining.

How Do You Holiday Homebrew?

Homebrewing during the holidays does bring out even more creativity in our recipes and pairings.  I hope you continue being creative and finding more ways to have fun and share with our homebrew community.  Please feel free to share your holiday ideas and creations with us below.

Happy Homebrew Holidays from North Texas Homebrew Supply!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *