UPDATED: It’s July and for Ohioans that can mean only one thing: Christmas beer.
Ohio has an insatiable appetite for holiday beers and every brewery seems to put its own spin on the yuletide style. That’s especially true in Northeast Ohio thanks to Great Lakes Christmas Ale — a beer that has a crazy, cult-like following.
I put out a call to breweries to find out their Christmas in July plans. Here’s a rundown of Christmas beer releases and events. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with others and I will update:
-- Black Box Brewing Co. in Westlake made a new batch of Cleveland’s Own Christmas Ale for Ross Deli in Lakewood. The beer is available now in both bottles and on draft. The label features the famous leg lamp from the movie A Christmas Story.
-- Chardon BrewWorks in Chardon will release The Third Gift Christmas Ale at 7 p.m. July 11. The release will take place prior to "Suds 'n Science" at 8 p.m. featuring Alex Massiello, senior principal research engineer for The Cleveland Clinic. He will give a presentation on biomedicine and mechanical hearts.
-- Rocky River Brewing Co. in Rocky River will have a fresh batch of its Christmas ale on draft by July 13. The brewpub also is having a Christmas in July celebration the next weekend.
-- Listermann will host its first Christmas in July Party from 5 to 9 p.m. July 13. The brewery will tap a few kegs of its new seasonal brew: White Death. White Death is a winter warmer brewed with Saigon cinnamon. Listermann also will give away prizes for the ugliest and most festive sweaters.
-- Weasel Boy Brewing Co. in Zanesville will tap its last keg of Snow Ermine Holiday Ale, a honey vanilla porter aged on cocoa nibs, at 7 p.m. July 14. The brewery also will tap a keg of four-year-old Super Genius Barleywine. Music by The Salty Caramels, an all-girl trio, begins at 8 p.m. Meanwhile, Weasel Boy celebrates its fifth anniversary the week of July 15.
-- Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron will release 12 Dogs of Christmas in cases and on draft at Acme Fresh Markets and Buehler's Fresh Foods locations the week of July 15. Acme also will have barrel-aged 12 Dogs of Christmas on draft.
-- Main Street Grille & Brewing Co. in Garrettsville will celebrate “Christmas in July” starting July 17. The brewpub has one keg of its Christmas beer available.
-- Buckeye Beer Engine will hold its annual Christmas beer tasting July 23-25. In addition to Buckeye's Christmas Girl and Nighty Night, the featured beers are: St. Fuellien Especial, St. Bernardus Christmas, Avec Les Bons, Corsendonk Christmas, Anchor Christmas, Great Divide Hibernation, Goose Island Christmas, Petrus 9, Hoppin' Frog Barrel Aged Frosted Frog, Nogne O Winter and Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf. The Beer Engine also is planning at special Christmas dinner. Those details are still being worked out.
-- Willoughby Brewing Co. in Willoughby is making another batch of its Wenceslas Christmas Ale for Christmas in July. The brewpub will tap the beer on July 25 during a special event.
-- Put-in-Bay Brewing Co. will tap Lake Erie Islands Christmas in July Ale on July 25.
-- Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland will hold its annual Burning River Fest July 21-22 on Whiskey Island. A fresh batch of Christmas Ale is made for the event. As always, the brewery stresses that the festival is the only place to find freshly brewed Christmas Ale – as opposed to kegs that have been stored away from last winter. For more details on the event, click here.
-- Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland released a fresh batch of Festivus Ale last month as it celebrated its one-year anniversary.