Here comes Christmas ... Ale.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. will host its popular "First Pour" event Oct. 26, when the Cleveland brewery will tap the first keg of Christmas Ale for the season. As is tradition, the keg will be delivered by Santa Claus and tapped at 11:30 a.m.

Christmas Ale -- made with cinnamon, ginger and honey and considered by many as the definitive holiday brew -- is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Great Lakes noted that Christmas Ale has become not only one of the brewery's best selling brands, but one of the best selling in Ohio. (Dortmunder Gold Lager is the brewery's best-seller.)

Last year, Christmas Ale sold five times more than the next craft competitor in Ohio and was the No. 2 beer brand in all beer sales in dollar sales, brewery spokeswoman Marissa DeSantis said in an email, citing IRI data. During the two months it was available last year, Christmas Ale was the 15th best-selling craft brand in dollar sales in the U.S.

"Other than the beer being consistently delicious, we think timing might have a lot to do with Christmas Ale’s popularity," she said. "Being one of the original spiced holiday ales in the market, we offered something unique when we first introduced it to our customers. That now iconic flavor profile — the warm cinnamon and ginger, the sweet earthy honey — earned Christmas Ale a loyal following in Cleveland and Ohio, and as our distribution grew, so did the buzz.

"And it grew in a pretty natural way in those early years, through word of mouth, fans and our own employees traveling with a 6-pack or a case to their family party, or guests from outside our distribution footprint making a pub visit part of their holiday travels. The recipe hasn’t changed since the early days either, so even though some may detect slight differences from year to year, we pride ourselves on continually delivering the nostalgic aromas and tastes that first made our fans fall in love. So many of our customers, staff, and partners have these fantastic Christmas Ale stories that add to its lore and keep the magic alive year after year."

On Oct. 26, the brewery will have fresh Christmas Ale merchandise available for sale in its gift shop. There will be Christmas Ale-themed menu specials; holiday music from DJ Misfit Toy from 4 to 9 p.m.; photos with Santa from 4 to 7 p.m.; and Brewnuts for sale starting at 11 a.m. until supplies last.

Great Lakes also is holding a #MerryChristmasAle Photo Contest, with a chance to win a "First Pour" experience and a Great Lakes fridge full of merchandise. For full details, click here.

Christmas Ale bottles and kegs will be available in the gift shop and throughout its distribution markets starting Oct. 30.