Evansville loves cold beer, and there’s no shortage of locally owned spots for residents and visitors alike to enjoy a frosty mug. With the holiday season in full swing, Evansville Living canvassed area breweries to taste what seasonal concoctions are on tap.
Turoni’s Pizzery & Brewery: Rudolph’s Revenge
“Not for the faint of heart” is how Turoni’s describes this brew, a popular seasonal choice in Evansville for many years. With 10 percent alcohol by volume, the Belgian strong ale appears in early November, and a customer is cut off after two mugs. It’s made with coriander, Belgian candy sugar, and “as much malted barley as we could fit in the mash tun,” according to Turoni’s. Evansville Living Digital Marketing Coordinator Hadley Mitchell approves Rudy’s beautiful color and smooth taste. “It gets me in the holiday spirit,” she says.
Myriad Brewing Co.: Winter Ale
Bartenders tell us that this Myriad seasonal is ordered frequently during the holiday season. Winter Ale, with 6 percent ABV is brewed in-house at Myriad with ginger, molasses, and cinnamon sticks, with all those flavors prominent in floating a sweet, darker side of a lighter beer. “It’s not very heavy, so it could pair well with food,” reports Evansville Living Sales and Marketing Coordinator Logen Sitzman. This ale can be found at both Evansville and Newburgh, Indiana, Myriad locations.
Haynie’s Corner Brewing Co.: 8 Hazy Nights and Blitzen Ale
Haynie’s Corner rolled out two seasonal brews this year, both created by brewers Dan Balentine and Nathan Windberg. “We both wanted to create beers for the season that gave people a reason to get out of the cold and come together,” the brewers said. Blitzen Ale has 8.4 percent ABV, and it’s a strong, dark brown, winter warmer fortified with Belgian candy sugar and accented with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. The bar was tapped out of Blitzen Ale when Evansville Living visited in early December, but we got to try 8 Hazy Nights, created in honor of Hanukkah, which runs through Dec. 15 this year. With a modest 5.6 percent ABV, it’s a mahogany-hued ale brewed with honey and flavored with fresh cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Senior Writer John Martin gives an enthusiastic thumbs-up. “Every one of those spices comes through, from the first sip to the finish,” he says.
Barker Brewhouse: Shiner Holiday Cheer
One of the seasonal specialties at Barker is Shiner Holiday Cheer, a 5.4 percent ABV wheat beer brewed by the well-known Spoetzl Brewery of Shiner, Texas. Listed as available until it taps out, Shiner Holiday Cheer evokes chocolatey, sweet flavors, plus hints of peach and pecan. This lighter beer pairs well with lighter foods — think soups and salads, vegetarian dishes, and even sushi.
Damsel Brew Pub: Kandi, Noel, and Holly
Owner and brewer John Mills has three seasonals on his menu. We tried Kandi — it’s a winter blonde ale, has 6.2 percent ABV, and is made with a kiss of peppermint candy cane. “It’s one of the sweetest beers I’ve ever tried, and it was a good chaser with my fried chicken sandwich seasoned with Grippos,” Martin says. Damsel’s other two seasonals are Noel, a 3.3 percent ABV Radler that Damsel says “sings the herald of winter fruits: cranberries and oranges. (It’s) an effervescent elixir that’s a little sweet and a little tart.” Finally, Damsel dives into the holiday spirit with Holly, a rum barrel-aged eggnog winter ale that clocks in with 7.2 percent ABV. Holly packs sweet lactose milk sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.