The best Minnesota Beers to add to your Christmas cheer

Many local breweries feature terrific Christmas suds

Lindsey Peterson
December 17, 2019 - 8:52 am
Christmas, Beer, Santa

(Getty Images / Sergey Peterman)


You might be looking for a special beverage to celebrate this holiday season.  If you're tired of egg nog and Tom and Jerry's, look no further than some of the great Minnesota breweries who are conconting great winter and Christmas beers.  Here are a few of our favorites.  We'll go in order of darkness/heaviness of the beers.  

Summit Winter Ale
This is a personal favorite, and one of the longest-running local winter brews.  It shows up in your glass very dark looking, but isn't as heavy as the appearance suggests.  A very balanced, easy to drink dark ale, this is a really warm and inviting brew.

ABV: 6.2%

Schell's Snowstorm
Another local classic.  Snowstorm changes slightly each year as Minnesota's oldest continual brewery has always been willing to evolve.  This year's beer is malty but finishes crisp and hoppy.  Really good, balanced beer.  

ABV: 6.5% 

Indeed Stir Crazy Porter
Very dark with a super creamy head. this porter is perfect for the coldest nights this season.  You'll get chocolate, toffee, caramel and coffee in this one.  Super satisfying for those that like a heavy winter beer.  

ABV: 6.5%

Boom Island 2019 Yule
This Minneapolis Brewery features a very special holiday Belgian-style beer that comes is a beautiful 750ml bottle (or in a few places on tap).  A deep mahogany color with flavor to match, this beer is rich, dark and malty.  As with most Belgian-style beers, it comes with major ABV so careful if you're taking this one over to Grandma's house.  Or just share with Grandma.

ABV: 9.8%

Lupulin Brewing Polarnattens Paradis
For a lot of Minnesotans, winter and the holidays means returning to Scandinavian roots which our next two breweries heartily embrace.  It's more than Lefse and Lutefisk dontcha know.  

According to Lupulin, Polarnattens Paradis is inspired by "the starkly beautiful polar night in the northern regions of Scandinavia, where during the winter the sun never rises above the horizon."  Real good then.

This is an Imperial Coffee Stout that is dense, dark and slightly smoky.  Finishes almost spicy and with a coffee hit.  

ABV: 10%

Hammerheart Brewing (literally anything)
OK.  We're finishing with the most Scandinavian of all breweries in Minnesota, one that lives and breathes the Vikings (not the purple ones) and the ancient lifestyle of Nordic and Celtic cultures.  The name of the brewery, Hammerheart, was taken from the album by a Swedish metal band called Bathory which was a source of inspiration for their "mythology'. 

If you're really curious, go ahead and check out Bathory and that album here, but be warned, before you hit "play", this is not for the faint-hearted metal fan!  They take their heavy metal very seriously in Sweden.

The beer matches that ideology.  Everything they brew is as big as those ancient stories of the Vikings.  They have over 130 beer recipes, many of them rarely seen outside of Scandinavia.  Based in Lino Lakes, Hammerheart currently has 9 beers on tap and several in stores, all with names you either can't pronounce, or probably don't understand what they mean.    

Examples:  Stjørdal is an alderwood smoked Norwegian farmhouse ale (named after a small town in Norway).  Von Winterherz Verhasst (no clue what that means) is an oak-smoked Hefeweizen.  Dunkelwald is another oak-smoked Dunkelweizen and the name is taken from a role-playing game called Forges of Empires.  

You probably get the gist. You'll find it in some liquor stores around the metro in easy-to-recognize 500ml bottles or 16 oz cans (

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