Where to find the best holiday beers in Charlotte

It’s a well-known fact that Charlotte is home to a flourishing beer scene. Home to more than 30 breweries, you could go a full year without trying the same local beer twice – and that’s especially true for their holiday beers.

Here are a few of my favorites and where to find them before the holiday brewing season is over.


Yule Bock, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

A staple for any Charlotte winter beer lover, OMB’s famous Yule Bock is back. The traditional-style Weihnachtsbock (German for Christmas Bock), pays homage to its roots with European barley malts and noble hops. Together, they create a bock lager with an amber color and smooth, malty body (7% ABV).

Don’t miss out on the annual OMB Christmas Market, either! The open-air market will include local vendors and seasonal beer, wine, and food. 

The brewery has been working with the Health Department to make the event as safe as possible with masks, capacity limits, hours of operation, and social distancing measures. It will run December 11-13 and again December 18-20. Details here.

4150 Yancey Road

Christmas Cookie Winter Ale, Sycamore Brewing

Despite being pulled off the shelves last year (more on that to come), Sycamore’s Christmas ale has made its triumphant return. This seasonal brew, made just once a year, is made with classic Christmas flavors, including sugar cookies, vanilla, butter, caramel, and brown sugar (7.5% ABV).

Bonus: Sycamore also sells Christmas Cookie merchandise such as novelty glasses, hats, and more. Check out the full line here.

A quick side note for parents before we move on: The South End brewery landed in hot water last year when the ABC Commission learned that last year’s cans featured reindeer in situations that would have landed them on the naughty list. 

This year, the design has been toned down – to an extent. The 2020 cans still toe the line, featuring gingerbread men and women, handcuffs, paddles, and more. Maybe keep them away from curious eyes.

2161 Hawkins Street

Bourbon Barrel Aged Christmas Cookie, Sycamore Brewing

Christmas Cookie’s older, more mature brother has made his appearance.

The minds at Sycamore aged a batch of last year’s Christmas Cookie in bourbon barrels for 12 months to enhance the flavor with caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and oak. It’s a limited release, so get your hands on it while you can (8.1% ABV).

2161 Hawkins Street

Cousin Eddie’s Holiday Lager, Unknown Brewing Company

Every family has a Cousin Eddie – and like Clark Griswold, we could all use a breather from them, especially during the holidays. 

The Unknown Brewing Company has bottled that feeling in this light lager. Brewed with light malts and cascade hops, Cousin Eddie is topped off with cranberry and holiday spices. It provides a truly festive, yet relaxing, experience (5.5% ABV).

1327 S. Mint Street

2XMAS, Brewers at 4001 Yancey

Inspired by Glõgg, a traditional Swedish mulled wine, Southern Tier Brewing Company has set out to pay tribute to the holiday staple in this beer. The holiday version of Southern Tier’s 2X beer uses figs, orange peels, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and ginger root to toast the season. 

The main difference? Unlike its Swedish counterpart, 2XMAS is best served chilled (8% ABV).

4001-A Yancey Road

Merry Monkey, Brewers at 4001 Yancey

If you’ve been to Brewers at 4001 Yancey, chances are you’ve tried – or at least seen – a Golden Monkey. The Belgian-style Tripel made with banana and clove (hence the name) is available year-round, but its festive counterpart is not.

Meet Merry Monkey, a Belgian-style ale infused with cranberry, orange peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg for a more traditionally festive feel (10% ABV). It has a smooth finish that makes for a perfect addition to your holiday get-togethers.

4001-A Yancey Road

Bread Tree, Fonta Flora

Alexa, play “The Christmas Song” by Nat King cole.

Made with barley, caramel, and chocolate malts and steeped on local, house-roasted chestnuts, Bread Tree will have you humming along ‘til the very last drop (5.8% ABV). 

Charlotte: 1115 N. Brevard Street; Morganton: 6751 NC-126

Pine Zips, Fonta Flora

Though it’s available year-round, Pine Zips tastes as though it could be a seasonal offering. 

At its base, this IPA includes flavors  of pilsner, honey and biscuit, and pine-forward chinook. What sets it apart? The actual white pine needles that it’s infused with, which comes from the Appalachian farmhouse brewery and provide a distinctly coniferous flavor. It’s called a Coniferous IPA, after all (7.5% ABV).

Charlotte: 1115 N. Brevard Street; Morganton: 6751 NC-126

Christmas Carol’s Schwarzbier, Pilot Brewing Company

This guest-made craft beer is a German-style black lager that features a medium body, roasted character, and 5.9% ABV.

If you really want to get into the holiday spirit, check out the Plaza Midwood brewery’s “Brewer’s Days of Christmas,” a showcase which includes beer features like Snowbird IPA, Casey’s Challah Bread Blonde Ale, and Christmas Snow White IPA. It will take place December 12-23.

1331 Central Avenue

Wool Socks, Red Clay Ciderworks

It might not be a beer, but Wool Socks is a classic Christmas drink full of holiday cheer. By Red Clay Ciderworks, this cider is another inspired by Glõgg, relying on black currant, orange, cinnamon, cardamom, and more for a slightly sweet flavor and spicy finish.

245 Clanton Road

Enjoy your Christmas beer, but don’t forget to take care of your teeth and gums, which can be damaged by alcoholic drinks. 

We’ll help you protect your teeth both this holiday season and year-round. Reach out today to schedule your appointment.

Looking for more things to do in Charlotte? Check out our Smile Guide.