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| Booze |

The reason for the season: beer

All the food groups.

All I want for Christmas this year are some delicious, warming Christmas beers, and all I want for Hanukah is a place to find out which ones are available in Colorado. What’s that you say? Hanukah Claus has answered both of my wishes already? Oh, merry tidings!

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the Holiday Beer Season is upon us, and many of the usual suspects – Great Divide, Sierra Nevada, Deschutes and New Belgium among them -- have already rolled out their fabulous cold-weather offerings, while others will package their blessed gifts over the coming months.

The Boulder-based Brewers Association is also in on the spirit this year with a new website dedicated not just to holiday brews, but to all seasonal releases. The site, at www.seasonalbeerandfood.org, allows brewers around the country to post their latest and greatest experiment, as well as hearty annual traditions.

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Even better, the list is searchable by state and season -- so, for instance, you would know that Alaskan Brewing Company’s fantastic Alaskan Winter Ale as well as its Smoked Porter can finally be found on some Colorado liquor store shelves this year.

The website also offers suggestions from the breweries as to the best food items to pair with their beers (a little roast goose with that Alaskan Winter Ale).

And stay tuned for a list of Westword’s favorite winter seasonals, which we will release in late November after we’ve tried them all. In the meantime, check out, this slideshow from last year’s Yuletide cheer. – Jonathan Shikes

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