Christmas Ale in Your City
If you’re a Clevelander, you know just how big a deal Christmas Ale is. Growing from a cult classic at our Ohio City brewpub in 1992, to a staple at bars and restaurants all throughout The Land today, Christmas Ale is nearly synonymous with holiday traditions in our hometown.
But a beer with as much holiday spirit as our 30-year-old classic was destined to spread holiday cheer far beyond its humble roots. Christmas Ale is so beloved throughout the Great Lakes, it’s found a place in the festive traditions of cities all throughout the region. We asked members of our sales team for their cities’ favorite ways to celebrate with a Christmas Ale in hand.
Lisa Koberna (Cincinnati, OH)
Hands down, the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo! If you’re in Cincinnati and have not visited the “Wild Wonderland”, don’t miss the 40th anniversary celebration this year. Visit early to see the animals, then stick around for four million LED lights, a trip to Fairyland, the Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, and more. And you can do all that while enjoying a fresh Christmas Ale – the Cincinnati Zoo pours a ton of it all season long!
If your entertainment style is more rollercoasters than rhinos, you already know King’s Island WinterFest is the place to be. On top of the 20 theme park rides that are running, there are 11 different winter wonderlands to explore, the Eiffel Tower transformed into a magical Christmas tree, and much more. We’ll have Christmas Ale on tap at the park for the first time ever, too!
Chris Boland (Pittsburgh, PA)
My number one holiday experience in Pittsburgh is the Holiday Market at Market Square downtown. With dozens of artisanal, crafty vendors housed in Alpine-style wooden chalets, it’s a one-stop shop for knocking out your stocking stuffer shopping list. Plus there’s plenty of warm beverages and tasty snacks to feast on as well, and of course, it’s all illuminated by a stellar light display. Stick around for some ice skating at the rink next door as well.
Since you’ll be smack dab downtown, no matter which direction you head home, you’ll likely find some Christmas Ale to warm up with along the way (use our Beer Finder to help!)
Eric Lawhead (Chicago, IL)
Chicagoland is chock-full of Christmas activities. If you’re in the suburbs, you need to check out Illumination at the Morton Arboretum. It’s awesome how the arboretum is able to transform 50 acres of trees into something magical through lighting effects and festive music. I won’t say anything more – get out there and see it for yourself!
In the city, Christmas pop-up bars are becoming more and more popular (though I wish I could check out the Secret Cellar Christmas Bar at the brewpub back in Cleveland). Actually, they’re popular enough that there’s one in Wrigleyville that goes all out just for the movie Elf! While in the neighborhood, stop by Old Crow Smokehouse (right across the street) for a pint of GLBC beer. They’re our Browns Backers bar, so they always have Christmas Ale on tap throughout the season, with copious decorations to boot.
Wherever you are throughout the Great Lakes, we hope you’re enjoying your own area’s holiday traditions, and that Christmas Ale is a part of them! Share photos of your favorite holiday moments with #MerryChristmasAle and use our Beer Finder to track down some GLBC beer to put a bow on your next holiday night on the town.
Words by Michael Williams & GLBC Sales Team Members