Plenty of holidays throughout the year are associated with specific kinds of booze. St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with Irish stouts, Cinco de Mayo is all about tequila, and New Year’s Eve just doesn’t seem festive without Champagne—or at least some kind of sparkling wine. What else are you going to ring in the new year with, right? Well, if we had our druthers, we’d drink bubbly beers instead.
While nobody will tell you to put down your barrel-aged imperial stout during Auld Lang Syne, there are definitely more Champagne-adjacent beer choices available that tick off all the New Year’s Eve boxes: Saisons, brut IPAs, sour beers, and many other styles are well-suited as a replacement for sparkling wine. Here are 10 of our favorite crisp, effervescent brews to drink this New Year’s Eve instead of the usual bubbly.
1. Boulder Beer Bubbly By Nature
Crank up the Naughty By Nature and sip on Boulder Bubble By Nature as you watch the ball drop. This 4.5 percent highly sessionable IPA is brewed with Sbro, CTZ, and Mandarina hops. The result is a crisp, refreshing IPA loaded with ripe tropical fruits and tart, sweet citrus flavors that are intentionally more effervescent than most IPAs.
[$10.99 for a six-pack; boulderbeer.com]
2. Dupont season
Belgian brewers know a thing or two about crafting wine-like, heavily fermented beers. Saison Dupont is a favorite for its yeasty, sweet, slightly tart, and highlighted with flavors like funky citrus, fruit esters, and lemongrass. The finish is dry, sparkling wine-like, and slightly bitter.
[$19.99 for a four-pack; brasserie-dupont.com]
3. Our Mutual Friend The Fizz
With a name like The Fizz, you can assume what you’re getting with this 4.7 percent Keller Pilsner. Made solely with Colorado-sourced ingredients, it’s known for its clean, thirst-quenching, crushable flavor led by notes of pineapple, other tropical fruits, ripe grapefruit, and a gentle herbal, floral hop backbone that ties everything together nicely.
[$12.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans; buyomfbeer.com]
4. The Lost Abbey Tiny Bubbles Original Brut Ale
The Lost Abbey Tiny Bubbles Original Brut Ale might be the closest that beer will ever come to being a straight-up sparkling wine. That’s because this ale brewed with sea salt and Brettanomyces is over-the-top fizzy, crisp, clean, and filled with hints of tart citrus, sour, tropical fruits, and a nice, dry salinity that reminds you that you’re drinking something unique and special.
[$4.99 for a 12-ounce can; lostabbey.com]
5. Allagash Two Lights
Allagash is known for its envelope-pushing beers. Its Two Lights is no different. This mash-up of a beer and sparkling wine is brewed with sauvignon blanc must and fermented with lager and Champagne yeast. The result is a crisp, dry, fruity beer with notes of ripe peach, grape juice, and nice, tangy hops.
[$13.99 for a four-pack; allagash.com]
6. Ommegang Super Kriek
Another music-centric beer, one sip of Ommegang’s Super Kriek, and you’ll be spending New Year’s Eve belting out Rick James. This highly memorable 7 percent beer is a blend of Flemish oud Bruin ale and Belgian kriek with cherries. This results in a funky, tart beer with flavors like sour cherries, fruit esters, and oaky wood. It’ll propel you into the New Year with a tart, sweet kick.
[$16.99 for a four-pack; ommegang.com]
7. Unibroue The End Of The World
Not only does this beer come in one of the classiest, foil-covered bottles of all time, but this Quebec-produced golden tripel has also won countless awards over the years. A tribute to the 16th-century French explorers who founded the Canadian province (aka “The end of the world”), it carries notable flavors like fruit esters, banana, cloves, wintry spices, and a nice, slightly dry, spiced finish.
[$11.99 for a four-pack; unibroue.com]
8. Sixpoint Sparkler Hazy IPA
Sixpoint also makes a Brut version of this IPA—but we love a good hazy IPA, so we’ll opt for this version instead. This 7 percent New England-style IPA is bubblier and more effervescent than most hazy IPAs. It’s known for its tropical fruit, citrus zest, dry, crisp, slightly hoppy flavor.
[$14.99 for a six-pack; sixpoint.com]
9. Rodenbach Grand Cru
One of the biggest appeals of Rodenbach Grand Cru is the large, Champagne-like bottle. This 6 percent ABV mixed fermentation Flanders red ale ages for more than two years in large oak foeders. The result is a tart, dry, robust beer with notes of fruit esters, oaky wood, and a wine-like finish.
[$15.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce bottles; swinkelsfamilybrewers.com]
10. Goose Island Halia
This 7.5 percent Belgian-style farmhouse ale was brewed with Amarillo hops, Pilsner malts, and torrified (heated or roasted) wheat. It’s also aged in wine barrels with whole peaches. The result is a slightly tart, yeasty beer filled with hints of fruit esters, ripe peaches, and slight spices. It’s crisp, tart, and will definitely ramp up your New Year’s Eve celebration.
[$24.99 for a 750ml bottle; gooseisland.com]
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