Story of Christmas beer
Christmas beers come to us from northern countries like Denmark or Sweden.
The tradition of brewing strong, dark and spicy beers quickly arrived to our regions.
The spices most used for Christmas beers are cinnamon, liquorice, ginger, citrus zest or cloves.
This addition of spice is linked to the fact that the brewers used the remains of the grain harvested the previous season to make room for the following harvest. The spices were there to mask any infection in the grain that had already aged a lot.
Today this is no longer the case, some breweries even brew their Christmas beers throughout the year. The craze for strong beers in Belgium means that this style is in demand all year round by many consumers.
The Christmas beers are all rather strong (from 8 to 13%) and generally brown or amber but always very dark, although there are a few exceptions such as the Bons-Vœux from the Dupont brewery which is a bitter blond beer at 9.5% (quite the opposite to other Christmas beers).
Even if the style comes to us from northern Europe, we can easily say that they were developed in Western Europe and mainly in France, Germany and Belgium. It's also clear that the style isn't going away anytime soon, even if Christmas were to cease to be celebrated.
They are therefore full-bodied and full-bodied beers are to be consumed in moderation.