December: Spirits of the Holidays

Post-snowball fight: Waverly Local Oyster Stout and Union Snowpants Oatmeal Stout

Hampden’s Waverly Brewing Company teamed up with The Local Oyster for this year-round stout made with oyster shells, meat and liquor.  Calcium from the shells contribute to its velvety, smooth mouthfeel, and at just 5.2 percent ABV, a pint of it won’t knock off your woolly socks.

The arrival of Snowpants, Union Craft Brewing’s seasonal oatmeal stout, signals the arrival of winter in Baltimore.  Jet-black in color with notes of chocolate, a blend of half a dozen malts and piney hops pack a wallop of flavor into each 16-ounce can.  Don’t be fooled by the balanced flavor—this beer clocks in at a hefty 8 percent ABV. 

Decking the Halls: Lyon Distilling Rock & Rum

A cheerful Rum Old Fashioned in a bottle, St. Michaels-based Lyon Distilling infused its classic white rum with orange botanicals, blended the distillate with a candied-orange caramel and finished it with dark cherries to create Rock & Rum.  Enjoy it neat or on the rocks. 

Ringing in the New Year: Old Westminster Pét-Nat Grüner Veltliner

Looking for an all-natural local alternative to Champagne?  This Westminster-based winery has the answer with its selection of “Pétillant naturel” or naturally sparkling wines.  A style that made its debut in France’s Loire Valley centuries ago, Pét-Nat, as those in the know call it, has made a comeback, with Old Westminster leading the way in Maryland.  The Grüner is funky and viscous yet minerally and fresh. 

Cozying Up to the Fire: Sweetland Cellars Spiced Wassail

Served warm, this spiced red wine from Boordy Vineyards’ Sweetland Cellars label can stand up to the most bone-chilling days of winter.  In fact, it was first conceived by founders Rob and Julie Deford to warm up guests during a party held in their Hydes barn on a chilly evening.  Slowly heat in a slow cooker for 20 minutes, and the heavenly scent of orange, ginger, cloves and cinnamon will permeate your home. –Rebecca Kirkman

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