Great Lakes Christmas Ale First Pour Party

While some anxiously await Christmas for the surprise of unwrapping packages or for last-minute gift shopping for their loved ones, we Clevelanders get excited for something a little different: Great Lakes Brewing Company’s signature holiday beer, Christmas Ale.

And this year? Christmas came a little early.

Hundreds of thirsty Christmas Ale seekers crammed the Great Lakes patio on Market Avenue in Ohio City last Thursday, in hopes of snagging a little reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. In celebration of its return, Great Lakes Brewing Co. held a poetry contest, rewarding the winner with a rather enviable prize: the first pour of this year’s batch of Christmas Ale. Other festivities of the day included a visit from Santa Claus and a live set of Christmas Carols played by musician Becky Boyd.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Patio

This year’s batch of the tasty holiday brew is the result of 20 semis full of 55 gallon drums of honey, fresh cut ginger, and Indonesian imported cinnamon. And, obvious by the crowd of happy ale drinkers, this batch is just as good as years past.

A local musician entertains Great Lakes Brewing Co. patrons

Until November 1, you can only get your Christmas Ale fix in the Great Lakes Brew Pub (no growler fills just yet). Bottles will be available for purchase in the Great Lakes gift shop starting November 1, and should trickle into local grocery stores shortly after.